Sparkler Guara - New winner of the AAS and Fleurselects Awards

bugbite(z9a FL)November 6, 2013

I will use this post to document my experiences with this new guara.
Got my Geoseed catalog in August and saw this NEW short variety.
Since germination can vary, I ordered two 100 seeds packages for about $5.50 each.

For spring 2014 blooms, on Sept 1, 2013, planted 90 seeds in flats. Random dirt from my enhanced dirt pile. Flats are outside.
The other package, I planted in the ground.

Seeds were soaked in plain water for 3-4 hours prior to planting.

Germination was good if direct sown or planted in trays.

The cells were better because the seed is a nutlet and can produce more than one plant and need separation.

Fertilized with diluted water soluble fertilizer twice.

Nov 1, 2013, transplanted seedlings from cells into my gardens.

They transplant easily at this early stage. No shock.

About 150 total plants are now in the ground.

Could have planted in July since the guaras that have self seeded from plants I have are a little ahead of the seeds from the packages.
I am in zone 9a.
Guara orginated in Texas/Oklahoma and can take the heat, humidity and cold (down to zero), and are labeled as perrenials. And I always get complements about this plant.
Will update with pictures.
PS. LSU has a more realistic picture of Sparkler from its trial VS the AAS picture. But the picture was in their newsletter and I cannot post it.
Bob

Here is a link that might be useful: Sparkle data sheet

This post was edited by bugbite on Fri, Nov 8, 13 at 18:45

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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Beautiful plant!! I wonder how it would do for me. Would love to see your pictures.

SCG

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 6:49PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

SouthCG,
Good question. The data sheet says that the seeds can be planted in the fall or spring. Regarding spring: "Spring Production: Sow in January for natural
flowering in early May to early June dependent on
temperature. "
I have had "northern" plants grow in my garden; maybe this will serve as an annual for you.
I have a picture of the trays which I will post when I get the camera hooked to this computer. But it just shows some nice seedlings in trays. Like many of my fall seedlings, they probably will just sit around getting established in the ground and then take off in the spring when the time is right.
That's when I will supply as many pictures as noteworthy. I still am keeping my fingers crossed because failure could still happen with this variety even though I grow guaras regularly.
Bob

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 2:00PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Bob,

Where did you acquire your seeds? I am very interested in trying a few in the spring.

Thanks

SCG

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 12:46PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

SCG,
I get my seeds from www.geoseed.com

Click this link: http://www.geoseed.com/id3.html
Then at the bottom, run you mouse over the icons until it says "download". The one next to the "speaker" will say "download". It's best to download the catalog. It is a huge catalog with no pictures; could take a little time to download.
You can get the seeds elsewhere but they are alot more expensive. Geoseed sells to everyone.
Bob

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 4:18PM
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goblugal(7)

This looked great in the AAS trials in Michigan, and also performed well in Ontario...and the photos on the AAS website are from actual trials, not just "pretty" photos from the breeder. For a Guara from seed, it is actually very nice.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:44PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Buggy, thanks for the link. I will look at the site. How long was it from seed to flower for you?

SCG

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 5:40PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Hi SCG,
That data sheet in the link shows what seems to happen with flowering. IE, Plant in the fall and it blooms a little earlier in the spring; plant in the spring, it blooms a little later.
Plant in late August like I did, it still will not bloom till it is ready in the spring. The seedlings will sit around doing nothing then take off.
Because I am in NE Florida and the Feb can be nice, I have seen this thing start bloom then. The one I still have now is still in bloom.
The interesting thing is that I cut off 3 small pieces and planted it in the ground (no hormone) about a month ago and they are growing. That means easy to grow from cuttings, hopefully.
Out of my 150, if they live, I can pick the very best and mutiple them, hopefully.
Bob

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 6:16PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Thanks, I was only curious to when I had to start them from seed...I am not sure they would over winter here :)

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 11:16PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

That's something to think about. You will save a lot of aggravation (work) if you plant in the spring. The data sheet says that the blooming will be delayed but that is because the plant needs that time to germinate and get established, unlike seeds planted in late August/September. But they have a long blooming season, so maybe no big deal.
But the data sheet says you can plant in the spring, so you might consider that if you have doubt about over wintering.
Maybe try this: Do an experiment with a few seeds from your package this year. Save them in the frig and plant them in August for the following year and see if the seedlings over winter.

IMHO

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 10:32AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I am going to try some seeds this year and see how they do. Will update to how they overwinter for zone 5.

Thanks for the links their pricing is pretty good.

SCG

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:06PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Update: Love these plants. They continue to grow well. 2/04/2014

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:05PM
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