Sequential BA Applications Enhance Offset Formation in Hosta

in HortScience

A study conducted in 1995 and repeated in 1996 determined the effects of repeated BA applications and subsequent repeated removals on yields of offsets in Hosta Tratt. (Funkia K. Spreng; Niobe Salisb.) stock plants. Two hosta cultivars, `Francee' and `Francis Williams', received zero, one, two, three, or four foliar applications of benzyladenine (BA) at 3000 mg·L-1. Plants receiving multiple applications were retreated at 30-day intervals following offset removal from all plants. A single BA application stimulated offset formation in both cultivars in both years, but repeated applications were necessary for a continued response following offset removal. Total offset yield increased linearly as the number of BA applications increased. At 120 days after the first treatment in 1995, `Francee' plants receiving four applications had produced an average of 22 offsets, and `Francis Williams' plants 18 offsets, whereas control plants produced 9.8 and 0 offsets, respectively. Similar data for 1996 were 31.2 offsets for `Francee' and 22.4 offsets for `Francis Williams,' whereas control plants produced 6.8 and 2.6 offsets, respectively. Offset stage of development, as indicated by leaf number, and growth index generally were not affected by BA treatment. No phytotoxicity was observed, and plant appearance was enhanced due to the outgrowth of BA-stimulated lateral buds. Chemical name used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (benzyladenine, BA).

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