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Brian E. Whipker and Ingram McCall

Plant growth retardant (PGR) foliar sprays of daminozide at 4,000 or 8,000 mg·L-1 (ppm) and paclobutrazol drenches of 2 or 4 mg a.i. per pot were applied to `Big Smile', `Pacino', `Sundance Kid', `Sunspot', and `Teddy Bear' pot sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) to compare their chemical height control. Plant height varied among the cultivars due to genetic variation. The percentage reduction in plant height from the untreated control only was significant at the PGR level, indicating similar responses of all five cultivars to each PGR rate. Paclobutrazol drenches at 2 mg and daminozide foliar sprays at 4,000 or 8,000 mg·L-1 reduced plant height by about 24% when compared to the control. Paclobutrazol drenches at 4 mg produced plants that were 33% shorter than the control. Plant diameter of `Big Smile', `Pacino', or `Sundance Kid' was unaffected by daminozide, whereas `Sunspot' plants were smaller than the controls. Paclobutrazol drenches at 2 or 4 mg decreased plant diameter for all cultivars except `Teddy Bear', with the reduction being greater as paclobutrazol drench rates increased. The number of inflorescence buds increased by ≥18% with the use of daminozide sprays, while paclobutrazol drenches at 2 or 4 mg had no effect when compared to the untreated control. Paclobutrazol drenches of 2 or 4 mg offer the economic advantage to growers of increased plant density on greenhouse benches, while plants treated with daminozide had an increased bud count but would require a greater amount of bench space.

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Brian E. Whipker and Shravan Dasoju

Plant growth retardant (PGR) foliar spray treatments (mg•liter–1) of daminozide at 1000 to 16,000; paclobutrazol from 5 to 80; and uniconazole from 2 to 32 were applied to `Pacino' pot sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) to compare their effectiveness at chemical height control. When the first inflorescence opened, the number of days from seeding until flowering, total plant height measured from the pot rim to the top of the inflorescence, inflorescence diameter, and plant diameter were recorded. Total plant height, plant diameter, inflorescence diameter, and days until flowering were significant for the PGR treatment interaction. Marketable-sized plants grown in the 1.2-liter pots were produced with uniconazole concentrations between 16 and 32 mg•liter–1 or with daminozide concentrations between 4000 and 8000 mg•liter–1. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays up to 80 mg•liter–1 had little effect and higher concentrations or medium drench treatments should be considered.

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Brian E. Whipker and Shravan Dasoju

Plant growth retardant (PGR) foliar sprays (in mg·L−1) of daminozide at concentrations from 1,000 to 16,000; paclobutrazol from 5 to 80; and uniconazole from 2 to 32 were applied to `Pacino' potted sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) to compare their effectiveness at chemical height control. Plants were grown in 650-mL or 1.2-L pots. When the first inflorescence started to shed pollen, number of days from seeding until anthesis, total plant height measured from the pot rim to the top of the inflorescence, inflorescence diameter, and plant diameter were recorded. There was no significant difference in plant height between `Pacino' plants grown in 650-mL or 1.2-L pots. Total plant height, plant diameter, inflorescence diameter, and days until flowering were significant for the PGR treatment main effect. Marketable-sized plants grown in the 1.2-L pots were produced with uniconazole concentrations from 16 to 32 mg·L−1 or with daminozide concentrations from 4,000 to 8,000 mg·L−1. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays up to 80 mg·L−1 had little effect, and higher foliar spray concentrations or substrate drench treatments may be needed to effectively control height.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) plants of cultivars Osaka White and Nagoya Red were treated with paclobutrazol and uniconazole as foliar sprays or substrate drenches. These treatments were compared to the industry standard of daminozide foliar sprays. Applying drenches of paclobutrazol (a.i.) at 4 mg/pot or uniconazole (a.i.) at 1 mg/pot (28,350 mg = 1.0 oz) resulted in 6% or 17%, respectively, shorter `Osaka White' plants while a 2 mg/pot paclobutrazol drench or a uniconazole drench at 0.25 mg/pot resulted in 25% shorter `Nagoya Red' plants. Although effective, the expense of substrate drenches for both plant growth regulators (PGRs) would not be economically feasible for growers to use. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays at concentrations of up to 80 mg·L-1 (ppm) were ineffective in controlling plant height and diameter of either `Osaka White' or `Nagoya Red'. A uniconazole foliar spray of 16 mg·L-1 resulted in 17% shorter `Nagoya Red' plants and 6% shorter `Osaka White' plants. A daminozide foliar spray of 2500 mg·L-1, sprayed twice, resulted in 21% shorter plants for both cultivars. Spraying daminozide would provide optimal height control for the retail grower. Although spraying daminozide twice controlled plant height and costs half the amount of an uniconazole spray at 16 mg·L-1, plant diameter was not affected with daminozide, therefore a wholesale grower who would desire a smaller diameter plant should use a uniconazole spray of 16 mg·L-1.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Twenty-six ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) cultivars were grown in 8-inch (20.8-cm) diameter pots during Fall 1998 to classify their foliage traits and determine their response to the plant growth regulator (PGR) daminozide. Cultivar vigor was classified by height. Foliage characteristics were described and cultivars of ornamental cabbage, notched ornamental kale, and curly ornamental kale were selected for retail or wholesale markets based on the shortest number of days until a significant center color change, the largest center color diameter, and attractive foliage characteristics. Two cultivars treated with 2,500 ppm (mg·L-1) daminozide and eight cultivars treated with 5,000 ppm were significantly smaller in height compared to nontreated plants. Plants were treated 6 weeks after sowing, and the response to the PGRs may have been diminished by the age of the plant. Therefore, to further investigate PGR efficacy, seven outstanding cultivars selected in 1998 were treated with 5,000 ppm daminozide or 5 ppm uniconazole 14 days after potting (4 weeks after sowing) in Fall 1999. Greater control was observed with daminozide at 5,000 ppm in 1999 with a 13% smaller plant height as compared to 9% in 1998, when compared to the nontreated control. For greater height control, PGR applications to ornamental cabbage and kale should be applied 4 weeks after sowing.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Vigorous osteospermum (Osteospermum ecklonis) cultivars Congo and Wildside received foliar sprays of daminozide or daminozide + chlormequat (Expt. 1). Both cultivars responded similarly to the plant growth regulator (PGR) treatments. Only a limited amount of plant height control occurred using 5,000 mg·L-1 (ppm) daminozide + 1,500 mg·L-1 chlormequat or 5,000 mg·L-1 daminozide + 3,000 mg·L-1 chlormequat. Flowering was delayed, phytotoxicity was observed, while peduncle length increased, suggesting that higher concentrations of daminozide or chlormequat may or not be effective at any concentration and may result in increased phytotoxicity. In Expt. 2, `Lusaka' received foliar sprays or substrate drenches of paclobutrazol or uniconazole. Foliar sprays ≤80 mg·L-1 paclobutrazol or ≤24 mg·L-1 uniconazole were ineffective in controlling plant growth. Substrate drenches of paclobutrazol (a.i.) at 8 to 16 mg/pot (28,350 mg = 1.0 oz) produced compact plants, but at a cost of $0.23 and $0.46/pot, respectively, would not be economically feasible for wholesale producers to use. Uniconazole drenches were effective in producing compact `Lusaka' osteospermum plants. Uniconazole drench concentrations of 0.125 to 0.25 mg/pot were recommended for retail growers, while wholesale growers that desire more compact plants should apply a 0.25 to 0.5 mg/pot drench. Applying uniconazole would cost $0.06 for a 0.25 mg drench or $0.12 for a 0.5 mg drench.

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Brian E. Whipker and P. Allen Hammer

Field studies were conducted on the potential of annual statice as an outdoor cut-flower crop for the Midwestern United States. Data was collected on seven cultivars in 1989 and 42 in 1990. In 1989, total fresh stem weight, stem count, and average stem weight differed significantly among cultivars. Yellow cultivars had more stems harvested than the rose, apricot, and blue cultivars, but stems of the yellow cultivars weighed less. The number of stems harvested over time tended to be concentrated in the first 8 weeks after flowering begins. In 1990, the average stem fresh weight was significantly different among the apricot, blue, and rose cultivars, but the number of stems harvested was significantly different only between the blue and rose cultivars.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) plants of cultivars `Osaka White' and `Nagoya Red' were treated with paclobutrazol and uniconazole as foliar sprays or soil drenches. These treatments were compared to the industry standard of daminozide foliar sprays. Ten plant growth regulator (PGR) drench treatments (in mg a.i./pot) were applied 22 days after potting: paclobutrazol at 1 to 16 and uniconazole at 0.125 to 2. Thirteen PGR foliar sprays (in mg/L) were also applied: paclobutrazol at 5 to 80, uniconazole at 2 to 32, daminozide at 2500, 2500 (twice, with the second application occurring 14 days later), or 5000, and an untreated control. Applying drenches of paclobutrazol at 4 mg or uniconazole at 0.5 mg controlled height by 16 to 25%, but at the cost of $0.11 per pot would not be economically feasible for growers to use. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays at concentrations of up to 80 mg/L were ineffective in controlling plant height and diameter of either `Osaka White' or `Nagoya Red'. Uniconazole foliar sprays between 2 and 8 mg/L were effective in controlling height (by 19%) and diameter (by 15%) as daminozide foliar sprays of 2500 mg/L, sprayed twice, with a cost to the grower of $0.02 per pot.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Twenty-six ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) cultivars were transplanted into 20.8-cm (8-inch) pots in Fall 1998 to classify their foliage traits and determine their response to the plant growth regulator (PGR) daminozide. Daminozide foliar sprays were applied at 0, 2500, or 5000 mg·L–1 (ppm) 3 weeks after potting. Two cultivars treated with 2500 mg.L-1 and eight cultivars treated with 5000 mg·L–1 were significantly smaller in height when compared to the nontreated plants. Using the Range/lsd formula, the vigor of the cultivars was classified by height. Foliage characteristics were described and cultivars of ornamental cabbage, notched ornamental kale, and curly ornamental kale were selected based on the shortest number of days until a significant center color change and the largest center color diameter. In Fall 1999, recommended cultivars selected in 1998 were treated with daminozide at 5000 mg·L–1 or uniconazole at 5 mg·L–1 14 days after potting, plus a nontreated control. All cultivars responded similarly to the PGRs with greater control being observed with daminozide with a smaller plant height of 13% as compared to 6% for uniconazole. For effective height control, PGR applications to ornamental cabbage and kale should be applied 2 weeks after potting.

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Brian E. Whipker and P. Allen Hammer

Chemical plant growth retardant (PGR) treatments (mg·liter–1) were applied as foliar sprays to three zonal geranium cultivars: chlormequat at 1500, applied two, three, and four times, a combination of chlormequat at 750 and daminozide at 1250, applied one and two times, and paclobutrazol applied once at 5, 10, 20, and 30; twice at 5, 10, and 15; and three times at 5, plus an untreated control. Two paclobutrazol drench treatments at 0.1 and 0.25 mg a.i. per pot were also applied. The results of the PGR applications were significant at the cultivar × treatment interaction for leaf canopy height and plant diameter. Paclobutrazol rates of 10 to 15 mg·liter–1 resulted in acceptable height control for `Medallion Dark Red' and `Aurora'. `Pink Satisfaction' is a less vigorous cultivar and lower paclobutrazol rates of 5 to 10 mg·liter–1 were more suitable. When the total concentration of the single and multiple applications were compared, no additional height control was realized with the multiple applications of paclobutrazol.