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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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Monica L. Elliott and Timothy K. Broschat

A commercially available microbial inoculant (Plant Growth Activator Plus) that contains 50 microorganisms, primarily bacteria, was evaluated in a soilless container substrate to determine its effects on root bacterial populations and growth response of container-grown plants at three fertilizer rates. The tropical ornamental plants included hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis `Double Red'), spathiphyllum (Spathiphyllum `Green Velvet') and areca palm (Dypsis lutescens). The bacterial groups enumerated were fluorescent pseudomonads, actinomycetes, heat-tolerant bacteria, and total aerobic bacteria. Analysis of the inoculant before its use determined that fluorescent pseudomonads claimed to be in the inoculant were not viable. The plant variables measured were plant color rating, shoot dry weight and root dry weight. Only hibiscus shoot dry weight and color rating increased in response to the addition of the inoculant to the substrate. Hibiscus roots also had a significant increase in the populations of fluores-cent pseudomonads and heat-tolerant bacteria. From a commercial production point of view, increasing fertilizer rates in the substrate provided a stronger response in hibiscus than did addition of the microbial inoculant. Furthermore, use of the inoculant in this substrate did not compensate for reduced fertilizer inputs.

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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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Sven E. Svenson and Timothy K. Broschat

The influence of copper hydroxide [Cu(OH)2] application to interior container surfaces on root growth at the container-medium interface was studied using Carpentaria palm [Carpentaria acuminata (H. Wendl. & Drude) Becc.]. Cu(OH)2 (0, 100, 200, or 400 g) was mixed with one liter of either white latex house paint, or NuFilm-17 surfactant, and applied to all surfaces inside 0.5 liter containers. Plants were grown in untreated containers, in containers treated with paint or NuFilm-17 only, or in containers treated with Cu(OH)2 in paint (100 g rate only) or NuFilm-17 (100, 200 or 400 g per liter). When applied in paint or NuFilm-17, Cu(OH)2 reduced root growth at the container-medium interface, controlling the circular growth pattern commonly observed in container-grown plants. Controlling circling root growth at the soil-container interface did not influence shoot or root dry weight, but did reduce total root length. Application of Cu(OH)2 with paint was unsightly, while application with NuFilm-17 was almost unnoticeable.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Monica L. Elliott

Container-grown mexican fan palm (Washingtonia robusta) and queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) transplanted into a field nursery having phosphorus (P)-sufficient and P-deficient soils were treated at the time of planting with four commercial microbial inoculants (each containing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, alone or with other microbial components or fertilizers), two fertilizers, or nothing (control). All but the control palms received applications of an 8N–0.9P–10K palm fertilizer every 3 months for 2 years. None of the treatments improved growth over the control in the P-deficient soil. In the P-sufficient soil, none of the microbial inoculants improved growth over that of similarly fertilized noninoculated palms. Discrepancies were observed regarding nonmycorrhizal fungi and bacteria present in the microbial inoculant products. The type and quantity of these microbes listed on the labels of the microbial inoculant products did not necessarily match the type and quantity actually detected in the products.

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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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Timothy K. Broschat and Sven E. Svenson

Heliconia stricta Huber `Dwarf Jamaican' were grown in 10-liter containers under full sun or 50% shade for 1 year, and H. caribaea Lamarck `Purpurea' were grown in an open field for 2.5 years. Rhizomes were soaked for 1 hour before planting or plants were sprayed with 30 μm DCPTA after two leaves had emerged. Heliconia stricta grown under full sun produced more inflorescences than those grown under 50% shade, and DCPTA-treated plants grown under shade produced more pseudostems and were taller than control plants. DCPTA-treated H. caribaea produced more pseudostems per plant than control plants during their first year, but differences in the number of pseudostems and inflorescences during subsequent years were not significant. Chemical name used: 2-(3,4-dichlorophenoxy)triethylamine (DCPTA).

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Timothy K. Broschat and Monica L. Elliott

Foxtail palms (Wodyetia bifurcata Irvine) were grown in 6.2-L containers using a 3 calcitic limestone gravel: 2 coir dust (by volume) substrate to induce Fe chlorosis. Plants were treated initially and 2 and 4 months later with soil applications of FeDTPA, FeEDDHA, FeEDTA+FeHEDTA on vermiculite, FeEDTA+FeDTPA on clay, ferric citrate, ferrous ammonium sulfate, ferrous sulfate, ferrous sulfate+sulfur, or iron glucoheptonate at a rate of 0.2 g Fe/container. Similar plants were treated initially and 2 and 4 months later with foliar sprays of FeDTPA, FeEDDHA, ferric citrate, ferrous sulfate, or iron glucoheptonate at a rate of 0.8 g Fe/L. After 6 months, palms receiving soil applications of FeEDDHA, FeEDTA+FeHEDTA on vermiculite, FeDTPA, or FeEDTA+FeDTPA on clay had significantly less chlorosis than plants receiving other soil-applied Fe fertilizers or untreated control plants. Palms treated with foliar Fe fertilizers had chlorosis ratings similar to untreated control plants. Palms with the most severe Fe chlorosis also had the highest levels of leaf spot disease caused by Exserohilum rostratum (Drechs.) K.J. Leonard & E.G. Suggs. Neither chlorosis severity nor leaf spot severity was correlated with total leaf Fe concentration.

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Kimberly A. Klock-Moore and Timothy K. Broschat

Growth of hand-watered and subirrigated `Ultra Red' petunia (Petunia ×hybrida Hort.) and `Super Elfin Violet' impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook.f.) plants were compared when grown using four controlled-release fertilizer rates and four fertilizer placements in the pot. Furthermore, the amount of NO3-N leached from hand-watered plants was compared to amount captured by subirrigation system. Before planting, Osmocote (14N-6.2P-11.6K) (4 month release) was either topdressed (TD), layered in the middle of the pot (M), layered at the bottom of the pot (B), or incorporated throughout (I) the substrate at 1.25, 2.5, 5.0, or 7.5 kg·m-3 (oz/ft3). Shoot dry mass of petunia plants was similar between both irrigation systems and among the four fertilizer placements. Subirrigated petunias fertilized with 2.5 kg·m-3 had similar shoot dry mass as hand-watered petunias fertilized with 7.5 kg·m-3. Hand-watered impatiens had greater shoot dry mass than subirrigated impatiens. Hand-watered impatiens also had greater shoot dry mass in pots with fertilizer at TD, M, or I than with fertilizer at B, but no difference in growth was observed in subirrigated impatiens among the different fertilizer placements. Finally, significantly more NO3-N was leached from hand-watered plants than was captured with the subirrigation systems.