Maintaining Vegetative Potted Purple Velvet Plants

in HortTechnology

The purple velvet plant (Gynura aurantiaca) has commercial potential as a potted plant due to its attractive purple foliage, if the malodorous flowers can be avoided. Plants were treated with seven concentrations of ethephon, three photoperiodic durations, three light intensities, and combinations of photoperiod and light intensity to inhibit flowering. Although foliar application of ethephon at 1200 to 4800 ppm (μL·L-1) completely inhibited flowering of purple velvet plants, plants were stunted and cutting harvest was impossible. Flowering was promoted at lower application rates of 150 to 300 ppm (μL·L-1). An 8-hour photoperiod increased plant quality and plants had the largest vegetative shoot number and the brightest purple color, compared to 12 or 16-hour photoperiods. All of the shoots were reproductive under the 16-hour photoperiod. Increasing the shade level from 0 to 60% (790 μmol·m-2·s-1 to 230 μmol·m-2·s-1) increased the number of vegetative shoots at 74 and 108 days after treatment commenced but reduced the total number of shoots by 28% at day 108. Plants grown under60% shade and short days had 94% vegetative shoots 102 days after placement in treatment. Growing plants under 8-hour photoperiod and 60% shade from fall to spring is recommended to maintain vegetative stock plants and produce high quality marketable plants. Chemical names used: (2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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