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Nancy K. Todd

Marigolds are susceptible to a specific nutritional disorder known as “bronze speckling”. It has been reported that the disorder is caused by excessive uptake of iron by the plant, which may be due to high levels of Fe in the soil solution or low soil pH. In this experiment, 12 cultivars of marigold (Tagetes erecta and T. patula) were grown using increasing levels of Fe (0, 5, 15, and 20 mg/l) from Fe DTPA. In the susceptible cultivars, symptoms were observed within 5 days of initial treatment and appeared as a chlorotic mottling. Initial symptoms resembled spider mite damage on older leaves, which gradually became bronze colored in appearance, and finally became necrotic. Downward cupping of leaves was observed in severely affected plants. Severity of necrosis and percent of plant leaves affected (dry weight basis) were evaluated to determine susceptibility of the different cultivars to the disorder. There was a direct correlation between increasing concentration of Fe and occurrence and severity of symptoms. The most susceptible to least susceptible cultivars were determined to be: First Lady, Inca, Discovery, Galore, Pineapple Crush, Perfection Excel, Voyager All Seasons, Nugget, Zenith, Voyager F1 and Diamond Jubilee.

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Arvazena E. Clardy and Stephen Garton

Two cultivars of Tagetes erecta Marigolds—Hero Yellow and Safari Tangerine—were grown hydroponically in two different nutrient solutions. The experiment was implemented in the greenhouses on the campus of Alabama A&M Univ., from March to May 1995. The experiment was to assess the effects of growth and development of Marigolds. Heights of seedlings, germinated in grodan (rockwool) cubes were measured and placed randomly in the hydroponic units. Plants were drenched with five rates of either Paclobutrazol (Bonzi) and Uniconazole (Sumagic). The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design with either three or four replications of the treatment, which were factorial combinations of variables. After 75 days measurements were made of plants heights, flower bud numbers and dry weights of shoot and root systems. Shoot dry weights were affected by growth regulator treatments, variety, nutrient treatments and a combination of variety and nutrient treatments. Root dry weights were affected by nutrient treatments. Flower bud formation and numbers were affected by the combination of nutrient and variety. Heights were affected by growth regulator treatments, variety and nutrient treatments.

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Iftikhar Ahmad, John M. Dole, Atyab Amjad, and Sagheer Ahmad

Effects of wet and dry storage methods were compared to improve postharvest performance of specialty cut flower species. While increasing duration of storage reduced vase life, vase life declined less with dry storage for marigold (Tagetes erecta) and rose (Rosa hybrida), but not for zinnia (Zinnia elegans) or lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) over wet storage. Marigold stems had 1.9, 4.6, and 1.5 days longer vase life after 1, 2, or 3 weeks in dry storage, respectively, as compared with storage in water. Zinnia stems did not tolerate either wet or dry storage, while lisianthus stems had a longer vase life when stored in water as compared with dry storage. For rose, dry storage for 2 weeks increased vase life compared with wet storage. Dry stored marigold and lisianthus stems had higher water uptake after being placed in the vase as compared with the stems stored in water, while zinnia and rose had less uptake. Storage method had no effect on leaf relative water content (LRWC) in lisianthus, marigold, and zinnia; however, LRWC decreased with increased storage duration. This necessitates evaluation of storage method and duration effects for each species and cultivar to ensure extended storage life and improve postharvest quality.

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Kristin L. Getter and Dale W. Rozeboom

The objectives of this study were to determine the effectiveness of using animal tissue compost (ATC) as a substrate amendment for ornamental plant container production. The compost was produced using soiled sawdust bedding mixed with assorted animal tissues and actively composted for at least 6 months and cured for 6 to 10 months. Five substrate treatments that consisted of four different ratios of ATC and Canadian sphagnum peatmoss were formulated, all containing 20% medium grade horticultural perlite. Four species [geranium (Pelargonium ×hortorum ‘Maverick Red’), marigold (Tagetes erecta ‘Inca II Yellow’), pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana ‘Delta Premium Yellow Blotch’), and petunia (Petunia ×hybrida ‘Prostrate Wave Purple Improved’)] were evaluated with weekly plant measurements. Geranium and petunia exhibited 100% survival for all treatments. Marigold and pansy showed 100% survival for the control treatment (0% ATC) and the treatment with the smallest amount of ATC (20% ATC). Treatments for pansy and marigold with more than 40% ATC exhibited 40% to 90% survival. All ATC substrate treatments produced the same number of flowers and buds as the control in geranium, marigold, and petunia, while the treatments containing 20% to 60% of ATC for pansy exhibited more flowers and buds than the control. Measurements of pH and electrical conductivity (EC) varied based on treatment. Based on the species and the ratios of peat, ATC, and perlite tested here, ATC has the potential to be a peat extender in floriculture substrates when used in ratios of 20% or less.

Open access

H. M. Cathey and H. E. Heggestad


[N-[2-(2-oxo-l-imidazolidinyl)ethyl]-N’-phenylurea (EDU or ethylenediurea) was applied as a soil drench and as foliar sprays to evaluate protection from ozone injury in controlled fumigations on 44 species of herbaceous plants. At least 4 doses of EDU were compared on 5 plant species: Begonia cucullata var. Hookeri Willd., (fibrous rooted begonia), Tagetes erecta L. (marigold), Antirrhinum majus L. (snapdragon), Lycopersicon esculentum Mill, (tomato), and Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat. (chrysanthemum). Protection from ozone injury was directly related to EDU dose up to about 500 ppm. The spray and drench treatments gave about the same protection from ozone. EDU had no measurable effect on plant growth. Genera showing relatively high sensitivity to ozone and good protection with EDU included Ageratum, Amaranthus, Browallia, Capsicum, Celosiay Dahlia, Lobelia, Lycopersicon, Nicotiana, Perilla, Salvia, and Zinnia. The EDU treatments used did not protect adequately Hedera Lactuca, Rosa, or Zea mays (sweet corn). Species of several genera showed little or no foliar injury even at the highest ozone dose (0.60 ppm/3 hr), including Brassaia, Catharanthus, Chlorophytum, Coffeay Cyclamen, Dizygotheca, Philodendron, Saintpaulia, and Torenia. ‘Fred Shoesmith’ chrysanthemum was insensitive to ozone.

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Iftikhar Ahmad, Muhammad B. Rafiq, John M. Dole, Bilal Abdullah, and Kinza Habib

Favorable agro-climatic conditions and comparatively cheaper and readily available human resources offer a promising business opportunity to cut flower production in Pakistan. Presently, growers are limited to traditional cut flower crops such as rose (Rosa hybrids), gladiolus (Gladiolus hybrids), marigold (Tagetes erecta), and tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) because of unavailability of improved new species and cultivars. To diversify cut flower production in Pakistan, a study was conducted to evaluate the production and postharvest performance of different cultivars of delphinium (Delphinium hybrids), snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), and stock (Matthiola incana) in Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan. ‘Guardian White’ delphinium had the shortest time to harvest first marketable stems (160 days) with comparatively shorter stems (87.7 cm). Whereas ‘Aurora White’ and ‘Aurora Blue’ were high-temperature tolerant and produced attractive racemes with longer stems; 112.0 and 99.7 cm, respectively. All cultivars lasted about 7 days in distilled water (DW). ‘Cheerful White’ stock had the shortest cropping time and produced highest quality double flowers with longest stems (51.8 cm) compared with other cultivars tested. Vase solution of 4% sucrose supplemented with 100 mg·L−1 silver nitrate (AgNO3) extended the vase life of ‘Cheerful White’ stock up to 11.8 days compared with 8.2 days in DW. Pulsing with 10% sucrose supplemented with 100 mg·L−1 AgNO3 extended the longevity of ‘Lucinda Dark Rose Double’ stock (10.2 days) similar to vase solution of 4% sucrose plus 100 mg·L−1 AgNO3; however, ‘Lucinda Dark Rose Double’ stock produced shorter stems than ‘Cheerful White’. ‘Appleblossom’ snapdragon produced >10 marketable stems per plant with highest quality attractive flowers, and stout stems, which lasted 10.8 days in 4% sucrose vase solution supplemented with 100 mg·L−1 AgNO3. Among tested species/cultivars, all exotic species/cultivars produced uniform high quality stems resulting in higher productivity as compared with local cultivars and were favorably appraised by flower growers/retailers and are best suited for diversification of local cut flower industry.

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Joseph P. Albano and William B. Miller

Iron chelate photodegradation is a problem in tissue culture where limited soluble Fe in agar reduces callus tissue growth. Our objectives were to determine if Fe chelate photodegradation occurs in commercial fertilizers used in greenhouse plant production and, if so, the effects on plant Fe acquisition. Commercial 20N–10P–20K soluble fertilizers containing Fe-EDTA were prepared as 100x stocks based on a 100 mg N/liter (1x) concentration. A modified Hoagland's solution with Fe-DTPA was prepared as a 10x stock based on a 200 mg N/liter (1x) concentration. Samples then were kept in darkness or were irradiated with 500 μmol·m–2·s–1 from fluorescent and incandescent sources for ≤240 hours. Soluble Fe in the irradiated commercial fertilizer solutions decreased 85% in 240 h. Soluble Fe in the Hoagland's solution, prepared in the lab, decreased 97% in 72 h. There was no loss in soluble Fe in any dark-stored treatment; demonstrating photodegradation of Fe-chelates under commercial settings. Excised roots of marigold (Tagetes erecta L.), grown hydroponically in the irradiated solutions, had Fe(III)-DTPA reductase activity 2 to 6 times greater than roots of plants grown in solutions kept in darkness. Plants growing in irradiated solutions acidified the rhizosphere more than plants growing in solutions kept dark. The increase in Fe reductase activity and rhizosphere acidification are Fe-efficiency reactions of marigold responding to the photodegradation of Fe-chelates and subsequent decrease in soluble Fe in both commercial fertilizers and lab-prepared nutrient solution.

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Joyce G. Latimer and Ronald D. Oetting

During greenhouse production in Spring 1995, conditioning treatments were applied to columbine (Aquilegia×hybrida Sims `McKana Giants'), New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri Bull. `Antares'), marigold (Tagetes erecta L. `Little Devil Mix') and ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum Mill. `Blue Puffs') plants. Treatments included: mechanical conditioning (brushing 40 strokes twice daily); moisture stress conditioning (MSC) (wilting for ≈2 hours per day); undisturbed ebb-and-flow irrigation; overhead irrigation; high (500 mg·L-1 N) or low (50 mg·L-1 N) 3×/week N fertilizer regimes; daminozide (5000 mg·L-1); or paclobutrazol (30, 45, or 180 mg·L-1). One week after initiation of treatments, individual plants in separate greenhouses were inoculated with two adult green peach aphids (Myzus persicae Sulzer) or five two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae Koch). A natural infestation of western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande) in the mite-inoculated greenhouse provided an additional insect treatment. Brushing was the only treatment that consistently reduced thrips and mite populations. Aphid populations were lower on low-N than on high-N plants, but thrips and mite populations were not consistently affected by plant fertilization. Moisture stress conditioning tended to increase aphid populations on New Guinea impatiens and marigold, but had little effect on spider mite or thrips populations. Ebb-and-flow irrigation reduced the mite population on ageratum relative to that on overhead irrigated (control) plants. Plant growth regulators did not consistently affect pest populations. Chemical names used: butane-dioic acid mono(2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide); β-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Erik S. Runkle, Catherine M. Whitman, and Mike Olrich

Uniconazole is a plant growth regulator used to inhibit internode elongation on container-grown ornamental plants. Uniconazole is effective on a wide range of plants, but is not commonly used on bedding plants because of concerns about stunting and flowering delay. Our objective was to determine the effectiveness of uniconazole when used as a drench, eliminating the variability inherent in a spray application. Seedlings of Celosia argentea L. var. plumosa L. `Fresh Look Red', Petunia ×hybrida Vilm.-Andr. `Prostrate Wave Rose', Salvia splendens Sell ex Roem. & Schult. `Vista Red', and Tagetes erecta L. `Inca II Gold' in 288-cell plug trays were transplanted 2 days after arrival into 10-cm pots filled with a soilless medium containing no bark. Plants were placed in a greenhouse with a setpoint of 20 °C and under a 16-h photoperiod provided by high-pressure sodium lamps. A single drench application of 0, 0.04, 0.07, 0.15, or 0.30 mg active ingredient/pot was made 11 days after transplant. The uniconazole drench inhibited internode elongation in these species and higher rates provided a greater degree of response. At time of flowering, the 0.30-mg uniconazole drench inhibited shoot length in Celosia, Petunia, Salvia, and Tagetes by 36%, 23% 26%, and 13%, respectively. Drenches of 0.04 or 0.07 mg provided a desirable degree of height control for Celosia and Salvia. For vigorous species like Petunia or Tagetes, 0.15 to 0.30 mg may be more appropriate. We observed a 1- or 2-day delay in flowering of Salvia and Tagetes plants drenched with 0.30 mg, but no delays in Petunia flowering.

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D. Yvette Henson, Steven E. Newman, and David E. Hartley

This study was conducted to evaluate the growth, visual quality, and stress response of 17 species of bedding plants and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) grown outdoors for 10 weeks during the summer of 2003 at three locations in Colorado. Plants were irrigated at 100% of the reference evapotranspiration (ET0) (amount required to maintain Kentucky bluegrass in an optimum condition) for 2 weeks followed by 8 weeks at five irrigation levels: 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% ET0. Begonia carrieri Hort. `Vodka', Lobelia erinus L. `Cobalt Blue', and Viola ×wittrockiana Gams. `Crown Gold' grew well with a minimum of 50% or more ET0 based on Kentucky bluegrass. Impatiens walleriana Hook. fil. `Tempo White' grew well only with 100% ET0. Antirrhinum majus L. `Sonnet Yellow', Dianthus L. `First Love', Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv. `Carpet White', and Pelargonium ×hortorum L.H. Bailey performed well with 25% to 50% ET0. The species Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don `Peppermint Cooler', Rudbeckia hirta L. `Indian Summer', Senecio cineraria D.C. `Silver Dust', Tagetes erecta L. `Inca Yellow' and T. patula L. `Bonanza Gold', Zinnia angustifolia Kunth., and Salvia farinacea Benth. `Rhea Blue', which are adapted to midsummer heat and low water, performed well with 0% to 25% ET0. Species considered to be heat or drought tolerant—Petunia ×hybrida hort. ex. E. Vilm. `Merlin White' and Glandularia J.F. Gmel. `Imagination'—required little or no irrigation. The bedding plant species evaluated in this study that required 25% or less ET0 are well adapted for low-water landscape installations.