294 Quantifying the Effect of Application Date of Paclobutrazol Drenches on Poinsettia Stem Elongation and Bract Size

in HortScience

Paclobutrazol drenches (1 ppm, 118.4 mL per pot) were applied to Poinsettia `Freedom' Red' on 1, 11, 21, and 31 Oct. in 1997 and 1998. Plant heights were recorded twice weekly throughout the experiment, and internode length and bract area were measured at harvest. The total bract area of the three true bracts and the top three transitional bracts was reduced by 5.8%, 13.6%, 4.2%, and 2.3% for the 1, 11, 21, and 31 Oct. application dates, respectively; however, all plants were highly marketable. At the time of each drench application, the most newly unfolded leaf was marked. The internode lengths for the three internodes below this leaf and the internodes that developed after the drench application were typically between 5 and 10 mm in length, while the internode lengths of the control plants were typically 10 to 25 mm, depending on node number. Plant height increased 62, 51, 47 and 19 mm following application on the 1, 11, 21, and 31 Oct. application dates, respectively. The 1, 11, 21, and 31 Oct. drench applications reduced total stem elongation from 1 Oct. to anthesis by 64%, 49%, 28%, and 15%, respectively. Paclobutrazol drenches did not affect time to anthesis.

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