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Nicholas J. Flax, Christopher J. Currey, James A. Schrader, David Grewell, and William R. Graves

Annual bedding and garden plants made up 44% ($2.56 billion) of all floriculture sales in 2014 ($5.87 billion) [U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2015]. Nearly 600 million containerized plants, not including flats and hanging baskets, accounted

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Jong-Goo Kang and Marc W. van Iersel

Salt stress, caused by high levels of fertilizer salts in the growing medium, can greatly inhibit the growth of bedding plants. Salt accumulation in the root zone can affect plants because of osmotic stress, ionic imbalances, or specific nutrient

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Allison Hurt, Roberto G. Lopez, and Joshua K. Craver

Seed propagation of bedding plants for spring markets commonly begins during the late winter months, when the greenhouse photosynthetic daily light integral (DLI) in northern latitudes can be as low as 1 to 5 mol·m –2 ·d –1 ( Pramuk and Runkle

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Michael D. McCullough, James E. Motes, and Brian A. Kahn

Two problems associated with machine harvesting of peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) are plant lodging during growth and uprooting. Factorial combinations of four bedding treatments and two N rates were compared for effects on lodging, uprooting, and fruit yield of chile and paprika-type peppers in Fort Cobb and Bixby, Okla. Bedding treatments were 1) no bed (T1); 2) no bed with 5 cm of soil hilled to the plant bases (T2); 3) bedded preplant, but bed not sustained (i.e., allowed to erode) during the growing season (T3); and 4) bedded preplant and bed sustained during the growing season (T4). All plots received preplant N at 45 kg·ha–1. In 1992, one-half of the plots were sidedressed with 45 kg N/ha. In 1993, one-half of the plots were sidedressed with N at 45 and 90 kg·ha–1 for paprika and chile, respectively. The higher N rates consistently produced larger and higher-yielding chile plants and generally increased yield and stem and leaf weights of paprika plants. The force required to uproot plants was not significantly affected by N rates. Plant lodging was significantly worse at the higher N rates in only one of five studies. Bedding treatments did not have a consistent influence on fruit yield. The force required to uproot plants was greater with T2 and 4 compared to T1 and 3 in three of four studies. Plant lodging was not influenced by the bedding treatments.

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Joshua R. Gerovac, Roberto G. Lopez, and Neil S. Mattson

Annual bedding plants are the most valuable sector of the commercial floriculture industry, accounting for 62% of the reported wholesale value of $5.9 billion in the United States ( USDA, 2014 ). Commercial GH production in northern latitudes begins

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Rebecca A. Schnelle and James E. Barrett

Developing a successful growth control program is one of the greatest challenges facing bedding plant producers. Many of the popular vegetatively propagated bedding plant species are highly vigorous and require plant growth regulator applications to

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Veronica A. Hutchinson, Christopher J. Currey, and Roberto G. Lopez

Vegetatively propagated herbaceous bedding plants are produced in two distinct phases: a young plant stage, in which shoot-tip cuttings are rooted as liners, and a finish plant stage, in which the rooted young plants are transplanted into a larger

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Jonathan M. Frantz*, Dharmalingam S. Pitchay, James C. Locke, and Charles Krause

Silica (Si) is not considered to be an essential plant nutrient because without it, most plants can be grown from seed to seed without its presence. However, many investigations have shown a positive growth effect if Si is present, including increased dry weight, increased yield, enhanced pollination, and most commonly, increased disease resistance, which leads to its official designation as a beneficial nutrient. Surprisingly, some effects, such as reduced incidence of micronutrient toxicity, appear to occur even if Si is not taken up in appreciable amounts. The literature results must be interpreted with care, however, because many of the benefits can be obtained with the counterion of the Si supplied to the plant. Determining a potential benefit from Si could be a large benefit to greenhouse plant producers because more production is using soilless media that are devoid of Si. Therefore, Si must be supplied either as a foliar spray or nutrient solution amendment. We investigated adding Si to New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri Bull), marigold (Tagetes erecta), pansy (Viola wittrockiana), spreading petunia (Petunia hybridia), geranium (Pelargonium spp.), and orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.). Using SEM, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, and ICP analysis, Si content and location was determined. This information and other growth characteristics will be used as a first step in determining the likelihood of using Si as a beneficial element in greenhouse fertilizer solutions for higher quality bedding plants with fewer agrochemical inputs.

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Douglas Cox

`Ultra Red' petunia (Petunia × hybrida Hort. Vilm.-Andr.), `Bonanza Orange' marigold (Tagetes patula L.), and `Marglobe' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were fertilized with a low-P, water-soluble fertilizer to evaluate the potential of low-P nutrition to control growth. Beginning at transplanting, plants received N at 150 mg·L–1 fertilizer solutions twice a week until finish from 20N–4.3P–16.6K continuously (control), 20N–0P–16.6K continuously, or four or six applications of 20N–0P–16.6K followed by 20N–4.3P–16.6K to finish. Growth media were two commercial soilless substrates (Fafard 3B and Metro Mix 360), and a 2 sphagnum peat moss: 1 perlite: 1 vermiculite combination (v/v) containing no starter or granular P fertilizer. All species in the 2:1:1 growth medium responded to low P treatments with significant growth reductions. In the commercial media, presumably due to the presence of a P-containing starter fertilizer, there were no visible effects of low P on the size of ornamental species and only small reductions in the measured growth characteristics compared to the control. Tomato growth, however, was significantly reduced by low P treatments in both commercial media. This research suggests that the P requirement of some ornamental bedding species is very low and that to use low P for growth control, plants must be grown in a substrate containing no P fertilizer. Under these conditions, four or six applications of 20N–0P–16.6K followed by 20N–4.3P–16.6K to finish resulted in desirable growth reductions and no P deficiency symptoms.

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Wesley C. Randall and Roberto G. Lopez

Annual bedding plant sales for the 15 top-producing states were over $1.4 billion in 2012, the highest of any sector of the U.S. commercial floriculture industry ( U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2013 ). Advancements in production of bedding plant