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D.K. Harris, A.D. Owings and S.E. Newman

Poinsettias and other floral crops when treated with the growth retardant uniconazole, Sumagic™, are more compact in growth habit. They have also been shown to have reduced stem strength. Calcium applied as a drench has been demonstrated to increase plant height and plant dry weight of poinsettias. Unicomazole reduced plant height without affecting dry weight. Bract color was more intense when calcium was applied as a weekly spray. Poinsettia plants had greater levels of foliar calcium when applied as a drench. Poinsettia plants sprayed and drenched with calcium and treated with uniconazole had greater levels of foliar calcium, however, this was not significantly greater than the control plants treated with uniconazole alone. The lowest level of foliar calcium was observed in uniconazole treated plants where calcium was applied as a spray. Uniconazole applications weakened the stein structure of poinsettias as with other floral crop species.

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D.K. Harris, A.D. Owings and S.E. Newman

Uniconazole has been demonstrated to not only reduce plant height, but suppress the development of xylem and phloem in stem tissue. Supplemental calcium nutrition in poinsettias has been demonstrated to reduce marginal bract necrosis, reduce leaf puckering and increase stem strength. Studies were conducted to determine the influence of uniconazole on Gutbier V-14 Glory poinsettias grown with supplemental calcium applied either as a foliar spray or a media drench.

Supplemental calcium applications improved the growth habit of uniconazole treated poinsettia plants. Bract coloration was intensified by foliar applications of calcium and uniconazole.

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Allen D. Owings, Warren A. Meadows, Donald L. Fuller and Melinda R. Stewart

Recent studies at Louisiana State University evaluated incorporated rates (0.72, 1.08, and 1.44 kg N/m3) of controlled-release fertilizers (Chrysanthemum Mix 12N-4.4P-14.1K, Osmocote 14N-6.1P-11.6K, and Nutricote Type 70 14N-6.1P-11.6K) on vegetative growth and flowering of `Spears' potted chrysanthemums. Data collected included fresh and dry weight, height, width, flower size, flower number, days to first flower color, and days to flower finish.

Flower characteristics were not greatly affected by fertilizer or application rate. Dry weight increased with an increase in application rate from 0.72 kg N/m3 to 1.44 kg N/m3.

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Allen D. Owings, Warren A. Meadows, Donald L. Fuller and Melinda R. Stewart

Recent studies at Louisiana State University evaluated incorporated rates (0.72, 1.08, and 1.44 kg N/m3) of controlled-release fertilizers (Chrysanthemum Mix 12N-4.4P-14.1K, Osmocote 14N-6.1P-11.6K, and Nutricote Type 70 14N-6.1P-11.6K) on the foliar nutrient composition of `Spears' potted chrysanthemums. Recently mature leaf tissue was sampled at flowering and analyzed for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Mn.

Increasing application rates reduced Ca and M g content in leaf tissue, while N, P, and K increased with an increase in application rates. Chrysanthemum Mix 12N-4.4P-14.1K provided more K to leaf tissue than did Osmocote or Nutricote Type 70 14N-6.1P-11.6K.

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W.C. Dunwell, D. Fare, M.A. Arnold, K. Tilt, G. Knox, W. Witte, P. Knight, M. Pooler, W. Klingeman, A. Niemiera, J. Ruter, T. Yeager, T. Ranney, R. Beeson, J. Lindstrom, E. Bush, A. Owings and M. Schnelle

The Southern Extension and Research Activities/Information Exchange Group-27 (SERA/IEG-27) is sponsored by the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. Thirteen universities and the U.S. National Arboretum cooperate with official representatives from extension and research programs. The objective of the group is to identify, evaluate, select, and disseminate information on superior, environmentally sustainable, landscape plants for nursery crop production and landscape systems in the southeastern U.S. Plants are distributed to members responding to a request from cooperators for plant evaluation. Those who agree to cooperate are expected to grow the selected liner to landscape size, then transplant it in a landscape setting. The plant is rated for insect, disease, and cold damage, heat stress, growth rate, ornamental flowering and fruiting, fall color, commercial production potential, landscape potential, invasiveness potential, and insect disease transmission potential. Growth rate is evaluated annually by recording plant height and width. Initial bloom date is reported followed by bloom duration in days. Following evaluation, the group collectively and individually disseminates information gained from the plant evaluation system to a wide variety of audiences.