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Iftikhar Ahmad and John M. Dole

Effects of homemade or commercial floral preservatives, applied as 48-hour grower treatment or continuous retailer/consumer application, were studied on cut ‘ABC Blue’ lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum), ‘Maryland Plumblossom’ snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), ‘Mid Cheerful Yellow’ stock (Matthiola incana), and ‘Deep Red’ Benary’s zinnia (Zinnia violacea). Cut stems were placed in solutions containing 500 mL·L−1 lemon/lime soda (soda); 6 mL·L−1 lemon juice plus 20 g·L−1 sugar (lemon juice); 100 mg·L−1 citric acid plus 20 g·L−1 sugar plus 200 mg·L−1 aluminum sulfate (C-AS); 400 mg·L−1 citric acid plus 20 g·L−1 sugar alone (citric acid), or combined with either 0.5 mL·L−1 quaternary ammonium chloride (C-QA), or 0.007 mL·L−1 isothiazolinone (C-IS); 10 mL·L−1 Floralife Clear Professional Flower Food (Floralife); or 10 mL·L−1 Chrysal Clear Professional 2 (Chrysal), dissolved in tap water, which was also used as control without any added compound. Cut stems of lisianthus and stock had longest vase lives (22.1 and 12.7 days, respectively) when placed in C-IS continuously, while snapdragon and zinnia stems had longest vase lives (22.3 and 16.3 days, respectively) when placed in C-QA solution continuously. Continuous use of soda extended vase life of cut lisianthus, snapdragon, and stock stems, but not zinnia, compared with tap water. Citric acid extended the vase life of lisianthus and stock when used continuously and of zinnia when used for 48 hours. Use of C-AS or lemon juice either had no effect or reduced vase life of the tested species, except lemon juice increased zinnia vase life when used as a 48-hour treatment. Stems of lisianthus, stock, and zinnia placed continuously in C-IS, C-QA, or citric acid had high solution uptake. No significant differences were observed for vase life of all tested species with short duration (48 hours) application of solutions, except 48-hour use of citric acid or lemon juice increased zinnia vase life compared with tap water. Overall, continuous vase application of the homemade preservatives resulted in longer vase life extension than 48-hour treatment. Among tested preservative recipes, C-IS, C-QA, soda, or citric acid demonstrated best postharvest performance of tested species. However, recipes containing C-AS or lemon juice had detrimental effects and should not be used for handling cut stems of tested species.

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John M. Dole and Michael A. Schnelle

Oklahoma floriculture producers, ornamental-horticulture retailers, mass-market retailers, and cut-flower wholesalers were surveyed to compare and contrast the industry in terms of attitudes towards their products and problems. Overall, attitudes of all four segments of the industry were neutral to negative on potted flowering plants, but were positive to neutral on bedding and foliage plants. However, producers were slightly negative concerning the postharvest life of bedding plants. While cut-flower wholesalers had a positive attitude concerning cut flowers, ornamental-horticulture retailers and mass-marketers tended to be neutral to negative. In particular, retailers and mass-marketers believed that cut flowers were too expensive and too short-lived. Floral preservatives were used by 82% of ornamental-horticulture retailers, while only 19% of mass-market retailers used preservatives. All cut-flower wholesalers used preservatives. Capital availability and market demand were the factors most limiting expansion for producers and ornamental-horticulture retailers; whereas mass-market firms listed competition as their most limiting factor.

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John M. Dole and Harold F. Wilkins

Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White') bulbs were exposed to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks of cold before shoot emergence; 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks of long days (LD) upon shoot emergence; or a combination of cold followed by LD: 1/5 (weeks cold/weeks LD), 2/4,3/3,4/2, or 5/1. Experiments were repeated for three consecutive years. LD did not substitute equally for cold; at least 3 weeks of cold were required before LD treatments resulted in anthesis. Depending on the year, 100% of the plants flowered when treated with 3 to 6 weeks of cold alone or in combination with LD. Days to first flower anthesis from planting increased with decreasing weeks of cold in years 1 and 3, but was similar for all treatments in year 2. Decreasing weeks of cold in combination with LD, however, decreased days to anthesis in years 1 and 2, but had no effect in year 3. Regardless of LD, days from emergence to visible bud increased with decreasing weeks of cold in all years, and days to emergence from placement in the greenhouse increased with decreasing cold in years 1 and 3, but not in year 2. Increasing weeks of cold, regardless of LD, decreased leaf count, but had no effect on plant height. Flower count was unaffected by cold when combined with LD, but was significantly reduced by increasing weeks of cold.

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Frank Blazich Jr. and John M. Dole

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Alicain S. Carlson and John M. Dole

The effects of production temperature and transplant stage on stem length and caliper of cut stems and postharvest treatments on vase life of ‘Esprit’ penstemon (Penstemon grandiflorus) were examined. Plugs transplanted with eight to nine sets of true leaves had a longer stem length (64.3 cm) at harvest than those transplanted with two to three sets (57.7 cm) or five to six sets (60.8 cm). Time to flowering from transplant shortened as production temperature increased and when transplants had a greater number of true leaves. The addition of 2% or 4% sucrose with 7 ppm isothiazolinone as a vase solution resulted in the longest vase life (9.4 days) of all treatments compared with the control (4.5 days). A holding solution increased vase life to 7.0 days for Floralife holding solution and 5.9 days for Chrysal holding solution from the 4.3 days control, although hydrating solutions and preservative brand had no effect. The use of floral foam or antiethylene agents, ethylene exposure, or sucrose pulses also had no effect on vase life. Extended cold storage lengths either wet or dry for 2 or 3 weeks caused vase life to decrease to 2.0 days when compared with 5.6 days for the unstored control and 7.6 days for 1 week storage. ‘Esprit’ penstemon may be suitable for greenhouse production and has acceptable potential as a locally grown specialty cut flower.

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Todd J. Cavins and John M. Dole

Hyacinthoides hispanica (Mill.) Roth., Hyacinthus orientalis L. `Gypsy Queen', Narcissus pseudonarcissus L. `Music Hall', N. pseudonarcissus `Tahiti', Tulipa gesneriana L. `Couleur Cardinal', and T. gesneriana `White Emperor' bulbs were given 0 or 6 weeks of preplant 5 °C cold treatment and planted 15, 30, or 45 cm deep into raised ground beds under 0%, 30%, or 60% shade. Plant growth was monitored for 2 years after planting. Preplant 5 °C cold pretreatment reduced percentage of Tulipa `White Emperor' bulbs that flowered but did not affect the percentage of bulbs that flowered for the other species. Cold pretreatment also delayed anthesis in one or both years for all cultivars except Hyacinthoides hispanica. The greatest percentage of bulbs flowered when planted 15 cm deep. The 45-cm planting depth reduced bulb flowering percentage or eliminated plant emergence. Increasing planting depth increased days to anthesis for all cultivars in both years. Increasing shade increased stem lengths in year 2 for all cultivars except Hyacinthoides hispanica, but did not influence percentage of bulbs flowering for any cultivars. For all cultivars perennialization was low regardless of treatment as less than 30% of bulbs survived to the 2nd year.

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Todd J. Cavins and John M. Dole

Campanula medium L. `Champion Blue' (CB) and `Champion Pink' (CP) and Lupinus hartwegii Lindl. `Bright Gems' (LH) were grown in 8- or 16-h initial photoperiods, transplanted when two–three, five–six, or eight–nine nodes developed and placed under 8-, 12-, or 16-h final photoperiods. Greatest flowering percentage (100%) for CB and CP occurred when plants with two–three nodes were grown in the 16-h final photoperiod. The lowest flowering percentage for CB (3.3%) and CP (15.7%) resulted from plants grown in the 8-h photoperiod continuously (initial and final). CB and CP stem lengths (49.8 cm) were longest when grown in the 8-h photoperiod continuously and shortest with the 16-h initial and 8-h final photoperiods for CB (26.5 cm) and the 16-h photoperiod continuously for CP (25.4 cm). Fewest days to anthesis, 134 days for CB and 145 days for CP, resulted from the 16-h photoperiod continuously and greatest (216 days) from the 8-h photoperiod continuously. LH plants had a high flowering percentage (99.6%) regardless of photoperiod or transplant stage. Stem lengths were longest (60.1 cm) for LH plants exposed to the 16-h photoperiod continuously and shortest (46.2 cm) when exposed to the 8-h photoperiod continuously. LH exhibited a curvilinear response for days to anthesis with the 16-h final photoperiod producing the shortest crop time (166 days) and the 12-h final photoperiod producing the longest crop time (182 days). The experiment was repeated in 1998/1999 with high intensity discharge (HID) lighting during the initial photoperiod which increased plant quality.

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John M. Dole and Harold F. Wilkins

The free-branching poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex. Klotzsch) cultivar Annette Hegg Brilliant Diamond (BD) contained a free-branching agent that was graft-transmissible to the restricted-branching cultivar Eckespoint C-1 Red (CR). CR plants were transformed by the agent regardless of whether BD plants were used as scion or stock, indicating that the agent moved basipetally and acropetally through the graft union. The agent was repeatedly transmitted to a CR plant by serial grafting with a free-branching poinsettia plant. A minimum of 10 days contact through grafting was required for BD plants to transmit the agent to CR plants. Percentage of CR plants exhibiting the free-branching characteristic increased from 0% for < 10 days of graft contact with BD plants to 100% after 30 days.

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Todd J. Cavins and John M. Dole

Narcissus L. `Music Hall', N. `Tahiti', Tulipa L. `Couleur Cardinal', and T. `White Emperor' bulbs were precooled at 5 °C for 0 or 5 weeks and planted 15, 30, or 45 cm deep (from bulb base) into raised ground beds under 0%, 30%, or 60% shade. Plant growth was monitored for two consecutive years after planting. Precooling reduced the percentage of T. `White Emperor' that flowered but did not affect flowering percentage of the other cultivars. Precooling delayed anthesis in one or both years for all cultivars. The greatest percentage of bulbs flowered when planted 15 cm deep and the 45-cm planting depth reduced flowering percentage. Increasing planting depth delayed anthesis for all cultivars. Increasing shade increased stem lengths in one or both years for all cultivars, but did not influence flowering percentage. Perennialization was low for all cultivars regardless of treatment. Cultivar differences in perennialization occurred; in year 2 up to 30% of N. `Tahiti' bulbs flowered vs. 32% for `Music Hall' and up to 30% of T. `White Emperor' bulbs flowered vs. only 22% of `Couleur Cardinal'.

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Paul B. Redman and John M. Dole

The postharvest attributes of six specialty cut flower species were studied. First year results indicate that Achillea filipendulina `Coronation Gold' had a vase-life of 10.7 days in deionized water (DI) and can be stored one week at 1.7°C and shipped for one day. Buddeleia davidii (Butterfly Bush) had a vase life of 3.8 days in DI water and tolerated two weeks of cold storage and two days of shipping. Celosia plumosa `Forest Fire' (Plume Celosia) had a vase-life of 5.9 days in DI water and tolerated 2 days of shipping. Cercis canadensis (Redbud) had a vase-life of 9 days in DI water and tolerated one day of shipping. Echinacea purpurea `Bright Star' (Purple Coneflower) had a vase-life of 4.6 days in DI water and tolerated 2 weeks of storage and five days of shipping. Helianthus maximilianii (Maximillian Sunflower) had a vase-life of 6.3 days in DI water and tolerated one week of storage. In addition, silver thiosulfate and 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate increased vase-life of Buddeleia davidii, Celosia plumosa, Echinacea purpurea, and Helianthus maximilianii.