Three Mussaenda Cultivars Propagated by Stem Cuttings Exhibit Variation in Rooting in Response to Hormone and Rooting Conditions

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, New Mexico State University, Box 30003, MSC 3Q, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003.
  • 2 Department of Horticulture, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Mayagüez, PR 00680.

The effects of 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), cutting position on stock plants, the date of propagation, the type of rooting substrate and temperature on rooting of mussaenda (Mussaenda erythrophylla Schumach. & Thonn. `Ashanti Blood' and `Rosea', and Mussaenda philippica A. Rich `Aurorae') stem cuttings were determined. Cuttings of `Ashanti Blood' produced the largest number of roots when treated with 15 mmol (3000 ppm) IBA and rooted in perlite at 29 °C (84 °F). Cutting position on stock plants did not affect rooting in any of the three cultivars. Propagation date and temperature of the rooting medium affected root numbers in `Aurorae'. With `Rosea', only the type of rooting substrate affected root number. Rooting percentage was 22%, 48%, and 39% in `Ashanti Blood', `Aurorae', and `Rosea' respectively. After 30 days of propagation average root length was 4, 12, and 4 mm (0.2, 0.5, and 0.2 inch) in `Ashanti Blood', `Aurorae', and `Rosea' respectively. Growers must determine precise rooting conditions for each cultivar to obtain consistent rooting of cuttings. This process may not be economically feasible on a commercial basis because rooting percentages are relatively low. We conclude that other methods of clonal propagation need to be evaluated before uniform rooted stem cuttings of mussaenda can be produced economically.

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