Response of Poinsettias to Paclobutrazol in Paint Applications

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210

The effectiveness of a paclobutrazol/paint mix in controlling growth of poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima) cultivars Freedom Red and Angelica Red was evaluated. Plants were grown in containers whose interior walls were coated with a flat latex impregnated with varying concentrations of paclobutrazol: 0, 5, 20, 80, 100, 150, 200, and 300 mg·L–1 (0. 0.032, 0.128. 0.512, 0.64, 0.96, 1.28, and 1.92 mg a.i. per container, respectively). As a comparison, one treatment consisted of plants drenched with 118 ml/container of a paclobutrazol solution at 3 mg·L–1.

Plants grown in containers with the paint–paclobutrazol mix were shorter than the control plants. Treatments involving concentrations of 100 mg·L–1 or more (even as much as doubled or tripled) did not produce proportionately shorter plants. Root dry weights of plants in all treatments were not significantly different. However, the length of roots touching the internal surface of the container decreased with increasing growth regulator concentrations. This may help explain why doubling concentrations of growth regulator-in-paint does not produce proportionately shorter plants: roots start absorbing the growth regulator as soon as they touch the wall of the container. As a consequence, all root elongation is reduced, resulting in less root-growth regulator contact and less growth regulator uptake. More measurements of root length and root area are required in order to proof this hypothesis. When paclobutrazol concentrations were higher than 100 mg·L–1, some bracts showed evidence of “crinkling.”

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