Effects of Plant Growth Regulators Applied as Sprays or Media Drenches on Forcing of Dutch-grown Bleeding Heart as a Flowering Potted Plant

in HortTechnology

Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of applied ancymidol, chlormequat, daminozide, paclobutrazol, and uniconazole on early spring (March) and late (May) spring forcing of Dutch-grown Bleeding Heart [Dicentra spectabilis (L.) Lem.] as a flowering pot plant. Most of the plant growth regulator (PGR) treatments delayed flowering, however, the average time to flower after planting was from 17 to 21 days for untreated plants and delays were only 3 to 6 days with PGR treatments. Thus, the effect is not important commercially. Acceptable plant quality and height control not only at flowering but also 14 days later was obtained with two sprays of 3000 mg·L-1 (ppm) daminozide or two sprays of 50 mg·L-1 paclobutrazol. Uniconazole reduced total plant height, however, because the inflorescence did not elongate, plant quality was greatly reduced. Most ancymidol sprays were phytotoxic producing a chlorosis of the leaf margins. Media drenches of ancymidol or chlormequat did not control total plant height. Sprays and media drenches of ancymidol, daminozide, paclobutrazol, and uniconazole produced plants with a very deep green leaf color, but chlormequat did not. The total number of shoots per tuberous root, the number of shoots with flowers, and stem strength were not significantly affected by PGR treatments. If the tuberous roots have been properly cold treated, they initiate growth rapidly after planting. Thus, the first PGR spray must be applied immediately after shoot growth is initiated, which was 6 to 8 days after planting, followed by a second spray 5 days later. Two applications are necessary because of uneven shoot emergence and growth from the tuberous roots.

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