Daily Light Integral Affects Flowering and Quality of Greenhouse-grown Achillea, Gaura, and Lavandula

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325

The growth and development of Achillea ×millefolium L. `Red Velvet', Gaura lindheimeri Engelm. & Gray `Siskiyou Pink' and Lavandula angustifolia Mill. `Hidcote Blue' were evaluated under average daily light integrals (DLIs) of 5 to 20 mol·m-2·d-1. Plants were grown in a 22 ± 2 °C glass greenhouse with a 16-h photoperiod under four light environments: 50% shading of ambient light plus PPF of 100 μmol·m-2·s-1 (L1); ambient light plus PPF of 20 μmol·m-2·s-1 (L2); ambient light plus PPF of 100 μmol·m-2·s-1 (L3); and ambient light plus PPF of 150 μmol·m-2·s-1 (L4). Between 5 to 20 mol·m-2·d-1, DLI did not limit flowering and had little effect on timing in these studies. Hence, the minimum DLI required for flowering of Achillea, Gaura and Lavandula must be <5 mol·m-2·d-1, the lowest light level tested. However, all species exhibited prostrate growth with weakened stems when grown at a DLI of about 10 mol·m-2·d-1. Visual quality and shoot dry mass of Achillea, Gaura and Lavandula linearly increased as DLI increased from 5 to 20 mol·m-2·d-1 and there was no evidence that these responses to light were beginning to decline. While 10 mol·m-2·d-1 has been suggested as an adequate DLI, these results suggest that 15 to 20 mol·m-2·d-1 should be considered a minimum for production of these herbaceous perennials when grown at about 22 °C.

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