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Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly Anne Moore

The roots of container-grown ornamental plants primarily are concentrated within the original container substrate root ball during the establishment period following transplanting into the landscape. Plants growing in container substrates containing pine bark or peatmoss have higher nitrogen (N) requirements than in most landscape soils due to microbial immobilization of N by these organic components. However, use of high-N fertilizers, such as those used in container production of ornamentals, can cause imbalances with potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) when used on palms in sandy landscape soils. Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) and chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘President’) that had been growing in containers were transplanted into a landscape soil to determine if high N fertilization during the establishment period could accelerate the rate of establishment without exacerbating K and Mg deficiencies. Although plants of both species had the darkest green color and largest size when continuously fertilized with high N fertilizer, this treatment did induce Mg deficiency in both species. Plant size and color for both species were highly correlated with cumulative N application rates, but also with initial N application rates, suggesting that high N fertilization during the first 6 months affected plant quality at 12 and 24 months after planting, even if high N fertilization was discontinued. However, continued use of a moderate N landscape palm maintenance fertilizer ultimately produced areca palm plants as good as those receiving high N during the establishment period.

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Alan W. Meerow and Timothy K. Broschat

Anatomical differences in leaves of queen palm [Syagrus romanzoffiana (Chamisso) Glassman] showing visible K, Mn, and Fe deficiency symptoms are described. Potassium-deficient leaves showed less organization in the mesophyll than healthy leaves. Adaxial fibers increased in diameter. Chloroplast frequency was reduced overall, but most severely in areas of the leaf showing gross symptoms of the deficiency. Manganese-deficient leaves had reduced chloroplast frequency, especially in tissue near necrotic areas, and thicker and more fibers per unit length. Iron-deficient leaves had few chloroplasts throughout the mesophyll, and also thicker and more fibers per unit length.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly A. Klock-Moore

Areca palms [Dypsis lutescens (H. Wendl.) Beentje & J. Dransf.], spathiphyllums (Spathiphyllum Schott. `Figaro'), ixoras (Ixora L. `Nora Grant'), tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. `Floramerica'), marigolds (Tagetes erecta L. `Inca Gold'), bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. `Better Bell'), and pentas [Pentas lanceolata (Forssk.) Deflers. `Cranberry'] were grown in a pine bark-based potting substrate and were fertilized weekly with 0, 8, 16, 32, or 64 mg (1.0 oz = 28,350 mg) of P per pot. Shoot, and to a much lesser extent, root dry weight, increased for all species as weekly P fertilization rate was increased from 0 to 8 mg/pot. As P fertilization was increased from 8 to 64 mg/pot, neither roots nor shoots of most species showed any additional growth in response to increased P. Root to shoot ratio decreased sharply as P fertilization rate was increased from 0 to 8 mg/pot, but remained relatively constant in response to further increases in P fertilization rate.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Henry M. Donselman

Abstract

Extractability (in 1 n NH4OAc, pH 7.0) of Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu from a Canadian peat, perlite, and sand medium amended with 6 commercial micronutrient fertilizer mixes was determined over an 80-week period with semi-weekly leaching. With the exception of Fe from FeDTPA, which dropped rapidly from very high levels to almost zero, and Fe from Esmigran, which was not extractable by NH4OAc, levels of all 5 elements from most fertilizer sources decreased slightly during the 1st month but then remained rather constant for the remainder of the 18 month experimental period. Extractable Mn, Zn, and Fe were reduced significantly by the superphosphate in Micromax Plus.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Henry M. Donselman

Abstract

West Indian mahogany [Swietenia mahagoni (L.) Jacq.] grown outdoors under 63% shade in southern Florida exhibited 3 distinct growth phases during the autumn and winter months. During the first phase (September through November), long-day conditions enhanced growth beyond that of natural daylength plants. In the 2nd phase (December through February), plants were essentially quiescent under both photoperiodic regimes in response to cool temperatures. In the 3rd phase (beginning in March), both long-day and natural daylength plants resumed growth at comparable rates. Thus, extending the photoperiod increases the growth rate in the autumn, but has little effect thereafter.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Henry M. Donselman

Abstract

A leafspot disorder of Ficus elastica Roxb. ‘Robusta’, previously reported as being caused by K deficiency, was induced experimentally by withholding water or growing plants in full sunlight. Leafspots formed on lower surfaces of recently matured leaves of containerized plants grown under the above conditions. Leafspotting was worse on sun-grown plants that were water stressed, air layered, or both. Leafspots were not observed on shade-grown plants which were not subjected to water stress. Leaf diffusive resistance was highly correlated with leafspot incidence, indicating that the most severely stressed leaves also had the most spots. In severely stressed plants, air layering increased the time required for stomatal reopening following irrigation from 24 to 48 hours, prolonging the water stress of leaves above the girdle. Air layering by girdling resulted in significantly more spotting on field-grown plants than air layering by vertically slitting the stem. Root development of air layers was comparable using either method of air layering.

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Kimberly A. Klock-Moore and Timothy K. Broschat

In this study, areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), crossandra (Crossandra infundibuliformis), pentas (Pentas lanceolat), and philodendron (Philodendron) `Hope' plants were transplanted into containers filled with four growing substrates and watered daily, every 2 days, or every 3 days using subirrigation or overhead irrigation. Plants were grown in either a pine bark/sedge peat/sand substrate (BSS), Metro-mix 500 (MM), Pro-mix GSX (PM), or a 60% biosolid substrate (SYT). For both irrigation systems, final shoot dry weight of pentas, crossandra, philodendron, and areca palm plants in each substrate was greatest for plants watered every day and least for plants watered every 3 days. At all three irrigation frequencies, pentas, crossandra, and philodendron shoot dry weight in subirrigated pots filled with PM was greater than in overhead watered pots filled with PM. PM had the highest total pore space and moisture content of the four substrates examined. There was no difference in pentas, crossandra, or philodendron shoot dry weight between the irrigation systems, at all three irrigation frequencies, when plants were grown in BSS, MM, or SYT. However, for all four substrates and at all three irrigation frequencies, areca palm shoot dry weight was greater in overhead watered pots than in subirrigated pots. The final substrate electrical conductivity (EC) in all four subirrigated palm substrates was more than double the concentrations in overhead watered palm substrates. In this study, largest pentas, crossandra, and philodendron plants were grown in pots filled with PM and subirrigated daily, while largest areca palm plants were grown in pots filled with MM or SYT and watered overhead daily.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Thomas J. Weissling

The greenhouse orthezia (Orthezia insignis) is a serious and widespread pest of cultivated lantanas (Lantana sp.) in warmer regions of the world. Forty species and cultivars of lantanas were screened for their relative susceptibility to this insect pest. Results showed that two Florida native lantanas, pineland lantana (L. depressa) and buttonsage (L. involucrata), were highly susceptible to infestation, with trailing lantana (L. montevidensis) and its cultivars and hybrids being somewhat less susceptible. Shrub lantana (L. camara) and its cultivars and hybrids were the least susceptible to greenhouse orthezia infestation, but some of these varieties are rather unattractive as landscape ornamentals and can become serious weeds.

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Kimberly A. Klock-Moore and Timothy K. Broschat

Two experiments were conducted to compare the growth of `Ultra White' petunia (Petunia ×hybrida) plants in a subirrigation system versus in a hand-watered system. In Expt. 1, petunia plants were watered with 50, 100, or 150 ppm (mg·L-1) of N of Peter's 20-10-20 (20N-4.4P-16.6K) and in Expt. 2, Nutricote 13-13-13 (13N-5.8P-10.8K) type 100, a controlled release fertilizer, was incorporated into the growing substrate, prior to transplanting, at rates of 3, 6, or 9 lb/yard3 (1.8, 3.6, or 4.5 kg·m-3). In both experiments, there was no difference in petunia shoot dry mass or final flower number between the irrigation systems at the lowest fertilization rate but differences were evident at the higher fertilization rates. In Expt. 1, shoot dry mass and flower number of subirrigated petunia plants fertilized with 100 ppm of N was greater than for hand-watered plants fertilized at the same rate. However, subirrigated petunia plants fertilized with 150 ppm of N were smaller with fewer flowers than hand-watered petunia plants fertilized with 150 ppm of N. Substrate electrical conductivity (EC) concentrations for petunia plants subirrigated with 150 ppm of N were 4.9 times greater than concentrations in pots hand-watered with 150 ppm of N. In Expt. 2, subirrigated petunia plants fertilized with 6 and 9 lb/yard3 were larger with more flowers than hand-watered plants fertilized at the same rates. Although substrate EC concentrations were greater in subirrigated substrates than in hand-watered substrates, substrate EC concentrations of all hand-watered plants were about 0.35 dS·m-1. Subirrigation benches similar to those used in these experiments, appear to be a viable method for growing `Ultra White' petunia plants. However, the use of Peter's 20-10-20 at concentrations greater than 100 ppm of N with subirrigation appeared to be detrimental to petunia growth probably because of high EC concentrations in the substrate. On the other hand, the use of subirrigation with Nutricote 13-13-13 type 100 incorporated at all of the rates tested did not appear to be detrimental to petunia growth.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly A. Moore

Salvia (Salvia splendens) `Red Vista' or `Purple Vista,' french marigold (Tagetes patula) `Little Hero Orange,' bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) `Better Bell,' impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) `Accent White,' and wax begonia (Begonia ×semperflorens-cultorum) `Cocktail Vodka' were grown in 0.95-L (1-qt) containers using a 5 pine bark: 4 sedge peat: 1 sand substrate (Expts. 1 and 2) or Pro Mix BX (Expt. 2 only). They were fertilized weekly with 50 mL (1.7 fl oz) of a solution containing 100, 200, or 300 mg·L-1 (ppm) of nitrogen derived from 15N-6.5P-12.5K (1N-1P2O5-1K2O ratio) or 21N-3P-11.7K (3N-1P2O5-2K2O ratio) uncoated prills used in the manufacture of controlled-release fertilizers. Plants grown with Pro Mix BX were generally larger and produced more flowers or fruit than those grown with the pine bark mix. With few exceptions, plant color, root and shoot dry weights, and number of flowers or fruit were highly correlated with fertilization rate, but not with prill type. There appears to be little reason for using the more expensive 1-1-1 ratio prills, since they generally did not improve plant quality and may increase phosphorous runoff from bedding plant nurseries.