Daylength, Cold Storage, and Plant-production Method Influence Growth and Flowering of Asclepias tuberosa

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-4002

Greenhouse- and field-produced plants of Asclepias tuberosa L., butterfly flower, were forced in the greenhouse under various daylengths to produce flowering plants for the florist industry. Examined were post-production cold storage temperature (4.5 and 10C) and period (12, 14, and 16 weeks), forcing daylength (9, 13, 15, or 17 hours), plant-production scheme (greenhouse- vs. field-produced), and planting depth (exposed crowns or crowns planted 1.3 cm below the medium surface). When forced under a 9-hour daylength, blind shoots and aborted flower buds were prevalent. When daylengths exceeded 13 hours, using night interruption, the time to produce a marketable plant was reduced from 71 days to 61 days for 18-month-old greenhouse-produced plants. Daylength of 17 hours delayed flowering of field-produced liners by 15 days in comparison to those forced under 13-hour daylength. Greenhouse-produced plants stored at 10C did not sprout when brought into the forcing greenhouse held at 17/25C (night/day). Field-produced plants, when greenhouse-forced, had fewer flowers per inflorescence (88 to 94 flowers) than greenhouse-produced plants (79 to 87 flowers).

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