Growth of Begonia as Influenced by Paclobutrazol Residue in Compost-amended Media

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  • 1 Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Paclobutrazol was applied as soil drench to potted petunia, and the treated plants were shorter than untreated ones. Three types of compost were then made from the treated and untreated plants: the shoots, the medium (including roots), and both shoots and medium. They were mixed with Vergro Klay Mix at the ratios of 0%, 5%, 10%, 20%, and 40% (v/v). In a factorial experiment, plugs of Begonia semperflorens cv. Gin were planted in the media with compost. Plants grown in media containing paclobutrazol residue were shorter and had less dry weight compared to those grown in media containing no paclobutrazol residue. Compost ratios at 5% and 40% reduced plant height to 65% and 42% and shoot dry weight to 55% and 20% of the control plants, respectively. These results indicate that residues from plants treated with paclobutrazol may carry over in soil of landscape beds and affect the growth of subsequent crops grown in that soil.