Night Temperature, Photosynthetic Photon Flux, and Long Days Affect Gypsophila paniculata Flowering

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  • 1 Research Station, Agriculture Canada, Kentville, N.S. B4N 1J5, Canada
  • | 2 Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand, Private Bag I 1030, Palmerston North, New Zealand

The effects of night temperature (NT) and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on time to flower and flower yield in `Bristol Fairy' and `Bridal Veil' Gypsophila paniculata L. (perennial baby's breath) were studied in controlled environments. Plants were grown with nights at 8, 12, 16, and 20C and 450 or 710 μmol·s-1·m-2 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF). Days were at 20C. In both cultivars, the times from the start of treatments to visible bud and from visible bud to anthesis were delayed at the lower PPF and at an NT <20C. The delays in `Bristol Fairy' were greater than those in `Bridal Veil'. Failure of `Bristol Fairy' plants to reach anthesis was common at SC NT and either 450 or 710 μmol·s-1·m-2 PPF; whereas in `Bridal Veil', nearly all plants flowered, regardless of environmental conditions. Flower yield (measured as fresh weight of inflorescences) decreased with NT in `Bristol Fairy' but was highest at 8 or 12C in `Bridal Veil'. In a second experiment using the same cultivars, the effect of curtailing long-day (LD) conditions at various stages on stem elongation and flower yield was investigated. `Bristol Fairy' required more LD cycles (>56) than `Bridal Veil' for maximum stem elongation and flower yield. Terminating LD conditions before the start of inflorescence expansion resulted in lower yields and shorter plants in both cultivars.

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