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  • Author or Editor: Yin-Tung Wang x
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Seedling transplants produced for early fall and spring establishment of commercial vegetable crops in the Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley rapidly develop excessive shoot growth if field plantings are delayed. Therefore, several varieties of pepper, watermelon, muskmelon, and tomato transplants were treated at the 2-3 leaf stage by foliar spray with 0, 4, 8, or 12 ppm of the triazole growth retardant, uniconazole. The seedlings were field transplanted 3 weeks later. Total heights taken at the time of transplanting indicated significant varietal differences in responses to the treatments. After 60 days in the field, one of the 5 pepper varieties continued to express retarded growth. However, the uniconazole treatment stimulated early fruiting in 2 of the varieties. Tomato seedlings appeared to overcome the stunting within the first 60 days after transplanting while muskmelon and watermelon remained slightly dwarfed. Additional data on total growth and yield in response to the growth retarding treatments will be presented for each of the vegetable varieties.

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Experiments were conducted to determine how nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) rate and fertilizer termination time affect the growth and flowering of a Dendrobium nobile Lindl. hybrid, Dendrobium cv Red Emperor ‘Prince’. Nitrogen, P, and K were tested in separate experiments as a factorial combination of five rates and three termination dates (1 Sept., 1 Oct., and 1 Nov. 2005). Nitrogen and K rates were 0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 mg·L−1. Phosphorus rates were 0, 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg·L−1. Levels of the nutrients not being tested were held constant. For all nutrients, ending fertilization on 1 Sept. resulted in greater or similar pseudobulb thickness compared with ending fertilization on 1 Oct. or 1 Nov. Pseudobulbs grew taller as the N rate increased, peaking at 100 and 200 mg·L−1. There were interactions between the N rate and fertilizer termination time on all reproductive characteristics. For all fertilizer termination times, flower number increased once N was applied. When ended on 1 Nov., 200 and 400 mg·L−1 N caused a delay to reach anthesis. All P rates resulted in taller plants with equally more nodes when compared with 0 mg·L−1. As the K rate increased from 0 to 100 mg·L−1, plant height increased, with no further increase at higher rates. The number of leaves remaining increased as N and K rates increased up to 200 mg·L−1. Total flower number and flowering node number increased as the K rate increased to 100 mg·L−1 (terminated on 1 Sept.) or 50 mg·L−1 (terminated on 1 Oct. or 1 Nov.). In the fourth experiment, only N was ended at four termination times, whereas all other nutrients continued to be supplied until flowering. Control plants received all fertilizer elements until flowering. The duration of N application did not affect vegetative or flowering characteristics. No aerial shoots were observed as a result of prolonged application of N at all rates. In summary, 100 mg·L−1 N, 25 mg·L−1 P, and 100 mg·L−1 K are recommended for optimal vegetative growth and reproductive development of Dendrobium cv Red Emperor ‘Prince’.

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The flowering time and flower quality of three hybrid Dendrobium nobile cultivars in relation to light intensity during cooling and duration of vernalization were studied in the first experiment. Mature Dendrobium Red Emperor ‘Prince’, Den. Sea Mary ‘Snow King’, and Den. Love Memory ‘Fizz’ plants were vernalized at 10 °C under 300 to 350 μmol·m−2·s−1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) (12-h photoperiod) or darkness, each with four cooling durations (2, 4, 6, or 8 weeks). Plants were forced in a greenhouse after vernalization. At least 4 weeks of 10 °C cooling in light was needed for complete flower initiation of Den. Red Emperor ‘Prince’, whereas Den. Sea Mary ‘Snow King’ and Den. Love Memory ‘Fizz’ only needed 2 weeks of 10 °C cooling regardless of light. For all three cultivars, darkness during vernalization slightly delayed flowering and resulted in fewer but larger flowers. Longer cooling duration delayed flowering, decreased flower longevity, and produced more and larger flowers. In a second experiment, Den. Love Memory ‘Fizz’ plants were vernalized at 15 °C for 4 weeks under a 12-h photoperiod and PPF of 0, 50, 100, or 200 μmol·m−2·s−1. Compared with 200 μmol·m−2·s−1, low PPF at 50 or 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 did not affect flowering time or flower qualities; however, darkness delayed flowering and reduced flower qualities except flower diameter.

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Abstract

Pot-grown ‘Angie Physic’ hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.) plants at the tight bud and blooming stages were stored in darkness for 3, 6, or 9 days at 4.5, 10.0, 15.5, 21.0, 26.5, or 32.0C, and then placed in a greenhouse for 21 days. Plants showed the least amount of damage at 10.0 or 15.5C or when stored for 3 days. Plants stored at 10.0 or 15.5C had delayed flowering, larger and more flowers, less flower bud and leaf abscission, and a higher plant quality. Storage for 6 or 9 days resulted in plants with smaller and fewer flowers, greater bud and leaf abscission, less fresh weight, and a lower quality.

Open Access

Abstract

Flowering performance of crossandra, a potted flowering plant rising in popularity, is not always satisfactory under low interior light levels. However, research has not been conducted to determine the response of this species to low light levels and lighting duration. The response of plants to light conditions is variable. Aphelandra plants were taller but had suppressed flowering under low light (5).

Open Access

Case-cooled bulbs of Lilium longiflorum `Nellie White' were forced to flowering. When the tepals on the first primary flower bud split, plants were placed at 2 °C in the dark for 0, 4, or 21 days. After storage, plants were placed in a postharvest evaluation room with constant 21 °C and 18 μmol·m-2·-1 cool-white fluorescent light. Lower leaves, upper leaves, and tepals of the first primary flower from a concurrent set of plants were harvested for carbohydrate analysis using HPLC. Storage time did not affect carbohydrate levels in the lower leaf or tepal samples, but sucrose and starch levels decreased while glucose and fructose levels increased in the upper leaf tissue with increasing storage time. These changes were correlated with a decrease in postharvest longevity for the first four primary flowers. Longevity of the fifth primary flower and total postharvest life of the five primary flowers was unaffected by storage.

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The effects of cooling temperature [constant (10, 13, 15, or 18 °C, or 15, 18, or 21 °C)] and duration (2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks, or 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 weeks) at two separate locations (College Station and Weslaco, TX) on growth and flowering of Dendrobium Sea Mary ‘Snow King’, a Dendrobium nobile Lindl. hybrid, were investigated and the cooling requirement for flowering was quantified. Interactions between temperature and cooling duration were significant on time required to reach anthesis from either the beginning or completion of cooling, average flower number per flowering node, and percentage of nodes with aborted buds. Increasing cooling duration from 2 to 6 or 3 to 7 weeks resulted in less time to reach anthesis after the completion of cooling. However, the increased cooling durations extended the time needed for producing a flowering crop. Plants cooled at a relatively higher temperature among 10, 13, and 15 °C required less time to reach anthesis after the completion of cooling. Plants had more flowering nodes and total flowers when cooled at 10, 13, or 15 °C than at 18 °C in College Station or at 15 or 18 °C than at 21 °C in Weslaco. The results suggest that 3 weeks at 13 °C has saturated the cooling requirement, and 3 weeks at 13 or 15 °C is a recommended cooling treatment that saves production cost without retarding flower development.

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Hybrids of Dendrobium nobile Lindl. have high potential to become a high-value pot plant, but detailed research to support the development of commercial production protocols was lacking. A 3 × 5 factorial experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of nutrient termination date (1 Aug., 1 Sept., or 1 Oct.) and nutrient reapplication time (at the beginning or in the middle of cooling, immediately after or 2 weeks after the completion of cooling, or no nutrient reapplication) on growth and flower development of Dendrobium Sea Mary ‘Snow King,’ a D. nobile hybrid. Interaction between nutrient termination date and reapplication time on growth and flowering was nonsignificant for all variables measured, and reapplication time had only a minor effect on leaves remaining. Regardless of nutrient reapplication time, delaying nutrient termination date resulted in improved growth and flowering. Nutrient termination on 1 Oct. resulted in taller plants with more nodes, leaves remaining, flowering nodes, and total flowers as well as fewer aborted flowers than an earlier termination date. Nutrient supply until 1 Oct. did not lead to differences in time required for anthesis but extended the time needed to reach full flowering by 1.5 d. The results suggest that flower development benefited more from the nutrients that were accumulated in mature pseudobulbs before nutrient termination rather than from those being taken from the reapplied fertilizers. Only lateral buds protruding 2 mm or more from the pseudobulb surface showed differentiated floral structures when examined histologically. The buds, excised 4 weeks after cooling treatments began, showed that nutrient termination on 1 Aug. resulted in larger flower primordia than those ended on 1 Oct., indicating an earlier or faster flower differentiation with earlier nutrient termination. No aerial shoot formation or reversion of reproductive to vegetative buds arose as a result of either late nutrient termination or resumption of nutrient application.

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