Short-term Storage of Plug-grown Bedding Plant Seedlings

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

The effects of storage conditions before transplanting were examined for Petunia × hybrida Vilm. `Supercascade Lilac', viola × wittrockiana Gams `Universal Beaconsfield', and Salvia splendens F. Sellow ex Roem. & Schult `Red Hot Sally'. Plug grown seedlings were stored for 0, 7, 14, or 21 days at 5 or 10C and with continuous irradiance levels from incandescent bulbs at 0, 2, or 12 μmol·m-2·s-1. A second group was stored at 18C with irradiance from fluorescent bulbs at 105 μmol·m-2·s-1 and a 16-hour photoperiod for the same durations. Temperature was more important than irradiance in maintaining a commercially acceptable plant during the storage period. Petunia and pansy could be stored successfully for 21 days at 5 or 10C with no appreciable loss of quality; salvia could be stored for a minimum of 14 days. Seedlings of all species elongated excessively when stored >7 days at 18C and 105 μmol·m-2·s-1 irradiance. After 14 days of storage, petunias stored at 18C flowered sooner than those stored at 5 or 10C but time in a production environment (days to flower - days in storage) was similar for petunias stored at 5 or 18C.

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