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  • Author or Editor: John Ruter x
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Granular and liquid formulations of paclobutrazol were tested to evaluate the growth and flowering response of butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii Franch. 'Dubonnet'). At the rates tested (5, 10, 20, and 40 mg ai·pot–1), the granular formulation reduced the growth index, plant height, shoot dry weight, total plant biomass, number of panicles and panicle length to a greater degree than the liquid formulation applied as a drench. Both formulations reduced total plant biomass and increased the root:shoot ratio compared to the control. All rates of the granular formulation above 5 mg ai · pot–1 produced non-marketable plants. Since no phytotoxicity was observed with any treatment, the application of paclobutrazol to control the growth of butterfly-bush may be useful if the correct formulation and rate of application are chosen.

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The long-term effects of paclobutrazol applied to container-grown `Mojave' pyracantha (Pyracantha ×) and `San Jose' juniper (Juniperus chinensis L.) were investigated. Paclobutrazol was applied as a drench to container-grown (2.8 liter) plants at the rates of 0, 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg a.i./pot in June 1991, and plants were transplanted to the field in Feb. 1992. Pyracantha plant height, shoot and root dry weight, and total biomass (shoot dry weight + root dry weight) decreased quadratically as rate of paclobutrazol increased during nursery production. Paclobutrazol had no effect on plant height or shoot dry weight of Juniperus, although width indices were reduced. Ratings for root quality for Juniperus in containers increased as rate of paclobutrazol increased. After 9 months in the landscape, paclobutrazol still influenced plant height, width, and shoot dry weight for Pyracantha but had no effect on Juniperus. As rate of application increased, fruit retention on Pyracantha increased. Paclobutrazol applied as a container medium drench at 5 mg a.i./pot was excessive during nursery production of Pyracantha and Juniperus. Chemical name used: [(2RS, 3RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-yl)penten-3-ol] (paclobutrazol).

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A study was conducted with Dendranthemum ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura garden chrysanthemum (`Grenadine', `Nicole', and `Tolima') to evaluate the growth and flowering of these plants grown in 2.6-L (no. 1) black plastic containers compared to plants grown in fiber containers with Cu(OH)2 impregnated into the container walls. For all three cultivars, growth indices, shoot and root dry weights, and total biomass increased for plants grown in fiber containers. Total number of flower buds per plant increased 30% to 32% for `Grenadine' and `Nicole' and 53% for `Tolima' grown in fiber containers. Plants grown in Cu(OH)2-impregnated fiber containers had less root coverage at the container:growing medium interface and no observable root circling in contrast to visible root circling on plants grown in black plastic containers. Foliar nutrient analysis on `Grenadine' showed that K decreased and Fe and Cu increased when grown in Cu(OH)2-impregnated fiber containers. No visible nutrient abnormalities were seen in this study.

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A study was conducted with Coreopsis verticillata L. `Moonbeam' and Plumbago auriculata Lam. to evaluate the growth of these perennial plants in 2.6-liter (#1) black plastic containers (BPCs) compared to plants grown in fiber containers with Cu(OH)2 (FCs+) impregnated into the container walls. Coreopsis root and shoot dry weight was unaffected by container type, whereas Plumbago root and shoot dry weight was greater (2.2× and 1.6×, respectively) for plants grown in FCs+ compared to BPCs. The root : shoot ratio of Plumbago increased 30% when plants were grown in FCs+ compared to BPCs. Root circling was effectively controlled for both species grown in the FCs+. FCs remained in salable condition for the duration of the study. In contrast to untreated FCs, FCs+ will have to be removed at transplanting to allow for normal root development.

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Paclobutrazol was applied as a foliar spray, root-medium drench, and impregnated spike to `New Gold' lantana grown in 2.8-liter pots. Plants were treated 14 June 1993 at rates of 0, 0.5, and 1.0 mg a.i. paclobutrazol/pot and were harvested 27 July 1993 when control plants required further pruning. Impregnated spikes reduced plant size and flowering to a greater degree than spray applications. Drenches reduced root dry weight and biomass compared to spray applications. Plants treated with 0.5 and 1.0 mg a.i. paclobutrazol/pot were not different in regards to plant growth and flowering. Compared to nontreated controls, plants treated with paclobutrazol had a reduced growth index, decreased shoot and root dry weight, and fewer flowers with open florets. All plants in the study were marketable, even though growth control was considered excessive. Lower rates than used in this study should be considered for controlling growth. These results suggest that impregnated spike formulations of paclobutrazol may control plant growth in pine bark-based media.

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A study was conducted with Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei `Acom a' to evaluate methods for reducing rooting-out problems in a PIP production system. The products tested were Biobarrier™, a geotextile fabric impregnated with trifluralin; Root Control'” fabric bag material; and Spin Out™, a commercial formulation of copper hydroxide (7.1%) in latex paint. Biobarrier™ reduced plant height, shoot dry weight, percent root dry weight outside of the planted container and total biomass compared to the non-treated control. For the control, 7.1% of the total root dry weight was found between the holder pot and planted container compared to 0.2% for the Biobarrier™ treatment. When the holder pot and planted container or the planted container and Root Control™ fabric were both treated with Spin Out™, plant height and shoot dry weight were reduced. Spin Out™ reduced root circling on the sidewalls of the planted containers but not on the bottom of the containers. All treatments except the control reduced rooting-out to a degree that allowed for the manual harvesting of the planted container from the holder pot after seven months in the field.

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Carolina laurel cherry (Prunus caroliniana) is native to the U.S. southeastern coastal plain from North Carolina westward to eastern Texas. The species has been planted extensively in the southeast as an ornamental tree or hedge. Unfortunately, carolina laurel cherry naturalizes readily and is now found in a variety of habitats, both natural and disturbed. Flowering occurs in the late winter/early spring before new leaves emerge and fruit ripens in the fall/winter. Fruit is eaten by migratory birds and seed is dispersed. Seedlings readily germinate in the understory of forests and landscapes in the spring. As there are a limited number of cultivars available, selections with improved form and sterility are needed for the landscape trade. In 2008, seed was collected and treated with Cobalt-60 gamma irradiation at rates ranging from 0 to 150 Gy. The lethal dose killing 50% of the seedlings (LD50) was between 50 and 100 Gy. Three sterile plants were selected in 2012 from the M1 (first generation of mutagen-treated seedlings) population totaling 62 seedlings. M2 (second-generation seedlings from M1 parents) seed was collected Fall 2012, and 1509 seedlings were grown to flowering size in containers. In 2014–15, 120 seedlings that showed no fruit production were planted in the field in Watkinsville, GA, for further evaluation. Ratings on field-grown plants in Dec. 2017 and 2018 showed that 73% and 78% of the plants, respectively, produced no fruit, whereas the remaining plants had minimal to heavy fruit set. Because carolina laurel cherry is andromonoecious, production of male and bisexual flowers was evaluated on 17 selections in 2018. Of 500 flowers evaluated per selection, the number of male flowers per plant ranged from 22 to 415 (4.4% to 83%). The number of racemes with all-male flowers on each selection ranged from 1 to 32. There were no significant correlations between the number of male flowers or number of all-male flowered racemes per plant and production of fruit. Approximately 5% of M2 seedlings remain seedless after 6 years of growth.

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