Night Interruption Lighting Is Beneficial in the Production of Plugs of Dahlia `Sunny Rose'

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 19624
  • | 2 Department of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 19624

Experiments were conducted to evaluate effects of photoperiod on growth and dry-weight partitioning in Dahlia sp. `Sunny Rose' during both seedling (plug) production and subsequent production in 10-cm pots. Plugs were grown under short days [9-hour natural photosynthetic photon flux (PPF)] or long days (same 9-hour PPF plus a 4-hour night interruption with incandescent light). Total plant dry weight was unaffected by photoperiod; however, long days (LD) inhibited tuberous root development and increased shoot dry weight, fibrous root dry weight, leaf area, shoot length, and number of leaf pairs. Long days reduced plug production time by ≈1 week compared with short days (SD). Following transplanting to 10-cm pots, shoot growth and foliar development were superior under LD. There was no effect of photoperiod on foliar N concentration. The superior growth of LD plugs following transplanting can be attributed to the plant being in a physiological state conducive to shoot expansion instead of storage.

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Current address: Dept. of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, 20 Plant Science Bldg., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853-5908.to whom reprint requests should be addressed. E-mail address: wbm8@cornell.edu; Current address: Dept. of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, 20 Plant Science Bldg., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853-5908.
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