Effect of Night-interruption Duration and Cyclic Lighting on Flowering of Obligate Long-day Herbaceous Perennial Plants

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824

Six obligate long-day species of herbaceous perennials were grown under six night-interruption treatments to determine their relative effectiveness at inducing flowering. Photoperiods were 9 hours natural days with night interruptions provided by incandescent lamps during the middle of the dark period for the following durations: 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 hours; 6 minutes on, 54 minutes off for 4 hours (10% cyclic lighting); or 6 minutes on, 24 minutes off for 4 hours (20% cyclic lighting). Response to night interruptions varied by species, but five of the six species flowered most rapidly and uniformly under 4-hour night interruption. Few or no Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips', Rudbeckia fulgida `Goldsturm', or Hibiscus ×hybrida `Disco Belle Mixed' plants flowered with 1 hour or less of continuous night-break lighting. All Coreopsis ×grandiflora `Early Sunrise' flowered, but flowering was hastened as the duration of night interruption increased. Echinacea purpurea `Bravado' flowered similarly across all treatments. In general, the effectiveness of the night-interruption treatments at inducing flowering was 4 hours > 2 hours > 20% cyclic > 1 hour > 10% cyclic > 0.5 hour.

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