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  • Author or Editor: John. E. Erwin x
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The interaction among temperature, photoperiod, and irradiance on survival of Chamaecereus silvestrii (yellow sport) flat-grafted onto Hylocereus trigonus Haw. rootstock was studied in an effort to understand the basis for elevated scion necrosis during winter. Plants were placed in glasshouses maintained at 12, 16, 20, or 24 °C under either daylight (moles per day), 66% daylight or daylight + 100 μmol·s−1·m−2 irradiance levels. Plants were grown with an 8-hour (short day) or 8-hour + 4-hour night interruption (long day) photoperiod. Cactus scion necrosis increased under short days and a growing temperature of 12 °C and was nearly eliminated by long-day conditions and a growing temperature of 16 °C. Irradiance did not affect scion necrosis. Plant quality rating was highest when plants were grown under long-day conditions at 16 °C.

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Wind, touching, and/or mechanical stress can restrict stem elongation. Removal of the registration of the growth retardant daminozide for use on edible crops increased interest in thigmotropic inhibition of stem elongation to control plant height in greenhouse crops, as well as a general desire by growers to decrease chemical inputs for floriculture crops. Since stem elongation varies diurnally, the question arises as to whether wind inhibition of stem elongation varies over a 24-hour period. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) `MoneyMaker' and cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) `Imperial Pink' seedlings were placed under each of 10 wind perturbation treatments [applied for different durations and at different times during a 24-hour period; wind speed (perpendicular to the media) at seedling level was 30 km·h–1 (18.6 mph)] for 30 days. Data were collected on plant height and leaf number on days 1 and 30. The effect of wind on stem elongation differed with species; wind treatments restricted stem elongation more on cosmos than tomato (53% and 20%, respectively, across treatments). Tomato elongation was most restricted when seedlings received wind all day, all night, or all day and night. Within short-term treatments, internode length was least when tomato seedlings received a mid-day wind treatment. Cosmos elongation was most restricted when seedlings received a wind treatment all day or all night. Within short-term treatments, cosmos internode elongation was most restricted with early- and mid-day wind treatments. Data here suggest wind effects on elongation vary diurnally. In addition, the magnitude of wind effects on elongation varied with species and was greatest during the beginning of the day on cosmos, which mirrors when stem elongation is most sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

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One-time spray applications [about 6 mL (0.2 fl oz)] of chlormequat chloride [1000 or 2000 mg·L-1 (ppm)], daminozide (2500 or 5000 mg·L-1), paclobutrazol (20 or 40 mg·L-1) and uniconazole (5 or 10 mg·L-1) varied in efficacy in reducing Hibiscus coccineus (Medic.) Walt., H. radiatus Cav., and H. trionum L. (flower-of-an-hour) stem elongation. Chlormequat chloride inhibited stem elongation of all species, with a 2000 mg·L-1 application reducing stem length of H. coccineus, H. radiatus, and H. trionum by 87%, 42%, and 52%, respectively, compared to untreated plants, 28 d after application. Paclobutrazol also inhibited stem elongation of all species. Uniconazole reduced stem elongation of H. coccineus and H. radiatus, but not H. trionum. Daminozide applied at 5000 mg·L-1 reduced H. radiatus stem elongation only. Growth retardants examined in this study did not delay flowering of H. trionum, the only species that flowered during the experiment. (Chemical names used: ancymidol (α-cyclopropyl-α-(4-methoxyphenol)-5-pyrimidinemethonol), chlormequat chloride(2-chloroethyltrimethylammonium chloride), paclobutrazol ((+)-(R*,R*)-beta((4-chlorophenyl)methyl)-alpha-(1,1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ethanol), daminozide ([butanedioic acid mono(2,2-dimethylhydrazide)], uniconazol-P ((E)-(+)-(s)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)pent-1-ene-3-ol)).

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Our objective in this study was to identify the effects of the photosynthetic daily light integral (DLI) on growth and flowering of six kalanchoe (Kalanchoe) species: Kalanchoe glaucescens, christmas tree plant (K. laciniata), chandelier plant (K. manginii), shovel leaf kalanchoe (K. nyikae), common kalanchoe or nentabos (K. rotundifolia), and velvet leaf kalanchoe (K. velutina). Plants were grown under an 8-hour photoperiod with a DLI of 4.3, 8.6, or 17.2 mol·m−2·d−1. Node numbers below the terminal inflorescence on K. glaucescens, K. manginii, K. nyikae, and K. rotundifolia decreased as the DLI increased, whereas node numbers of K. laciniata and K. velutina were unaffected by DLI. Time to first open flower of K. glaucescens, K. nyikae, and K. rotundifolia was unaffected by the DLI, whereas increasing the DLI from 4.3 to 17.2 mol·m−2·d−1 reduced the time to first open flower of K. laciniata, K. manginii, and K. velutina. Total flowers for all species increased as the DLI exceeded 4.3 mol·m−2·d−1. Shoot heights of K. glaucescens and K. rotundifolia increased as the DLI increased from 4.3 to 8.6 mol·m−2·d−1, whereas shoot height of K. nyikae decreased as the DLI increased from 4.3 to 17.2 mol·m−2·d−1; shoot heights of K. laciniata, K. manginii and K. velutina were unaffected by DLI. Dry weight gain increased for all species as the DLI exceeded 4.3 mol·m−2·d−1.

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Our objectives were to assess the efficacy of various plant growth regulators (PGRs) on stem elongation and branching of 11 kalanchoe (Kalanchoe) species with ornamental characteristics: beauvard’s widow’s-thrill (K. beauvardii), K. glaucescens, lavender scallops or red-leaved kalanchoe (K. fedtschenkoi), K. longiflora, chandelier plant (K. manginii), marnier’s kalanchoe (K. marnieriana), K. millotii, flower dust plant (K. pumila), K. rosei, common kalanchoe or nentabos (K. rotundifolia), and K. streptantha. Foliar spray applications of deionized water, ancymidol (15−60 ppm), benzyladenine (75−300 ppm), chlormequat chloride (750−3000 ppm), daminozide (1250−5000 ppm), ethephon (250−1000 ppm), paclobutrazol (10−40 ppm), or uniconazole (5−20 ppm) were applied 2 weeks after plants were pinched. Stem length at the time of application and 4 weeks after applications and branch number were recorded. While effective chemicals and concentrations varied widely among species, paclobutrazol and uniconazole were identified as providing broad efficacy with respect to inhibition of stem elongation across all 11 species in this study. Additionally, benzyladenine and ethephon increased the number of branches for several species.

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Effect of media type, cultivar, and indole-3 butyric acid (IBA) application on Clematis spp. stem cutting rooting was studied. Cutting survival across all treatments was highest on `Comtesse de Bouchard' and `Gypsy Queen' cuttings and lowest on `Jackmani' cuttings. Cutting survival was greatest in perlite and lowest in peat-perlite-vermiculite. IBA application increased `Jackmani' cutting survival only. Time of root emergence was longest on `Jackmani' and least on `Gypsy Queen' cuttings across treatments. Root emergence occurred first in sand and perlite and last in peat-perlite across treatments. Root dry mass on cuttings from `Jackmani' and Clematis viticella purpurea plena elegens plants were unaffected by medium type. In contrast, root dry mass on `Comtesse de Bouchard' cuttings was highest in perlite and root dry mass on `Gypsy Queen' cuttings was highest in sand, perlite, and peat-perlite-vermiculite. The best media for propagating clematis were sand and perlite. Benefits to rooting cuttings in sand or perlite were similar, except rooting cuttings in perlite resulted in higher cutting root dry mass.

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The role of irradiance and/or ethylene in inducing mortality and self-branching disorders in Gerbera jamesonii Bolus. seedlings was studied. Seedling mortality increased from 8% to 57% when seed was covered with vermiculite than left uncovered during germination. Supplemental lighting for 30 days after germination decreased seedling mortality and decreased the time to visible bud compared to seed germinated under natural light only. In subsequent experiments, seeds were germinated and then seedlings were water logged or sprayed with ethephon (0.69, 3.45, or 17.25 mM) at four different stages of seedling development. Half of the ethephon-treated seedlings were sprayed with silver thiosulfate (STS). Seedling mortality was greatest after cotyledon expansion but before expansion of the first tree leaf. The highest ethephon concentration caused reduced seedling dry weight after 42 days. Applying STS did not overcome self-branching or meristem necrosis.

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