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Rebecca G. Bichsel, Terri W. Starman, and Yin-Tung Wang

Three experiments were conducted to determine how nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) rate and nutrient termination date would affect the growth of Dendrobium nobile Red Emperor `Prince'. For each experiment, 150 one-year-old liner plugs, each with a single psuedobulb, were potted on 4 Feb. 2005. Each of the factorial experiments had five rates of the nutrient and three termination dates. The rates for N and K were 0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 mg·L-1. P rates were 0, 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg·L-1. Termination dates for all experiments were 1 Sept., 1 Oct., and 1 Nov. 2005. Ten months after planting when plants had ceased growing, data were collected for plant height, node number, number of leaves remaining, chlorophyll readings for the lower, middle, and upper leaves, and pseudobulb width and thickness. With one exception, interactions between fertilizer rate and termination date were nonsignificant for the variables measured. For all nutrients, terminating fertilization on 1 Oct. or 1 Nov. resulted in decreased pseudobulb thickness compared to 1 Sept. Prolonged fertilization with N resulted in slightly thinner pseudobulbs. Pseudobulbs grew taller as N rate increased, reaching its peak at 100 and 200 mg·L-1, and declined as N further increased to 400 mg·L-1. Plants had increasing chlorophyll readings in the middle leaves with increasing N rate. All P rates resulted in taller plants with equally more nodes compared to 0 mg·L-1. As K rate increased from 0 to 100 mg·L-1, height and node number increased, but there were no further increases in height at high rates. Number and percentage of leaves remaining increased as N and K rates increased.

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Millie S. Williams, Terri W. Starman, and James E. Faust

The photoperiodic responses were determined for the following species: Abutilon hybrid `Apricot', Diascia hybrid `Ruby Fields', Evolvulus glomeratus `Blue Daze', Orthosiphon stamineus `Lavender', Portulaca oleraceae `Apricot', Scaevola aemula `Fancy Fan Falls', Sutera cordata `Mauve Mist' and `Snowflake', Tabernamontana coronaria `Double', and Tibouchina `Spanish Shaw'. Each plant species was grown at 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, and 16-h photoperiods. Photoperiods were provided by delivering 8 h of sunlight, then pulling black cloth and providing daylength extension with incandescent bulbs. Air temperatures were monitored under each black cloth. Data collected included time to flower, number of flowers, and vegetative characteristics. Diascia, Sutera `Mauve Mist' and `Snowflake', Tabernamontana, and Tibouchina were day neutral with regard to flowering; i.e., no difference in days to visible bud or days to anthesis in response to photoperiod was observed. Portulaca and Scaevola increased in bud and flower number as photoperiod increased from 8 to 16 h, performing similar to quantitative long-day plants. There was no difference in time to flower for Portulaca; however, 70% more flowers were produced under the 16-h photoperiod, compared to the 8-h photoperiod. Scaevola had 26% more flowers under the 16-h than 8-h photoperiod. Abutilon, Evolvulus,and Orthosiphon performed as quantitative short-day plants. Days to visible bud and days to anthesis increased as photoperiod increased for Evolvulus and Orthosiphon, and Abutilon had decreased flower number as photoperiod increased. Although Abutilon had no difference in time to flower, there was a 43% increase in flowers on plants under the 8-h photoperiod vs. 16-h photoperiod. Evolvulus set visible bud and reached anthesis 10 days earlier under 8-h photoperiod than 16-h. Orthosiphon reached visible bud 32 days earlier under an 8-h photoperiod than a 16-h photoperiod.

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Elizabeth Will, Terri W. Starman, James E. Faust, and Shane Abbitt

The objective was to study the flowering response of garden cultivars of Dendranthemum × grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura to temperature and photoperiod. Fifteen garden mum cultivars were grown in ten temperature (18 and 24°C constant day and night greenhouse temperatures) and photoperiod (8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 h) combinations. Rooted cuttings were pinched above the fifth node and placed in the temperature/photoperiod treatments. When axillary shoots developed, all but one shoot was removed to produce a single stemmed plant. Photoperiods were provided by delivering 8 h sunlight, then pulling black cloth and providing daylength extension with incandescent bulbs. Days to visible bud, days to first bud color, days to flower, node number, and stem length were measured. By 11 weeks after the start of photoperiod treatments, no difference was measured in days to flower in the 8-, 10-, and 12-h photoperiods at 18°C. Days to flower increased as photoperiod increased from 12 to 14 h. At 18°C, five cultivars flowered in the 16-h photoperiod, while 10 cultivars developed crown buds, i.e., flower buds that initiated but had not developed. At 24°C, there was no difference in days to flower in the 8and 10-h photoperiod, while days to flower increased as photoperiod increased from 10to 12-h treatment. Cultivars formed crown buds but had not reached flowering in the 14and 16-h photoperiods at 24°C. Regardless of temperature, stem length increased as photoperiod increased above 10 h.

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Amy J. MacKenzie, Terri Woods Starman, and Mark T. Windham

Trichoderma harzianum Rifai, a fungus that controls soilborne pathogens, can enhance growth of several vegetable and floriculture crops. Zero, 5, or 25 g of T. harzianum (isolate T-12) peat–bran amendment was added per kilogram medium in an effort to enhance the rooting of four chrysanthemum [Dendranthema ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] cultivars, two considered easy to root (`Davis' and `White Marble') and two considered hard to root (`Dark Bronze Charm' and `Golden Bounty'). Adding the T. harzianum amendment at both rates tested increased root and shoot fresh weights during 21 days of rooting, relative to the control. Supplementary treated cuttings were transplanted into nontreated growing medium after 21 days. Midway between transplant to flowering, increases in height, shoot dry weight, and root fresh and dry weight were detected in `Dark Bronze Charm' with T-12, relative to the control; increases in height, shoot fresh and dry weight, and number of nodes were detected in `Golden Bounty' with T-12. By this time, there were no detectable differences in `Davis' or `White Marble'.

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Millie S. Williams, Terri W. Starman, and James E. Faust

The effect of increasing temperatures on the duration of postharvest flower development was determined for three specialty crop species: marguerite (Argyranthemum frutescens Webb ex Schultz-Bip.) `Butterfly' and `Sugar Baby'; swan river daisy (Brachycome hybrid Cass.) `Ultra'; and bacopa (Sutera cordata Roth.) `Snowflake'. Plants were grown in a greenhouse at 18 °C (65 °F) until flowering, and then transferred into a phytotron to determine heat tolerance. Plants were stored for 8 weeks at constant temperatures of 18, 23, 28, and 33 °C (65, 73, 82, and 91 °F) for 2-week intervals. Flower bud and flower number were recorded weekly. Sutera cordata `Snowflake' and B. hybrid `Ultra' had the greatest flower number at the 23 °C temperature, decreasing in the 28 °C environment. Argyranthemum frutescens `Butterfly' and `Sugar Baby' had greatest flower number at 28 °C, but flowers were of lower quality thanat 23 °C. Flower development of all cultivars ceased at 33 °C, at the end of 8 weeks at increasing temperatures, but when plants were returned to the 18 °C production greenhouse, flower development resumed. High temperatures (28 °C) reduce the postharvest performance of S. cordata, B. hybrid, and A. frutescens plants grown in hanging baskets; therefore, these species should be marketed as spring-flowering products since summer performance may be unsatisfactory in warm climates.

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David C. Annis, Paul T. Gibson, and Terri Woods Starman

The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of photoperiod and 0, 1, 5, or 10 applications at weekly intervals of GA3 foliar sprays at 500 mg·liter–1 on growth and flowering of Craspedia globosa `Drumstick' Benth. Long days (LD) hastened flowering and increased the number of flowers per plant. Short days (SD) increased foliage height and foliage fresh and dry weights. Foliage and total plant heights increased and days to bud and secondary inflorescence width decreased linearly as GA3 application frequency increased. Chemical name used: (1α,2β,4aα,4bβ,10β)-2,4a,7-trihydroxy-1-methyl-8-methylen egibb-3-ene-1,10-dicarboxylic acid 1,4a-lactone (gibberellic acid, GA3).

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Xiaoya Cai, Youping Sun, Terri Starman, Charles Hall, and Genhua Niu

Earth-Kind® is a special designation given to select rose cultivars with superior stress tolerance (heat, drought, and pest tolerance) and outstanding landscape performance. The responses of Earth-Kind® roses to high salinity stress are unknown. A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate 18 Earth-Kind® rose cultivars (Belinda’s Dream, Cecile Brunner, Climbing Pinkie, Ducher, Duchesse de Brabant, Else Poulsen, Georgetown Tea, La Marne, Madame Antoine Mari, Marie Daly, Monsieur Tillier, Mrs. Dudley Cross, Mutabilis, Perle d’Or, Reve d’Or, Sea Foam, Souvenir de St. Anne’s, and Spice) in College Station and 10 of the same 18 cultivars in El Paso in response to two salinity levels at electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.2 (control, nutrient solution) and 10.0 dS·m−1 (EC 10). In both locations, ‘Belinda’s Dream’ and ‘Climbing Pinkie’ in EC 10 had no or little reduction in shoot growth, flower number, and leaf SPAD readings. The net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (g S), and transpiration (E) did not decrease in these two cultivars at EC 10 in El Paso. In College Station, ‘Mrs. Dudley Cross’, ‘Reve d’Or’, and ‘Sea Foam’ in EC 10 also had no or little reduction in shoot growth, flower number, and leaf SPAD readings. In both locations, ‘Cecile Brunner’ and ‘Else Poulsen’ in EC 10 had severe visual foliar salt damage, and they had the greatest reductions in shoot growth and flower number. In addition to these two cultivars, the lowest relative shoot dry weight (DW) and flower number was observed in ‘Madame Antoine Mari’, ‘Perle d’Or’, ‘Spice’, and ‘Souvenir de St. Anne’s’ in College Station. In summary, ‘Belinda’s Dream’, ‘Climbing Pinkie’, ‘ Mrs. Dudley Cross’, ‘Reve d’Or’, and ‘Sea Foam’ were the most salt-tolerant cultivars, whereas ‘Cecile Brunner’, ‘Else Poulsen’, ‘Madame Antoine Mari’, ‘Perle d’Or’, ‘Spice’, and ‘Souvenir de St. Anne’s’ were the least salt-tolerant among the cultivars investigated.

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Shannon E. Beach*, Terri W. Starman, and H. Brent Pemberton

Bracteantha bracteata (Vent.) Anderb. & Haegi (bracteantha) is a vegetative annual produced as a 12.7-cm potted plant in 6 weeks of greenhouse production. A dense leaf canopy produced with a conventional constant-feed fertilization regime (300 mg·L-1 20N-4.4P-16.6K) caused increased disease pressure and lower leaf chlorosis during greenhouse production. During shelf life, lower leaves of plants con-tinued to become chlorotic. The objective was to decrease leaf area and prevent lower leaf chlorosis without affecting harvest time, plant quality or shelf life of two cultivars of three series of bracteantha. The first experiment was to reduce the rate of fertilizer two weeks prior to harvest. Treatments were no fertility reduction (300 mg/liter), 50% reduction (150 mg/liter), and 100% reduction (0 mg·L-1). At harvest, plants were evaluated for shelf life in a growth room at 21.1 ± 1.3 °C and 6 μmol·m-2·s-1 PPF. Five cultivars in the 100% fertility reduction treatment had decreased height and/or width index at harvest and three cultivars maintained higher postharvest quality ratings compared to the other treatments. Separately, the effect of the duration of fertilization was evaluated by terminating fertilization at weekly intervals (0-6 weeks) throughout production. Ceasing fertilization two to three weeks prior to harvest produced plants with lower leaf area without affecting flower number. In another experiment, thidiazuron (TDZ) as a foliar spray at 0, 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg·L-1 was applied to decrease lower leaf yellowing. SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter readings of lower leaves were increased with 0.1 mg·L-1 TDZ treatment compared to the control. Phytotoxic symptoms occurred on plants receiving higher TDZ rates.

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Terri Woods Starman, Estella Auerswald, and P.T. Gibson

The objective of the research was to determine the effectiveness of uniconazole on Hypoestes phyllostachya Bak. cv. Pink Splash and to compare the effect and persistence of uniconazole with chlormequat and daminozide for limiting stem elongation during post-greenhouse, low light conditions. Uniconazole at 5.0 mg·liter-1 reduced all measured plant dimensions to the same degree as chlormequat at 2500 mg· liter-l when both chemicals were applied twice as foliar sprays at a two week interval. These treatments resulted in the most compact and aesthetically pleasing 0.4-liter potted plants. However, this uniconazole treatment was not as persistent in postproduction low light conditions as chlormequat. By the fifth week under low light conditions, only the highest drench concentration of uniconazole tested (0.10 mg a.i. per pot) remained the same height as chlormequat treated plants.

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Xiaoya Cai, Terri Starman, Genhua Niu, and Charles Hall

A greenhouse study was conducted to quantify the irrigation requirements of two rose (Rosa hybrida L.) cultivars, RADrazz and Belinda’s Dream, which are widely valued for their ease of maintenance in landscapes, grown at four constant volumetric substrate moisture contents (SMCs) of 10%, 20%, 30%, and 40%. In both cultivars, there were no differences in growth and physiological responses between 30% and 40% SMC. In ‘RADrazz’, shoot dry weight (DW) was reduced by 25% and 86%, root DW was reduced by 27% and 71%, and flower number was reduced by 27% and 86% at 20% and 10% SMC, respectively, compared with 30% SMC. Midday leaf water potential (ψ), photosynthesis (Pn), stomatal conductance (g S), and transpiration (E) were highest at 30% and 40% SMC and they were lowest at 10% SMC. In ‘Belinda’s Dream’, shoot DW was reduced by 30% and 87%, root DW was reduced by 35% and 81%, and flower number was reduced by 42% and 75% at 20% and 10% SMC, respectively, compared with 30% SMC. Midday ψ was least negative at 40% SMC, whereas it was most negative at 10% SMC. There were no significant differences in midday ψ between 20% and 30% SMC. Pn, g S, and E were highest at 30% and 40% SMC and lowest at 10% SMC. In summary, plants at 30% and 40% SMC maintained the highest shoot and root DW, flower number, midday ψ, Pn, g S, and E. Water applied at 30% and 20% SMC was reduced by 31% and 70% compared with 40% SMC with excellent performance at 30% SMC and acceptable growth and quality at 20% SMC. The 10% SMC led to significant growth reduction, poor quality, and 25% mortality.