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Yin-Tung Wang and Elise A. Konow

Vegetatively propagated Phalaenopsis Atien Kaala `TSC 22' plants 10 cm in leaf spread were potted in a medium that consisted of either 100% fine grade Douglas fir bark or a mixture of 70% fir bark and 30% sphagnum peat. Plants were fertigated at each irrigation with 10N-13.1P-16.6K (10-30-20), 20N-2.2P-15.8K (20-5-19), 20N-8.6P-16.6K (20-20-20), or a 2N-0.4P-1.7K (2-1-2) liquid fertilizer at a common N rate of 200 mg•L-1. After 1 year in a greenhouse, plants grown in the bark/peat medium produced more leaves and had heavier fresh weights and larger total leaf areas than those in 100% bark. In the bark medium, the 20N-2.2P-15.8K fertilizer resulted in best plants, despite its low P concentration (22 mg•L-1). When grown in bark/peat, the two fertilizers (20N-2.2P-15.8K and 20N-8.6P-16.6K) containing urea as part of their N source (10% and 52%, respectively) resulted in plants with 40% to 50% heavier shoot fresh weight and 40% larger leaf area than the other fertilizers. With any given fertilizer, plants had similar root weights in both media. Media and fertilizers had limited or no effect on the concentrations of minerals in the second mature acropital leaves except P, the concentration of which nearly doubled in leaves of plants grown in 100% bark. Water extracts from the bark/peat medium had lower pH, higher EC, and elevated levels of NH4-N, Ca, Fe, Na, Cl, B, and Al than those from 100% bark. Exacts from the bark medium did not have detectable levels of NO3-N, whereas extracts from the bark/peat medium all had similar levels of NO3-N, regardless of which fertilizer was applied.

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Elise A. Konow and Yin-Tung Wang

Presently, there are no standards for producing Phalaenopsis Blume (the moth orchids) as a flowering, potted crop. Determining optimal irradiance for in vitro and greenhouse production will help optimize growth and flowering. Four-month-old, aseptically propagated Phalaenopsis Atien Kaala seedlings with 1.0 cm leaf spread were transferred to a sterile agar medium in November 1995. They were placed under 10, 20, 40, or 80 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) from cool-white fluorescent lamps. In June 1996, plants grown under 40 or 80 μmol·m-2·s-1 in vitro PPF had 38% greater fresh weight (FW), wider leaves, and more roots than those under the two lower PPF levels. Plants from each in vitro PPF were then transplanted and grown ex vitro in a greenhouse (GH) under high, medium, or low PPF, representing 12.0%, 5.4%, or 2.6% of full sunlight, respectively. Full sunlight at this location was 2300 and 1700 μmol·m-2·s-1 in August 1996 and January 1997, respectively. In November 1996 and June 1997, plants that had received 40 μmol·m-2·s-1 in vitro PPF and then grown under the high or medium GH PPF had the greatest FWs. Overall, plants under the high, medium, or low GH PPF had average FWs of 61, 36, or 17 g, respectively, in June 1997. By mid-September 1997, plants had increasingly larger leaves and higher concentrations of malic acid, sucrose, and starch as GH PPF increased. Leaf glucose and fructose concentrations remained constant as GH PPF increased; however, sucrose level doubled and malic acid concentration increased by nearly 50% from the low to high GH PPF. Each doubling in GH PPF more than doubled plant FW. Plants grown under the high, medium, or low GH PPF had 98%, 77%, or 2% flowering, respectively, in Spring 1998. Anthesis occurred 2 weeks earlier under the high GH PPF. Plants grown under the high GH PPF had twice as many flowers and larger flowers than those grown under the medium PPF.

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Yin-Tung Wang and Elise A. Konow

Research was conducted to investigate the interaction of water-soluble fertilizer and medium composition on vegetative growth and the concentration of mineral nutrients in media and in leaves of a hybrid moth orchid (Phalaenopsis Blume.). The vegetatively propagated `TSC 22' clone of the hybrid Phalaenopsis Atien Kaala plants 15 cm in leaf spread were potted in a medium consisting of either 100% fine grade douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] bark or a mixture of 7 fir bark: 3 sphagnum peat (by volume). Plants were fertigated at each irrigation with a soluble 10N-13.1P-16.6K, 20N-2.2P-15.8K, or 20N-8.6P-16.6K fertilizer, or a 2N-0.4P-1.7K liquid fertilizer at a common N rate of 200 mg·L-1. After 1 year in a greenhouse, plants grown in the bark-peat medium produced more leaves, greater fresh weights (FW), and larger total leaf areas than those in 100% bark. In the bark medium, the 20N-2.2P-15.8K fertilizer resulted in plants of the highest quality, despite its low P concentration (22 mg·L-1). When grown in bark-peat, the two fertilizers (20N-2.2P-15.8K and 20N-8.6P-16.6K) containing urea as part of their N source (10% and 52%, respectively) resulted in plants with 40% to 50% heavier shoot FW and 40% larger leaf area than the other fertilizers without urea. With any given fertilizer, plants had similar root FW in both media. Media and fertilizers had limited or no effect on the concentrations of mineral nutrients in the second mature acropetal leaves, except P, which nearly doubled in leaves of plants grown in 100% bark. High leaf Mg concentration was associated with low Ca. Water extracts from the bark-peat medium had lower pH, higher electrical conductivity, and much higher levels of NH4-N, Ca, Fe, Na, Cl, B, and Al than those from 100% bark. Extracts from the bark medium did not have detectable levels of NO3-N, whereas extracts from the bark-peat medium all had similar levels of NH4-N, regardless of which fertilizer was applied. Levels of P and K were not different between the two media.