Make Your Mark on Vinca Sales with New Tattoo

Birdie Lénard-Fountain

Today’s garden consumer screams for low-maintenance plants with high-impact color that can thrive in the garden. They want to feel like successful, savvy gardeners while creating a custom outdoor space that’s uniquely theirs. So today, a flower that provides a sense of the unique and unusual is

Left: Tattoo Papaya Vinca.

Vinca are well known for their durable flowering, knockout color and exceptional heat tolerance (in the landscape or containers), so reinvigorating that crop for a modern upgrade was key to the breeders’ goals behind the new vinca series, Tattoo from PanAmerican Seed.

Tattoo makes the art of plants come to life with every bloom—each petal looks like it’s inked with saturated color and contrasted by soft brush strokes of black. Tattoo is a bold and head-turning twist on traditional vinca and a series that tunes your greenhouse into what today’s plant-lover is looking for.

 Follow our recommended guidelines below to produce an outstanding crop for your customers!

Plug culture

Tattoo is offered in raw seed form. It germinates warm at 75 to 78F (24 to 26C) and takes about three to five days. Light is not required to germinate, but can be beneficial. Cover the seed with a medium layer of coarse-grade vermiculite after sowing to maintain uniform moisture around the seed during germination.

Maintain the media pH at 5.8 to 6.0 and EC of 0.75 mmhos/cm during plug production. Bottom heat during production can increase yield potential and decrease crop time.

During Stage 2, provide moisture levels of 3 to 4 (medium to medium-wet) with temperatures at 70 to 72F (21 to 22C). Set light at 2,500 f.c. (26,900 Lux). Apply a fertilizer less than 100 ppm N, less than 0.7 EC.

Temperatures and light are maintained through Stage 3, with a gradual lowering of moisture to Level 2 to 4. Even moisture is preferred, as excessive media and foliage wetness can lead to instances of disease.

In Stage 4, before growing on to finish, increase light levels to 5,000 f.c. (53,800 Lux). Keep light as high as possible (DLI = 12 moles•m-2•d-1) while maintaining optimal production temperatures.

Tattoo blooms display their best color contrast under warm conditions with higher light. When finished under cooler conditions and lower light levels, the colors will appear to be darker overall with less contrast; colors will brighten with increases in temperature and light.


Generally, larger sizes don’t need PGRs as the varieties are well branched and have robust vigor. For height control: Bonzi 5 ppm spray, Sumagic 1 ppm spray, A-Rest 10 ppm spray, or B-Nine 2,500 ppm spray.

NOTE: Cycocel can cause phytotoxicity on foliage and avoid using Topflor, as it could stunt plants easily, even with low rates.

Fertilizer tips

Starting one week after transplant, apply at rate 4 (225 to 300 ppm N/1.5 to 2.0 mS/cm) once a week using predominately a nitrate-form fertilizer with low phosphorus and high potassium. Maintain the media EC at 1.5 to 2.0 mS/cm and pH at 5.5 to 6.0.

For constant fertilizer program, it can be applied at rate 3 (175 to 225 ppm N/1.2 to 1.5 mS/cm) while maintaining the above recommended EC and pH ranges. GT

Birdie Lénard-Fountain is Global Products Manager for PanAmerican Seed. She is stationed at its Guadalupe, California facilities. For full culture details, visit