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Willie Helpingstine, Ellen T. Paparozzi and Walter W. Stroup

Hydrangeas are sold as a potted florist plant during the spring, usually around Mothers Day and Easter. They are considered “heavy feeders” because of their high requirement for nitrogen. Two experiments were conducted to determine if the addition of sulfur (S) would allow lower rates of nitrogen (N) to be applied without sacrificing plant color and quality. Hydrangea macrophylla `Blue Danube' were fertilized with four levels of N (50, 100, 200, and 450 ppm) in combination with six levels of S (0, 6, 12, 24, 48, and 96 ppm) during a typical forcing program. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with a complete factorial treatment design. Data collected included visual observations (using the Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart) on leaf color and uniformity of flower color as well as flower shape. Quantitative data included flower diameter, floret diameter, height, and N an S leaf concentrations. Soil pH was monitored throoughout the experiment and remained fairly constant (range of 5.0–6.0). Additional sulfur seemed to have no effect on leaf color at the higher levels of N. Lower concentrations of N produced more true blue flower color. Also, at lower N concentrations, higher S resulted in larger flowers with larger florets.

Open access

Matthew H. Kramer, Ellen T. Paparozzi and Walter W. Stroup

We examined all articles in volume 139 and the first issue of volume 140 of the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science (JASHS) for statistical problems. Slightly fewer than half appeared to have problems. This is consistent with what has been found for other biological journals. Problems ranged from inappropriate analyses and statistical procedures to insufficient (or complete lack of) information on how the analyses were performed. A common problem arose from taking many measurements from the same plant, which leads to correlated test results, ignored when declaring significance at P = 0.05 for each test. In this case, experiment-wise error control is lacking. We believe that many of these problems could and should have been caught in the writing or review process; i.e., identifying them did not require an extensive statistics background. This suggests that authors and reviewers have not absorbed nor kept current with many of the statistical basics needed for understanding their own data, for conducting proper statistical analyses, and for communicating their results. For a variety of reasons, graduate training in statistics for horticulture majors appears inadequate; we suggest that researchers in this field actively seek out opportunities to improve and update their statistical knowledge throughout their careers and engage a statistician as a collaborator early when unfamiliar methods are needed to design or analyze a research study. In addition, the ASHS, which publishes three journals, should assist authors, reviewers, and editors by recognizing and supporting the need for continuing education in quantitative literacy.

Open access

Matthew H. Kramer, Ellen T. Paparozzi and Walter W. Stroup

We examined all articles in volume 139 and the first issue of volume 140 of the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science (JASHS) for statistical problems. Slightly fewer than half appeared to have problems. This is consistent with what has been found for other biological journals. Problems ranged from inappropriate analyses and statistical procedures to insufficient (or complete lack of) information on how the analyses were performed. A common problem arose from taking many measurements from the same plant, which leads to correlated test results, ignored when declaring significance at P = 0.05 for each test. In this case, experiment-wise error control is lacking. We believe that many of these problems could and should have been caught in the writing or review process; i.e., identifying them did not require an extensive statistics background. This suggests that authors and reviewers have not absorbed nor kept current with many of the statistical basics needed for understanding their own data, for conducting proper statistical analyses, and for communicating their results. For a variety of reasons, graduate training in statistics for horticulture majors appears inadequate; we suggest that researchers in this field actively seek out opportunities to improve and update their statistical knowledge throughout their careers and engage a statistician as a collaborator early when unfamiliar methods are needed to design or analyze a research study. In addition, the ASHS, which publishes three journals, should assist authors, reviewers, and editors by recognizing and supporting the need for continuing education in quantitative literacy.

Free access

Ellen T. Paparozzi, Walter W. Stroup and M. Elizabeth Conley

Response surface methods refer to a set of experimental design and analysis methods to study the effect of quantitative treatments on a response of interest. In theory, these methods have a broad range of applicability. While they have gained widespread acceptance and application in manufacturing and quality improvement research, they have never caught on in the agricultural sciences. We propose that this is because there has not been specific research demonstrating their usage. In this paper, two 34 factorial experiments were performed using 100 poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) to measure nutrient element concentrations in leaves at three rates each of nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), iron (Fe), and manganese (Mn). Three different methods of analysis were compared—the standard analysis of variance with no regression model, the quadratic regression model commonly assumed for most standard response surface methods and the Hoerl model regression, a nonlinear alternative to quadratic response. Actual nutrient element values were compared with the values predicted by each regression model and then also evaluated to see if the visual symptomology of yellowing related to those nutrient concentrations in leaves. The Hoerl model demonstrated better ability to detect biologically relevant nonlinear two-, three-, and four-way nutrient interactions. Though there was minimal replication this model characterized the treatment effects while keeping the size of the experiment manageable both in terms of time (labor) and cost of plant analyses. Additionally, it was shown that when S, Fe, and/or Mn were deficient along with N, their visual deficiency symptoms were masked by the overall yellowing associated with N deficiency. This model is recommended as the initial experiment in a series where scientists are looking to expand information already determined for two factors. Other treatment systems that this can be used with include: levels of irrigation, pesticides, and plant growth regulators.

Free access

Li-Chun Huang, Ellen T. Paparozzi and Carol Gotway

`Dark Yellow Fuji Mefo' chrysanthemums (Dendranthema grandiflora Tzvelev.) were grown hydroponically with either 64, 127, or 254 mg·L-1 N and either 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64 mg·L-1 S in a randomized complete block. Time to flower was measured and symptoms of S deficiency were observed on root, stem, and leaf systems. New leaves and inflorescences were analyzed for S, and lower leaves were analyzed for N concentration. There were four sampling dates and two experiments. Flower diameter was measured when flowers were present, while stem length was measured every sampling date. Nitrogen application could be reduced by half to 127 mg·L-1 as long as some S, 4 mg·L-1 in the fall and 8 mg·L-1 in the spring, was applied. Sulfur deficiency symptoms observed included branchless roots, which aged earlier, overall yellowing of new leaves, and reddening on the leaf abaxial starting from older leaves and moving acropetally. Plants receiving no S had smaller leaves, shorter stems, delayed inflorescence initiation, and restricted inflorescence development. Without S, plants did not produce flowers suitable for commercial sale.

Free access

Walter W. Stroup, Stacy A. Adams and Ellen T. Paparozzi

An experiment was performed to investigate the effect of various nitrogen sulfer combinations on the quality of poinsettias. After various physiological measurements were taken, commercial growers, retailers, and consumers were asked to evaluate the salability of the plants. In order to avoid evaluator fatigue, only a limited number of plants could be evaluated. This presented both experimental design and data analysis problems. In view of these constraints, and in order to obtain meaningful results, an unreplicated 7 x 8 factorial design was used. Data were analyzed using the method of half-normal plots in conjunction with a modification of the analysis of variance procedure. Rationale and alternative designs will be presented, as well as the step-by-step procedure for using this method as contrasted with the standard ANOVA technique.

Free access

Oswaldo Macz, Ellen T. Paparozzi, Walter W. Stroup, Terril A. Nell and Ria Leonard

Research on hydroponically grown mums showed that nitrogen (N) levels applied can be reduced when adequate sulfur (S) is also applied. However, changes in stem length, leaf area, and time-to-fl ower can be affected. Our goal was to evaluate whether reduced N levels in combination with S would affect commercial production and post-harvest longevity of pot mums. `White Diamond' was grown in a peat:perlite:vermiculite medium following a commercial production schedule. N levels applied were 50, 100, 150 and 200 mg/L. S levels were 0, 5, 10, 20, and 80 mg/L. The treatment design was a complete factorial 4 × 5 with 20 treatment combinations. The experimental design was a split-plot with N levels as the whole-plot and S levels as the split-plot factor. Variables measured were plant height, leaf area, days to bud set, days to first color, and days to flower opening. Plants were ship to the Univ. of Florida for postharvest evaluation. Data were analyzed using SAS PROC MIXED AND PROC REG. N and S interactions were significant for all variables measured except flower longevity. Plants receiving 0 mg/L S did not produce inflorescences, had shorter stems, and less leaf area regardless of N levels. Plants receiving 50 mg/L N and some S produced inflorescences, but were of inferior quality to plants receiving 100, 150, and 200 mg/L N. Plants receiving 200 mg/L N and 80 mg/L S showed breakdown of plant architecture. Plants of commercial quality were obtained at 100, 150, and 200 mg/L N in combination with either 5, 10, or 20 mg/L S.

Free access

Marci Spaw, Kimberly A. Williams*, Ingrid L. Mallberg, Laurie Hodges and Ellen T. Paparozzi

Case studies promote the development of problem-solving skills, but few have been created for horticulture and related curricula. This web-based decision case presents the challenge of determining the cause of symptoms of foliar chlorosis in a crop of cut Dicentra spectabilis while forcing it for Valentine's Day sales. It provides a tool to promote the development of diagnostic skills for production dilemmas, including nutritional disorders, disease and insect problems, and evaluation of the appropriateness of cultural practices. Cut Dicentra is a minor crop and standard production practices are not well established. Therefore, solving this case requires that students research production protocol as well as nutritional and pest problems to develop a solution. In this case study, which is supported by an image-rich web-based version at www.hightunnels.org/cutflowercasestudy.htm, a grower at Flint's Flower Farm must determine the cause of foliar chlorosis that is slowly appearing on about half of the plants of her cut Dicentra crop. The condition could be related to a number of possible problems including a nutritional disorder, insect attack, disease infection, or production practices. Some resources are provided to aid students in gathering background information. Data accumulated by the grower is presented to allow students to logically eliminate unlikely solutions and predict (a) probable cause(s). The solution, which is rather unique to this crop, is provided. This case study is intended for use in upper-level undergraduate courses of floriculture production, nutrient management, plant pathology, and entomology.

Free access

Christine Meyer, Ellen T. Paparozzi*, Scott J. Josiah and Erin M. Blankenship

Woody floral stems are an emerging specialty crop within the floral industry, and stem color is a key to marketability. This study was conducted to assess stem color change over time in order to determine the optimum window for stem harvest. Plants of `Scarlet curls', `Flame' willow, `Bailey', `Cardinal' and `Yellow twig' dogwood were planted in a randomized complete block design in rows parallel to a windbreak.. Each experimental unit consisted of a group of five plants, each of the same cultivar. Plants were initially tagged at a set height and stem diameter and measured for color. Each stem was also tagged with one of three colored tapes, according to initial color: green for green colored stems, red for stems already showing color change, and pink for intermediate colored stems. Color was assessed initially and on a weekly basis for 10 weeks, starting at the end of September, using the Royal Horticultural Society color chart. Data were analyzed using a repeated measures procedure. `Scarlet curls' and `Flame' stems, already displaying color, attained the darkest color value for their cultivar at an early stage and were at the point of harvest in early November, while stems that were initially green never attained a similar dark color value. `Yellow twig' dogwood stems already displaying color and those beginning to color attained the darkest color value in late November. `Cardinal' stems attained a darker color value more quickly than other dogwood stems. In most cases, stems of `Cardinal' dogwood could be harvested from early October until early December, while early November was the optimum time to harvest `Bailey' dogwood stems. Woody florals planted closest to the windbreak were more variable in color development and, in some cases, appeared to be more vigorous.

Free access

Muharrem Ergun, Ellen T. Paparozzi, Dermot P. Coyne, Durward Smith, Stephen Kachman and David S. Nuland

Seedcoat color is an important trait, as it affects marketing and consumer acceptance of pinto beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Pinto breeding line NE 94-4 showed seedcoat yellowing in on-farm field trials in Nebraska in 1996 and 1997. Hail, sprinkler irrigation, and fall rainfall appeared to be involved in increasing seedcoat yellowing, based on analysis of field and weather data of on-farm trial sites. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of moisture on seedcoat yellowing of pinto line NE 94-4 (susceptible) and pinto `UI-114' (highly resistant). Two greenhouse experiments were conducted involving misting of bean plants near maturity and injecting water into maturing bean pods. Another experiment evaluated the response of seeds of these two bean entries to moisture by placing them on moist filter paper in petri dishes in the laboratory. Results showed that both genotype and moisture content are involved in seedcoat yellowing. This simple, cheap, and effective filter paper test was then used to evaluate seedcoat yellowing of nine pinto genotypes in response to moisture. Pinto NE 94-4 and `Kodiak' showed the greatest change, while `Bill Z' showed the least change, in seedcoat color.