Cold Treatment and Forcing Temperature Influence Flowering of Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips'

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

The influence of cold treatments on flowering in Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips' was determined. Plants with 10 to 12 nodes (P1) and 12 to 16 nodes (P2), in 128-cell (10-mL cell volume) and 50-cell (85-mL cell volume) trays, respectively, were stored at 5 °C for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 weeks under a 9-hour photoperiod. They then were transplanted and forced in a 20 °C greenhouse under a 9-hour photoperiod with a 4-hour night interruption (NI) (2200 to 0200 hr). Time to visible bud and to flowering in P1 decreased slightly as the duration of cold treatment increased. Flowering was hastened by ≈10 days after 14 weeks at 5 °C. Cold treatments had no significant effect on time to visible bud or flower in P2. The number of flower buds on P1 did not change significantly in response to cold treatments, while flower bud count on P2 increased by up to 60% as duration of cold treatments increased. Final height at flowering of both ages decreased 10% to 20% with increasing duration of cold exposure. To determine the relationship between forcing temperature and time to flower, three plant sizes were forced under a 9-hour photoperiod with a 4-hour NI (2200 to 0200 hr) at 15, 18, 21, 24, or 27 °C. Plants flowered more quickly at higher temperatures, but the number and diameter of flowers were reduced. Days to visible bud and flowering were converted to rates, and base temperature (Tb) and thermal time to flowering (degree-days) were calculated. Average Tb for forcing to visible bud stage was 2.1 °C; for forcing to flower, 0.0 °C. Calculated degree-days to visible bud were 455; to flower, 909.

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