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`Blenda', `Leen v.d. Mark', `Monte Carlo', `Negritta' and `Paul Richter' tulip (Tulipa gesneriana) bulbs received a total of 15 weeks of cold (5°C) with 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 weeks applied to dry, unpotted bulbs. The bulbs were then planted, watered, and exposed to cold for the remainder of the 15 weeks. Bulbs receiving up to 10 weeks dry, unpotted cold showed no decrease in flowering percentage and plant quality when compared to bulbs receiving 15 weeks of moist, potted cold. For bulbs receiving 12 weeks of dry cold, flowering percentage was generally lower when compared with 0-10 weeks of dry cold and varied with the cultivar and the year, i.e. 63% of `Paul Richter' and 100% of `Negritta' bulbs receiving 12 weeks of dry cold flowered in year one: whereas, 95% of `Paul Richter' and 70% of `Negritta' bulbs flowered in year two. For all cultivars, bulbs receiving 12 weeks of dry cold had the shortest shoots at the end of the cooling treatment compared with the other treatments. While final height varied significantly with the cultivar in year two, differences were not commercially noticeable. Final height was not influenced in year one.
Three cut-flower species, Ageratum houstonianum `Tall Blue Horizon', Antirrhinum majus `Spring Giants Mix', and Helianthus annuus `Sunrich Orange' were grown in 806, 1801, or 1001 bedding plants flats resulting in 32 (85), 86 (280), and 156 (620) cm2 (mililiter medium)/plant, respectively. Plants were sown Sept. 1997 (fall), Dec. 1997 (winter), or Mar. 1998 (spring). Increasing area per plant decreased number of stems harvested but increased percent of stems harvested for all species. Increasing area per plant increased stem length and selling price for Antirrhinum and Helianthus; no significant difference was noted for Ageratum. Days to anthesis decreased with later planting for Antirrhinum and Helianthus; however, for Ageratum winter planting had the longest crop time and spring planting the shortest. Gross profit per square meter and square meter per week increased with decreasing area per plant for Ageratum and Helianthus; no significant difference was noted for Ageratum. Gross profit per square meter per week increased with later planting for all species. With all species 806 flats or spring planting required frequent irrigation, which would best be supplied by an automated irrigation system. Experiment was repeated in 1998/1999 using Carthamus tinctorius `Lasting Yellow', Celosia argentea `Chief Mix', Cosmos bipinnatus `Early Wonder', Helianthus annuus `Sunbright, Tagetes erecta `Promise Orange' and `Promise Yellow', and Zinnia elegans `Giant Deep Red' and `Oklahoma Mix'.
The postharvest attributes of six specialty cut flower species were studied. First year results indicate that Achillea filipendulina `Coronation Gold' had a vase-life of 10.7 days in deionized water (DI) and can be stored one week at 1.7°C and shipped for one day. Buddeleia davidii (Butterfly Bush) had a vase life of 3.8 days in DI water and tolerated two weeks of cold storage and two days of shipping. Celosia plumosa `Forest Fire' (Plume Celosia) had a vase-life of 5.9 days in DI water and tolerated 2 days of shipping. Cercis canadensis (Redbud) had a vase-life of 9 days in DI water and tolerated one day of shipping. Echinacea purpurea `Bright Star' (Purple Coneflower) had a vase-life of 4.6 days in DI water and tolerated 2 weeks of storage and five days of shipping. Helianthus maximilianii (Maximillian Sunflower) had a vase-life of 6.3 days in DI water and tolerated one week of storage. In addition, silver thiosulfate and 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate increased vase-life of Buddeleia davidii, Celosia plumosa, Echinacea purpurea, and Helianthus maximilianii.
Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White') bulbs were exposed to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks of cold before shoot emergence; 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks of long days (LD) upon shoot emergence; or a combination of cold followed by LD: 1/5 (weeks cold/weeks LD), 2/4,3/3,4/2, or 5/1. Experiments were repeated for three consecutive years. LD did not substitute equally for cold; at least 3 weeks of cold were required before LD treatments resulted in anthesis. Depending on the year, 100% of the plants flowered when treated with 3 to 6 weeks of cold alone or in combination with LD. Days to first flower anthesis from planting increased with decreasing weeks of cold in years 1 and 3, but was similar for all treatments in year 2. Decreasing weeks of cold in combination with LD, however, decreased days to anthesis in years 1 and 2, but had no effect in year 3. Regardless of LD, days from emergence to visible bud increased with decreasing weeks of cold in all years, and days to emergence from placement in the greenhouse increased with decreasing cold in years 1 and 3, but not in year 2. Increasing weeks of cold, regardless of LD, decreased leaf count, but had no effect on plant height. Flower count was unaffected by cold when combined with LD, but was significantly reduced by increasing weeks of cold.
Easter lily bulbs (Lilium longiflorum `Nellie White') were given 6 weeks of cold, placed in the greenhouse and subsequently divided into groups based on emergence date after placement in the greenhouse: 0-6, 7-13, 14-20 and 21-27 days. At emergence bulbs received 0, 1, 2 or 3 weeks of long days (LD). Late-emerging plants had fewer days to visible bud and anthesis from emergence than early-emerging plants; consequently, late-emerging plants flowered within 3-10 days of early emerging plants despite 14-21 days difference in emergence time. Late emerging plants were tallest and middle emerging plants had the highest leaf number. Increasing LD tended to decrease numbers of days from emergence to visible bud and anthesis and increase plant height. LD did not effect leaf or flower number. Interactions between LD and emergence date will be discussed. Experiment was repeated for three consecutive years.
Floricultural producers, cut flower wholesalers, mass market retailers and general retailers were surveyed to compare and contrast the industry in terms of attitudes and problems. Questions involved general business information, as well as specific crops. Overall, all four segments of the industry were neutral to negative on potted flowering plants, but were positive to neutral on bedding and foliage plants. However, producers were slightly negative concerning the postharvest life of bedding plants. While cut flower wholesalers had a positive attitude concerning cut flowers, retailers and mass marketers tended to be neutral to negative. In particular, retailers and mass marketers felt cut flowers were too expensive and too short lived. Floral preservatives were used by 81.6% of general retailers, while only 18.8% of mass market retailers used preservatives. All cut flower wholesalers used preservatives. Capital availability and market demand were the factors most limiting to expansion for producers and general retailers; mass market firms listed competition as their most limiting factor. Results from other questions will also be provided.