New Methodology to Teach Floral Induction in Floriculture Potted Plant Production Classes

in HortTechnology

The increasing number of crops being grown for the floriculture market has frustrated educators faced with limited classroom and laboratory time. Time constraints necessitate selection of crops to serve as examples of floral induction treatment(s) and provide an accurate scope of production requirements for all cultivated species. Since flowers are the primary reason for purchasing most floricultural products—with the notable exception of cut and potted foliage—the various treatments required for flower bud initiation and development were used to categorize potted plants. New and old crops (>70 species) are categorized for flower bud initiation and development requirements, including photoperiod (short, long day, day neutral; facultative/obligate responses), vernalization, temperature, autonomous, rest period, and dormancy. Crop-specific temperature, irradiance, and photoperiod interactions are noted, as well as temperature × photoperiod interactions. A course syllabus can be modified to ensure that at least one crop from each category is presented to serve as a model. It is recommended that the class focuses on example crop(s) from each floral induction category and then reviews other crops within each category for differences or similarities. This method allows coverage of floral induction categories without leaving information gaps in the students' understanding. This method was used with students in the Fall 1999, floriculture production class (Hort 4051) at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

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