Conditioning Treatments Affect Growth and Spider Mite Infestation of Greenhouse-grown Bedding Plants

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  • 1 1Dept. of Horticulture, Georgia Experiment Station, Univ. of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223.
  • | 2 2Dept. of Entomology, Georgia Experiment Station, Univ. of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223.

Two weeks after planting, plugs of New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens × hybrida), marigold (Tagetes erecta), or ageratum (Ageratum Houstonianum) were subjected to eight conditioning treatments: untreated, low N (50 ppm), high N (500 ppm), ebb/flow watering, drought, brushing (40 strokes twice daily), daminozide (5000 ppm), or paclobutrazol (45 ppm). Fertilizers were applied three times per week at 250 ppm N for all plants not treated with high or low N. Five adult twospotted spider mites were placed on each plant 1 week after treatment. New Guinea impatiens height was reduced by low N, brushing, or paclobutrazol at 4 weeks after treatment. Spider mite populations were reduced only by brushing. Marigold height was reduced by low N, drought, or brushing, but spider mite counts were reduced by brushing or paclobutrazol. Height of ageratum was reduced by low N, daminozide, or paclobutrazol, but spider mite counts were reduced by ebb/flow or brushing at 4 weeks after treatment.

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