Q&A: Lisa Lacy on the NEW Solarscape Impatiens
Our customers and greenhouses who grow for pro landscapers have been curious about the new Solarscape™ Impatiens series. This recent introduction is a seed-propagated interspecific impatiens that provides extraordinary color and grows strong in the sun. Read below for our exclusive interview with Lisa Lacy, PanAmerican Seed Portfolio Manager – Product Development, as she answers frequently asked questions about this amazing new series for the landscape.
What will growers love the most about new Solarscape?
Lisa Lacy: Growers will appreciate several aspects: an alternative for cost efficiency in the interspecific impatiens category due to no royalties, an ideal option for opening-price-point, non-branded programs at retail, and flexibility of a seed input.
Please explain the benefits of being an "interspecific" class for this series?
LL: The genetic background, resulting in these interspecific varieties, bring characteristics such as large flowers, strong plant growth, resilience in full-sun locations, as well as durability to handle drying and quick rebounding after watering.
How does Solarscape compare – performance-wise – to other landscape impatiens on the market? What can landscapers expect?
LL: Solarscape offers very similar in-ground and container, full-sun performance to other interspecific impatiens in the marketplace. PanAmerican Seed conducts a professional landscape trial in which we carefully test and track landscape performance metrics including: speed to fill to minimize weeding, handling of overhead irrigation, and color impact and duration in full sun and 50% shade over the entire Summer season. Based upon two years of trials, and comparison with the leading interspecifics in the marketplace, Solarscape Impatiens perform equally as well and have garnered the PanAmerican Seed Pro Landscape designation.
How complex is the plant culture for production? Any special tips?
LL: Crop culture is pretty straight forward. Due to the interspecific nature, the plug crop time is fast: 4-5 weeks for a 288 plug, 5-6 weeks for a 128 plug. Finish culture is similar to many aspects of vegetative items in this category. You can download detailed GrowerFacts now. This crop culture calls out best practices such as low-to-moderate fertilization needs, PGR and water management for best plant control and minimum to maximum temperature recommendations. Solarscape Impatiens are wonderfully versatile for a range of production sizes from 306 Pack/1801 to 2-gallon containers.
Are there plans to place Solarscape in any mixed-combo recipes? What other plants can be paired with it?
LL: Products like Serena® Angelonia, or Mediterranean and Titan™ Vincas, as well as Premium Sun Coleus mix extremely well with Solarscape. Look for more combo ideas to come!
Can we anticipate more colors in this series?
LL: Yes! The breeding team of Mario Guillen and Edison Quiros, based at our Linda Vista, Costa Rica, research facility are working hard to bring more vibrant, strong colors to Solarscape in the near future.
Editor's Note: PanAmerican Seed has just released a brochure highlighting all of these great details mentioned by Lisa above. Download the Solarscape brochure here or find it at our Catalogues webpage.