Flowering of Eustoma grandiflorum (Raf.) Shinn. Cultivars Influenced by Photoperiod and Temperature

in HortScience
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  • 1 Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, 5007 60th Street East, Bradenton, FL 34203

Seedling growth and flowering responses were examined for four Eustoma cultivars exposed to photoperiod × temperature treatments during two seedling ages. Seedlings were grown under short days (SD, 12-hour photoperiod) or long days (LD, 18-hour photoperiod) in soil at 12 or 28C from 14 to 43 days after sowing. Seedlings from each treatment were then subdivided into four lots and subjected to the same photoperiod × temperature treatments from 43 to 79 days after sowing, for a total of 16 treatments. To determine flowering response, seedlings were grown subsequently for 120 days at 22C under the same photoperiod that they received from day 43 to 79. For all cultivars and both seedling ages, seedlings were larger and had more leaves when grown at 28C rather than at 12C, but the tallest plants at flowering were from seedlings exposed to 12C. Seedlings from some treatments bolted but did not initiate visible flower buds, and some seedlings developed visible buds that later aborted, resulting in plants that did not flower by the termination of the experiment (199 days). Cultivar and interactive effects of photoperiod and temperature influenced the percentage of flowering plants. Vegetative growth and flowering responses were similar for `Yodel White', `Heidi Pink', and `Blue Lisa'. They flowered as LD plants when seedlings were grown at 12C from day 14 to 43 or day 43 to 79. Seedlings of these cultivars that were grown under SD at 28C from day 43 to 79 did not flower, regardless of photoperiod or temperature treatments from day 14 to 43. However, SD photoperiod or 28C did not decrease flowering for `GCREC-Blue'.