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Shi-Ying Wang, William H. Carlson, and Royal D. Heins

Argeranthemum frutescens `Butterfly' and `Sugar Baby', Brachycome hybrid `Ultra', Helichrysum bracteatum `Golden Beauty', Scaevola aemula `New Wonder',Supertunia axillaris hybrids `Kilkenny Bells' and `Pink Victory', Sutera cordata `Mauve Mist' and `Snowflake', and Verbena hybrid `Blue' were grown in a glass greenhouse maintained at 20°C under seven different photoperiods (10-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 16-, 24-hr, and 4-hr night interruption). Black cloth was pulled at 1700 and opened at 0800 HR; incandescent lamps provided 2 μmol·m–2·s–1 to extend light hours to the designed photoperiods. Seedlings were pinched 3 days after transplant. Responses to photoperiod were clearly species-dependent. The tested species can be classified into three groups: 1) stem elongation and flowering were promoted in the long-day treatment (A. frutescens and S. axillaris hybrids), 2) only stem elongation was promoted in the long-day treatment (S. aemula, H. bracteatum, and B. hybrid), and 3) neither flowering nor stem elongation were affected by photoperiod (S. cordata and V. hybrid).

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Royal D. Heins, Thomas F. Wallace Jr., and Susan S. Han

Chlorosis of Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) lower leaves causes significant economic loss. Lily plants growing in 15-cm pots were sprayed 30, 60, or 90 days after emergence or at 60 and 90 days after emergence with 25 to 100 ppm each of benzyladenine and GA4+7 from Promalin (Abbott Chemical Co.) and were grown pot-to-pot until flower. Chlorotic leaf count at flower decreased as Promalin concentration increased; plants sprayed at 60 days had the smallest chlorotic leaf count. Chlorotic leaves at flower varied from 28% for control plants to 10% for plants sprayed with 100 ppm at 60 days and from 36% to 17% 3 weeks later, respectively. The Promalin sprays promoted significant stem elongation, but differences in height at flower were only 2 cm. Plants sprayed with 100 ppm at 30 days averaged one deformed flower per plant; plants sprayed at 60 days and 60 and 90 days averaged 0.0 and 0.1 deformed flower per plant, respectively. Additional trials in which only the lower part of the plant was sprayed prevented any chlorotic leaves without any significant effect on final height or flower bud quality.

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James E. Faust, Sven Verlinden, and Royal D. Heins

Rapid reduction in temperature for two to three hours starting at sunrise reduces stem elongation compared to elongation of plants maintained under constant temperatures during the day. This experiment was designed to determine if syringing plants with water at sunrise would substitute for a reduction in air temperature or enhance the response to the drop in temperature. Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thumb.) plants were exposed to constant 20°C or to 20°C and then 16°C for a 3-hr period following sunrise. Half the plants in each temperature regime were syringed at 30-minute intervals with 20°C water for 3 hr starting 20 minutes before sunrise. Shoot-tip temperature during the three-hr pulse time averaged 20.0 and 17.3°C for the dry plants and 17.3 and 14.7°C for the syringed plants. Total elongation for the dry plants at 20°C was 30 cm and for the temperature-pulsed plants, 4.8 cm less; for the syringed plants, 3.3 and 5.8 cm less, respectively. While shoot-tip temperature of dry plants averaged 0.9°C above air temperature during the remaining hours of the day, syringed plants averaged 1.0°C cooler than the same air temperature even though plants had dried. The data indicate the reduction in stem elongation from a low-temperature pulse at sunrise can be enhanced by evaporative cooling.

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Mark P. Kaczperski, Royal D. Heins, and William H. Carlson

Methods of cold storage for rooted cuttings of three cultivars of Pelargonium ×hortorum Bailey were examined. Cuttings were stored from 0 to 10°C for 7 to 56 days. Treatments included packing the cuttings in ice, storing them under irradiance levels of 0 or 50 μmol·m–2·s–1, applying fungicides, varying cutting developmental stages, and varying the day temperatures. Cuttings packed in ice showed signs of chilling injury within 7 days and died. Applications of etridiazole and thiophanate-methyl or metalaxyl and thiophanate-methyl drenches or fosetyl-Al spray did not improve storage performance of the cuttings. Roots of cuttings held 7 additional days in the propagation area before storage grew faster after storage than those of cuttings with less time in the propagation area, but flowering time was not affected. Maintaining night temperatures at 5°C while allowing day temperatures to rise to 10°C delayed flowering by 6 days compared to maintaining a constant 5°C. Rooted cuttings held at 5°C under 50 μmol·m–2·s–1 irradiance for 9 hours each day could be stored up to 56 days with only a 2-day delay in flowering compared to unstored cuttings. Chemicals used were 5-ethoxy-3-trichloromethyl-1,2,4-thiadiazole (etridiazole); thiophanate-methyl (dimethyl[1,2-phenylene)bis(iminocarbonothioyl)]bis[carbamate]) (thiophanate-methyl); N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-N-methoxyacetyl) alanine methyl ester (metalaxyl); aluminum tris (O-ethyl phosphonate) (fosetyl-Al).

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Royal D. Heins, Nathan Lange, and Thomas F. Wallace Jr.

Ageratum, begonia, marigold, and salvia seedlings in plug cells were stored in coolers to determine the effects of temperature, light, and storage time on growth and forcing time of seedlings after transplanting, and to determine the optimum storage temperatures for each crop. Photosynthetic photon flux densities of 0, 1, and 5 μmol·m-2.s-1 were combined with temperatures of 0.0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10.0, and 12.5C to create 18 storage environments. Sample plants were removed from each treatment at 1-week intervals for 6 weeks, and were forced into flower. In all four species, temperatures of 0.0 and 2.5C caused chilling injury and then death as plants were stored for progressively longer periods. Storage at 0.0 and 2.5C also delayed flowering when chilling injury was not severe enough to cause death. In general, plants stored better in the light than in darkness. Darkness tended to limit the time seedlings could be stored, but for each crop, the addition of just 1 μmol·m-2.s-1 extended the storage durations to 6 weeks at one or more temperatures. Storage of all four species was possible for 6 weeks, but there were significant variations between the temperatures and storage durations each species could tolerate. Optimal temperatures were 5-7.5C for begonia, 5C for marigold, and 7.5C for salvia and ageratum.

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John E. Erwin, Royal D. Heins, and Roar Moe

Fuchsia × hybrids `Dollar Princess' plants were grown under 35 day/night temperature (DT/NT) environments ranging from 10 to 30C over 2 years. Plants were grown under short days (SD) (9-hour 15-minute photoperiod) or long days (LD) (9-hour 15-minute photoperiod plus a 4-hour night interruption) within each environment. The influence of temperature on Fuchsia stem elongation and leaf expansion was best described by the relationship or difference (DIF) between DT and NT (DT - NT) rather than actual DT and NT between 10 and 25C. Both internode length and leaf area increased linearly as DIF increased from - 15 to + 15C with DT and NT between 10 and 25C. Internode length increased 0.129 and 0.071 cm/1C increase in DIF for LD- and SD-grown plants, respectively. Individual leaf area increased 0.52 and 0.40 cm2/1C increase in DIF for LD- and SD-grown plants, respectively. DT or NT above 24C reduced stem elongation and leaf expansion, regardless of DIF. The response of stem elongation and leaf expansion to DIF was greater on a percent basis when plants were grown under SD and LD, respectively. On an absolute basis, both internode length and leaf area were greater on LD-grown plants. Branching increased as average daily temperature decreased from 25 to 12C. Photoperiod did not affect branching.

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Grete Waaseth, Roar Moe, Royal D. Heins, and Svein O. Grimstad

Varying photothermal ratios (PTR) were supplied to Salvia ×superba Stapf `Blaukönigin' during pre-inductive vegetative development with the exception of a short germination period under uniform conditions. In addition, both unvernalized plants and plants receiving a saturating vernalization treatment of 6 weeks at 5 °C were given two photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) levels (50 or 200 μmol·m-2·s-1) during subsequent inductive 16-hour long days. There were no effects of PTR treatments during vegetative development on subsequent flowering. However, the higher PPF level during inductive long days significantly accelerated floral evocation in unvernalized plants, lowering the leaf number at flowering. The effect was practically negligent after the vernalization requirement was saturated. In a second experiment, varying periods (4, 7, 10, and 14 days or until anthesis) at a PPF of 200 μmol·m-2·s-1 during 20-hour days were given at the beginning of a long-day treatment, either with or without preceding vernalization treatment. Flowering percentage increased considerably as the period at 200 μmol·m-2·s-1 was extended compared with plants grown at a lower PPF of 50 μmol·m-2·s-1. However, the leaf number on flowering plants was not affected, except in unvernalized plants receiving the highest PPF continuously until anthesis, where leaf number was reduced by almost 50%. We propose that the PPF-dependent flowering is facilitated either by the rate of ongoing assimilation or rapid mobilization of stored carbohydrates at the time of evocation. Abortion of floral primordia under the lower PPF (50 μmol·m-2·s-1) irrespective of vernalization treatment indicates that the assimilate requirement for flower bud development is independent of the mechanism for floral evocation.

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Paul R. Fisher, Royal D. Heins, and J. Heinrich Lieth

Stem elongation of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Klotz.) was quantified using an approach that explicitly modelled the three phases of a sigmoidal growth curve: 1) an initial lag phase characterized by an exponentially increasing stem length, 2) a phase in which elongation is nearly linear, and 3) a plateau phase in which elongation rate declines as stem length reaches an asymptotic maximum. For each growth phase, suitable mathematical functions were selected for smooth height and slope transitions between phases. The three growth phases were linked to developmental events, particularly flower initiation and the first observation of a visible flower bud. The model was fit to a data set of single-stemmed poinsettia grown with vegetative periods of 13, 26, or 54 days, resulting in excellent conformance (R 2 = 0.99). The model was validated against two independent data sets, and the elongation pattern was similar to that predicted by the model, particularly during the linear and plateau phases. The model was formulated to allow dynamic simulation or adaptation in a graphical control chart. Model parameters in the three-phase function have clear biological meaning. The function is particularly suited to situations in which identification of growth phases in relation to developmental and horticultural variables is an important objective. Further validation under a range of conditions is required before the model can be applied to horticultural situations.

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Shi-Ying Wang, William H. Carlson, and Royal D. Heins

The effect of 6 weeks of storage at 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10.0, or 12.5°C in a glass greenhouse was determined on 11 vegetatively propagated annual species. Fresh weight (total, shoot, and root) and height of 30 plants per species in each storage temperature were measured at the end of storage. Another 30 plants were transplanted into 15-cm pots (three plants per pot) and grown under natural light in a 20°C glass greenhouse for 3 weeks. Three species showed chilling injury or died during storage at ≤7.5°C. Plant height and shoot fresh weight at the end of storage for most species increased linearly as storage temperature increased. Storage temperature did not affect the net increase in height or weight significantly during recovery growth, except for plants that exhibited chilling injury at the end of storage.

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Hiroshi Shimizu, Erik S. Runkle, and Royal D. Heins

A model was constructed to predict shoot-tip temperature of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) according to an energy-balance equation by using five greenhouse environmental factors: dry-bulb, wet-bulb, and sky (glazing or shade screen) temperature; transmitted shortwave radiation; and air velocity. An experiment was conducted to collect the five environmental variables that were used as model inputs, and shoot-tip temperature data were used to validate the predicted shoot-tip temperature in a commercial greenhouse. The standard deviation of the difference between predicted and measured shoot-tip temperature was 0.798 and was calculated by using 8547 data points, and >84% of the actual and predicted data points were within 1 °C. A sensitivity analysis performed with the model indicated that, among the three temperatures measured, plant shoot-tip temperature was primarily influenced by the dry-bulb temperature. For example, shoot-tip temperature increased an average of 0.74 °C for every 1 °C increase in dry-bulb temperature when dry-bulb temperature varied from 28 to 42 °C, wet-bulb temperature was 27.8 °C, sky temperature was 39.8 °C, shortwave radiation (285 to 2800 nm) was 760 W·m-2, and air velocity was 0.44 m·s-1. Under these conditions and a dry-bulb temperature of 32.6 °C, an increase in shortwave radiation of 500 W·m-2 increased the shoot-tip temperature by an average of 3.3 °C. This developed model may be a useful tool to predict shoot-tip temperature and evaluate the effect of greenhouse environmental factors on shoot-tip temperature.