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Anil P. Ranwala, Garry Legnani, Mary Reitmeier, Barbara B. Stewart, and William B. Miller

We evaluated preplant bulb dips in three commercial plant growth retardants [ancymidol (A-Rest), paclobutrazol (Bonzi), and uniconazole (Sumagic)] for height control in seven oriental hybrid lily (Lilium) cultivars (Aubade, Berlin, Casa Blanca, Muscadet, Sissi, Star Gazer, and Tom Pouce), and seven LA-hybrid lily [hybrids resulting from crosses between easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) and Asiatic hybrids] cultivars (Aladdin's Dazzle, Best Seller, Cebeco Dazzle, Royal Dream, Royal Parade, Royal Perfume, and Salmon Classic) grown in containers. A 1-min dip into a range of concentrations of each product was used to determine the optimum concentrations for height control. The results indicate that bulb dips, especially with uniconazole and paclobutrazol, can be a highly effective means of height control in hybrid lilies. Cultivars varied in their response to growth retardant treatments. In general, LA-hybrid lilies were much more responsive to the growth retardant treatments than oriental hybrids and required lower rates for comparable height control. Delays in flowering, increased bud abortion and leaf yellowing were observed only with high concentrations of uniconazole or paclobutrazol where the height reduction was also too excessive for a commercially acceptable crop.

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Martin P.N. Gent

Efficacy of paclobutrazol was determined when applied to rooted cuttings before transplant. Cuttings of large-leaf Rhododendron catawbiense Michx. were treated with paclobutrazol applied as a 40-mL drench. In 1998, concentrations of 0, 1, 2, 10, or 20 mg·L-1 were applied to liners before root development was complete in February, or after cuttings were root-bound in May. The same volume of solution was applied to other plants at concentrations of 0, 5, 10, or 20 mg·L-1 in July 1998, after transplant to 1-gal pots. In 1999, a 40-mL drench of paclobutrazol at 0, 1, 2, 5, 10, or 20 mg·L-1 was only applied to liners in April. All cuttings were transplanted to 1-gal pots and set in the field. The elongation of stems was measured after each of three flushes of growth. Plants were far more responsive to paclobutrazol when it was applied before, rather than after transplant. There was a saturating response to paclobutrazol concentration and the half-maximal response occurred at 2 to 4 mg·L-1 (0.08 to 0.16 mg/plant). At low rates, later flushes of growth were affected less than earlier flushes. However if paclobutrazol was applied at 10 or 20 mg·L-1, later flushes of growth were inhibited more completely than early flushes. Flowering was enhanced by paclobutrazol. Paclobutrazol at 2 mg·L-1 applied to rooted cuttings before transplant was sufficient to inhibit growth of rhododendron, but not to the point where later flushes of growth were excessively short. Chemical name used: 2RS,3RS-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-l-yl)-pentan-3-ol (paclobutrazol).

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Patrick E. McCullough, Haibo Liu, and Lambert B. McCarty

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are commonly used to enhance putting green quality and ball roll distances but their effects with various mowing operations have not been reported. Three experiments were conducted and repeated at Clemson University, Clemson, SC, on an `L-93' creeping bentgrass putting green to evaluate the effects of mowing operations and PGRs on diurnal ball roll distances. The PGRs tested included ethephon at (a.i.) 3.8 kg·ha-1, flurprimidol at (a.i.) 0.28 kg·ha-1, paclobutrazol at (a.i.) 0.28 kg·ha-1, and trinexapac-ethyl at (a.i.) 0.05 kg·ha-1. Mowing operations tested included rolling vs. mowing, morning mowing vs. morning plus afternoon mowing, and single vs. double morning mowing, all with and without PGRs. PGR by mowing operation interactions did not occur in any experiments. Ball roll distances decreased from 12:00 hr to evening observations in all experiments. In Experiment 1, rolling the green without mowing reduced ball roll distance 4% (5 cm) compared to mowing. Turf rolled without mowing in the morning and treated with flurprimidol, paclobutrazol, and trinexapac-ethyl produced similar ball roll at 12:00, 15:00, and 18:00 hr to mowed untreated turf. In Experiment 2, all plots were mowed at 08:00 hr and half of each plot was remowed at 12:30 hr. The second mowing at 12:30 hr enhanced ball roll distances 6% (8 cm) over the day. Turf mowed only at 08:00 and treated with paclobutrazol and trinexapac-ethyl had greater or equal ball roll distances at 12:30, 15:30, and 18:30 hr to untreated turf that had a second mowing at 12:30 hr. Turf receiving ethephon and 08:00 hr mowing had 4% to 12% (4 to 17 cm) shorter ball roll distances throughout the day compared to untreated turf mowed at 8:00 and 08:00+12:30 hr, respectively. In the third experiment, mowing twice in the morning increased ball roll 3% (4 cm) compared to mowing once. Trinexapac-ethyl and paclobutrazol treated turf mowed once in the morning had greater or equal ball roll distances throughout the day to untreated turf mowed twice in the morning. Overall, PGR use may provide putting green ball roll distances similar to or greater than untreated turf despite additional mowing; however, ethephon reduced ball roll distances regardless of mowing operations. Chemical names used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl); {α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluoro-methoxy) phenyl] 5-pyrimidine-methanol} (flurprimidol); (+/-)-(R*,R*)-β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α-(1, 1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol); [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] (ethephon).

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Ahmed A. Al-Badawy, James E. Barrett, and Terril A. Nell

Paclobutrazol was applied as soil drench to potted petunia, and the treated plants were shorter than untreated ones. Three types of compost were then made from the treated and untreated plants: the shoots, the medium (including roots), and both shoots and medium. They were mixed with Vergro Klay Mix at the ratios of 0%, 5%, 10%, 20%, and 40% (v/v). In a factorial experiment, plugs of Begonia semperflorens cv. Gin were planted in the media with compost. Plants grown in media containing paclobutrazol residue were shorter and had less dry weight compared to those grown in media containing no paclobutrazol residue. Compost ratios at 5% and 40% reduced plant height to 65% and 42% and shoot dry weight to 55% and 20% of the control plants, respectively. These results indicate that residues from plants treated with paclobutrazol may carry over in soil of landscape beds and affect the growth of subsequent crops grown in that soil.

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Steven E. Newman and Jeffrey S. Tant

An experiment was conducted to determine the influence of eight commercial root-zone media (four peat based and four pine bark based) on the effects of paclobutrazol applied to Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. `Eckespoint Celebrate 2' as an impregnated spike or a drench. Paclobutrazol treatments had the least influence on stem elongation of poinsettias grown in the peat-based medium containing Bacctite, a compressed peat product designed to increase aeration and cation exchange capacity, or composted pine bark ground to a particle size that could pass through an opening 1 cm or smaller. Spikes were more effective at reducing shoot elongation than drenches. Spike treatments also resulted in lower bract dry-matter accumulation than drenches. Paclobutrazol applied as a spike to poinsettias at pinch could combine pinching and chemical growth regulator application into one simultaneous operation. Chemical name used: (±)-(R*,R*)-beta-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-alpha-(1, 1,-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Harvey J. Lang and Don C. Wilkerson

Experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of paclobutrazol in solid spike form as compared to foliar spray or medium drench applications for height control of several foliage and flowering plants grown in 8-inch or 10-inch hanging baskets. Paclobutrazol was applied as either a 20 or 40 mg·liter–1 foliar spray, 1 or 2 mg·liter–1 medium drench, or 200 or 400 mg·liter–1 spike insertion per basket. Begonia × tuberhybrida `Nonstop Apricot' and Begonia × hiemalis `Barbara' treated with paclobutrazol were significantly shorter than nontreated controls. Drench applications were more effective than either spray or spike treatments for both species, with Hiemalis begonia showing severe dwarfing at both the 1 and 2 mg·liter–1 drench. Paclobutrazol treatments did not significantly affect flower number for either species. Syngonium podophyllum `White Butterfly' and Epipremnum aureum showed similar trends as the begonias; however, relative reductions in height were not as great. Plants appeared to be slightly less stretched than nontreated plants.

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James E. Faust, Pamela C. Korczynski, and Robert Klein

Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of paclobutrazol drenches on poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) `Freedom Red' height and flowering. In 1997 and 1998, paclobutrazol drenches [(a.i.) 0.118 mg/container; (28,350 mg = 1.0 oz)] were applied to poinsettias grown under natural photoperiods on four dates from 1 Oct. to 2 Nov. On plants receiving the paclobutrazol drench application during the second week in October, bract area was reduced by 15% and 12% compared with that of the control in 1997 and 1998, respectively; however, the bract area reduction was commercially acceptable. Anthesis date was not significantly affected during either year. Plant height and internode length measurements indicate that paclobutrazol drench applications had both a rapid and a long-term impact on poinsettia stem elongation. Paclobutrazol drenches applied in late October or early November are an effective tool for controlling late-season stem elongation of `Freedom Red' poinsettias grown under natural photoperiods. These late-season applications have the least risk for negatively affecting bract size while still reducing stem elongation in the last few weeks of the crop. Chemical names used: (±)-(R*,R*)-b-[(chlorophenyl)methyl]-a-(1,1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Brian E. Whipker and P. Allen Hammer

Plant growth retardant (PGR) media drench treatments (in mg a.i./pot) of ancymidol at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, or 8.0; paclobutrazol at 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, 8.0, or 16.0; uniconazole at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, or 8.0 were applied to tuberous-rooted dahlias to compare their effectiveness as a chemical height control. All paclobutrazol, ancymidol, and uniconazole rates applied significantly reduced `Red Pigmy' plant height by 21% or greater compared to the nontreated control. Excessively short plants resulted from uniconazole and ancymidol drench rates ≥1.0 mg. `Red Pigmy', a less vigorous cultivar, were acceptable as potted-plants with paclobutrazol rates of 2.0 to 4.0 mg, 0.25 to 0.5 mg of uniconazole, or 0.5 mg of ancymidol. All paclobutrazol, ancymidol, and uniconazole rates significantly reduced `Golden Emblem' plant height by ≥11% when compared to the nontreated plants. Excessively short plants resulted from paclobutrazol drench rates of 16.0 mg, uniconazole rates of 2.0 mg and for ancymidol drenches ≥4.0 mg. `Golden Emblem', the more vigorous cultivar, were acceptable as potted-plants with paclobutrazol rates of 4.0 to 8.0 mg, 0.5 to 1.0 mg of uniconazole, or 2.0 mg of ancymidol.

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Joyce G. Latimer

`Floradade' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants treated with foliar sprays of paclobutrazol at 0, 14, 30, 60, or 90 ppm exhibited reductions in stem length, leaf area, and plant dry weight in a cubic response pattern. Gibberellic acid (GA) drenches, at 10, 100, or 250 ppm, increased stem length, leaf area, and plant dry weight. Daminozide (2500 or 5000 ppm) sprays reduced leaf area and dry weight, but 5000 ppm had no effect on stem length. Abscisic acid drenches, at 275, 660, or 1320 ppm, did not affect final plant size. In subsequent experiments to produce transplants for field evaluation, plants treated with paclobutrazol sprays at 90 (1987) and 14 or 60 ppm (1988) had smaller leaf area, stem length, and shoot dry weight than untreated plants. In 1987,90 ppm paclobutrazol reduced stem shear strength, while 2500 ppm daminozide increased stem strength relative to controls. In 1988, 2500 ppm daminozide increased transplant growth while 660 ppm abscisic acid had no effect. Paclobutrazol (14 ppm) and drought improved field establishment of transplants as measured by shoot dry weight gain after field planting. In 1988, total fruit yield was reduced by 60 ppm paclobutrazol and GA. Although fruit size was unaffected by treatments, fruit number was reduced by GA. Chemical names used: butanedioic acid mono (2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide); B-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α -(1,1-dimethylethyl) -N-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Brian A. Krug, Brian E. Whipker, Ingram McCall, and John M. Dole

Preplant bulb soaks of ancymidol, flurprimidol, paclobutrazol, and uniconazole; foliar sprays of flurprimidol; and substrate drenches of flurprimidol, paclobutrazol, and uniconazole were compared for height control of `Prominence' tulips (Tulipa sp.). Height control was evaluated at anthesis in the greenhouse and 10 days later under postharvest conditions. Substrate drenches of ancymidol, flurprimidol, and paclobutrazol resulted in adequate control using concentrations of 0.5, 0.5, and 1 mg/pot a.i. (28,350 mg = 1 oz), respectively. At these concentrations, ancymidol drenches cost $0.06/pot and paclobutrazol drenches $0.03/pot. Since flurprimidol is not yet available and no price is available, growers will need to assess the cost compared to ancymidol and paclobutrazol. Flurprimidol foliar sprays at <80 mg·L–1 (ppm) were ineffective in controlling height during greenhouse forcing, but during postharvest evaluation 80 mg·L–1 resulted in 14% shorter plants than the untreated control. Preplant bulb soaks of flurprimidol, paclobutrazol, and uniconazole at concentrations of 25, 50, and 10 mg·L–1, respectively, effectively controlled plant height. Preplant plant growth regulator soaks are a cost-effective method of controlling plant height of tulips because of the limited amount of chemical required to treat a large quantity of bulbs.