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- Author or Editor: A. E. Einert x
The effects of several concn of growth retardant chemicals on the elongation of the last stem internode of cut tulips were studied. Compared to tap water, α-cyclopropyl-α-(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidine-methanol (ancymidol) at 25 ppm reduced intemode growth by 31% with no detrimental effects on vase life or flower quality. The 2,4-dichlorobenzyl-tributylphos-phonium chloride (CBBP) was ineffective at 6-25 ppm. CBBP at 125 did reduce stem elongation but was toxic to the flower. Ancymidol in the vase solution retarded growth without altering water uptake by the stem.
New clay pots were soaked in solutions of ancymidol [α-cyclopropyl-α-(p-methox-phenyl)-5-pyrimidinemethanol] of 5-100 ppm prior to filling with soil and the planting of cuttings of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd.). Ancymidol was released from the impregnated pot by irrigation during the growing period. Pot soak concentration of 40 ppm appeared optimum for height control of the ‘C-l Red’ and ‘C-l New Pink’ poinsettias while less than 20 ppm was necessary to control height and avoid phototoxidity to ‘C-l White’. Ancymidol residue from used impregnated pots was above 50 ppm and a detergent pot wash was effective in reducing residue.
Potting media containing parboiled rice hulls as a sand or soil substitute were compared to a soil-sand-peat mix for the production of potted Lilium longiflorum Thunb. cv. Ace under 3 forcing systems: precooling (PC), natural cooling (NC), and controlled temperature forcing (CTF). Plants grown in media containing rice hulls were delayed in flowering (2-3 days) and possessed more flower buds (0.9 buds) independently of forcing system with no effect on stem ht and root dry wt at bloom time. NC and CTF reduced forcing time, and increased stem ht and flower no. over PC. Rice hulls-sand-peat mix increased leaf no. by approx 10 leaves per stem over soil-sand-peat mix under PC or NC but in soil-sand-peat mix, CTF plants had 11 to 15 more leaves per stem than PC and NC plants. Rice hulls in the potting media resulted in lighter wt and improved drainage.
The frequency of purchase of cut flowers is influenced by the vase life of the stems in the consumer's home. We are attempting to find a preservative solution made of common household products to extend the vase life of cut roses. We conducted a survey of local garden club members to find what recipes they use. We compared several home recipes against three commercial preservatives and tap water. Two treatments were better than plain tap water: 1) a mixture of 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1 aspirin tablet (325 mg), and 1 tablespoon sugar in 700 ml of water; and 2) a mixture of 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 tablespoon bleach in 700 ml of water. These treatments yielded a vase life of 9 and 8.3 days, respectively, as compared to 2.3 days for water. These treatments also proved clearly better than the three commercial preservatives tested. Changing plain water daily did not appreciably extend vase life over allowing water to remain for the entire life of the following stem. We found no relationship between water uptake and vase life; however, solution pH below 5.0 was necessary for extended vase life.
Iris rhizomes were dug and graded by size. One hundred rhizomes, avg. wt. 23.4 g., were singly potted in 6 inch plastic standard pots. The pots were plunged, to the pot rim, into fresh sawdust, in an open coldframe.
After 4 weeks in the coldframe, and at subsequent two week intervals, pots were brought into a greenhouse for forcing. Half of each group was forced under long day conditions by night break, following a natural daylength. The other half received continuous lighting. Forcing studies were terminated when irises in the field bloomed.
Bloom dates were similar under long days and continuous light treatments. The highest percentage of plants bloomed under long days. Stalk heights at anthesis averaged 12 to 18 in. Stalk height decreased as natural cooling time increased in plants under long days, but not under continuous light. Plants with shorter flower stalks also had shorter foliage.
Rhizomes of Iris germanica L. `Pretty Please' were stored either dry at 21°C or potted at 10°C for 0, A, 9, 11, 13, 15, or 17 weeks. After storage, dry rhizomes were potted and placed in a forcing greenhouse. Potted rhizomes were removed from the 10°C cooler and placed in the same greenhouse. Both were forced under longdays(16 hr). A control group with no rhizome storage received natural daylength. Plants flowered without rhizome storage if grown under longdays. Four weeks of rhizome storage (cool or warm) significantly hastened flowering of potted irises over those receiving no rhizome storage, as well as producing the highest percentage of flowering plants. Potted rhizomes chilled for 17 weeks had the shortest forcing period, but only 50% of plants flowered. Plants receiving natural daylength did not flower. Greenhouse forced plants did not produce more than three flowers per scape. Foliage height at flowering decreased significantly after 15 weeks of cool rhizome storage.
Parboiled rice hulls were used in growing media for tulips ‘Hibernia’ and ‘Paul Richter’ grown by the rooting room method for cut flowers. Three-component media of 1 rice hulls: 1 sand. 1 peat (v/v/v), 1 soil: 1 rice hulls: 1 peat and 2 component mixes of 1 rice hulls: 1 peat and 1 soil: 1 rice hulls were compared to standard media of 1 soil: 1 sand:l peat and 1 sand:l peat. Media containing rice hulls produced tulip plants equal to those produced in standard media and the 1 soil: 1 rice hulls medium significantly increased root growth. Rice hulls comprising 1/3 to 1/2 of the growing medium had no appreciable effect on pH, soluble salts, or nutrient element levels of the mix. Leaf tissue analyses also indicated that rice hulls did not contribute nutrients for tulip growth. Media containing rice hulls were lighter in weight and enabled easier handling of the flats. Rice hull media did not pack in the flats; and therefore, facilitated easier harvesting of the tulip plant with the bulb attached.
Naturally cooled lily plants from bulbs potted with their apices 1/2—inch deep or deeper, sustained no cold damage when exposed to temperatures as low as 23°F. Shallower bulb plantings and exposure of a portion of the bulb resulted in cold injury. The number of killed and damaged plants increased with increased bulb exposure. Planting of the bulb with its apex 1/2—inch deep or shallower reduced forcing time by four days as compared to bulbs placed on the drainage gravel at the bottom of the pots. Depths of 1/4 exposure or deeper had no effect on plant height nor any consistent effect on flower bud number.
Highest quality of plants of greenhouse-grown ‘Captain Gallant’ iris as measured by plant growth and root and foliar quality were produced at pH levels of 8.0 and 9.0 in hydroponic culture and at pH levels of 7.0 to 9.5 using field soil. Plant foliage appeared to increase in quality with increases in alkalinity.
The effects of a mulch material on nutrient availability remain questionable. As organic materials decompose, the increased activity of microorganisms immobilizes nutrients (particularly nitrogen) to preform this process. The decomposition of mulch material and the activity of microorganisms may then compete for nutrients applied to ornamental species in the landscape. To examine this question, four widely available mulch materials (pine bark, cypress pulp, pine straw, and cottonseed hulls) and three fertilizer application methods (granule, liquid, and time release), which were applied either above or below the mulch, were established. Beds with and without mulch cover and no fertilization were established as controls. Marigolds, Tagetes erecta `Hybrid Gold', were planted within the beds. Growth response was found to be greatest in beds with cottonseed hulls. Cottonseed hulls are reported to have a high nitrogen content of their own that may influence less immobilization of nitrogen for decomposition. Beds using pinebark showed significant reduction in plant growth. Fertilization application method also demonstrated significant differences in plant response. The use of a granule fertilizer produced the greatest growth response although initial plant loss was observed in beds using this method. The fast release nature of granule fertilizer and potential toxicity were the suspected reason for this observation. Growth data indicated plant performance was unaffected by fertilizer placement.