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Mauricio J. Sarmiento and Jeff S. Kuehny

Rhizomes of Curcuma alismatifolia `Chiang Mai Pink' and tissue cultured plants of C. cordata, C. petiolata `Emperor', C. thorelii, Kaempferia sp. `Grande', Siphonichilus decora and S. kirkii were grown in a greenhouse under 8-, 12-, 16-, and 20-hour photoperiods. All plants grown under the 8-hour photoperiod became dormant over a 15 week time period. After 90 days, most ginger species grown under the 16- and 20-hour photoperiods were taller than those grown under 8 and 12 hours. A larger number of unfolded leaves was indicated for all ginger species grown under 16- and 20-hour photoperiods compared to those grown under 8- and 12-hour photoperiods except for C. thorelli. The percentage of unfolded leaves as determined by quartile indicated similar results. The number of underground rhizomes of C. alismatifolia, C. cordata, and C. petiolata increased when plants were grown at 16 and 20-hour photoperiods. The number of tuberous-roots (t-roots) increased as photoperiod decreased below 16 hours for C. alismatifolia, C. cordata, C. petiolata, Kaempferia sp. and S. kirkii. Siphonichilus decora produced no t-roots while C. thorelii produced the most t-roots at 16 hours. Vegetative growth of gingers grown in this study, except for C. thorelii, was maintained and increased at photoperiods of 16 and 20 hours.

Photoperiods of 8 and 12 hours induced dormancy and t-root production of most of these gingers.

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Mauricio J. Sarmiento and Jeff S. Kuehny

Curcuma alismatifolia `Chiang Mai Pink' is a tropical perennial from the Zingiberaceae family with attractive flowers that make it useful as potted plant. Curcuma alismatifolia produces a tall inflorescence resulting in an unmarketable plant due to excessive height. Rhizomes of C. alismatifolia were soaked for 10 minutes in GA at concentrations of 0, 100, 200 or 500 ppm. The same plants were drenched with paclobutrazol at 0, 2, 3 or 4 mg a.i./container when shoots were 10 cm. GA significantly delayed rhizome emergence and flowering and reduced flower height. Paclobutrazol significantly reduced height; however, greater concentrations must be applied to obtain a marketable plant height. Number of flowering stems, postproduction life, and postproduction stretching were not affected by GA or paclobutrazol. Curcuma alismatifolia had an excellent postproduction life (4.64 ± 0.28 weeks) with little postproduction stretching (2.27 ± 0.38 cm).

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Jeff S. Kuehny and Margaret J. McMahon

This decision case concerns production and marketing problems that many ornamental growers incur. At the retail level, popular ornamental crops are often used as loss leaders to draw the public into stores to make other purchases. As a result, retail buyers are concerned not with quality but with price and volume. To meet the needs of price-conscious buyers, growers may attempt to reduce their production costs by reducing the level of production inputs, with some sacrifice in product quality. The owners of Two Sisters Greenhouses must decide whether they are going to produce lower-quality plants, change marketing strategies, or grow alternative crops to retain their current profit margins. This case study was intended for use in greenhouse management, nursery management, and floriculture courses where students assume the role of a decisionmaker in poinsettia production and marketing.

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Mauricio J. Sarmiento and Jeff S. Kuehny

Rhizomes of Curcuma alismatifolia Roxb. `Chiang Mai Pink', C. gracillima Roxb. `Violet', and C. thorelii Roxb. were soaked in gibberellin (GA4+7) at 0, 200, 400, or 600 mg·L-1 (ppm) and planted into 15.2-cm-diameter (6 inches) containers. The plants were grown in a greenhouse at 30 °C day/23 °C night (86.0/73.4 °F) temperatures. When shoot height was 10 cm (3.9 inches), the plants were drenched with 118 mL (3.9 fl oz) of paclobutrazol at 0, 2, 3, or 4 mg a.i. per 15.2-cm-diameter container. Gibberellin4+7 delayed shoot emergence and fl owering but did not affect the fl ower number. Paclobutrazol rates were not effective in controlling height of C. alismatifolia `Chiang Mai Pink' averaging 85 cm (33.5 inches), C. gracillima `Violet' averaging 25 cm (9.8 inches), or C. thorelii averaging 17 cm (6.7 inches). Curcuma alismatifolia `Chiang Mai Pink', C. gracillima `Violet', and C. thorelii had postproduction longevities of 4.6, 2.6 and 3.8 weeks respectively, making these three species of curcuma excellent candidates for use as fl owering pot plants.

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Jeff S. Kuehny, Patricia C. Branch, and Felix J. Landry

Nitrate nitrogen has been recommended as the best form of nitrogen for the production of poinsettia while ammonium and urea have been reported to be deleterious to poinsettia growth. Recent studies have indicated that lower nitrogen and leaching levels will produce quality poinsettias. Poinsettias were grown with 21–7–7 Acid Special (9.15% NH4, 11.85% urea), 20–10–20 Peat-lite Special (7.77% NH4, 12.23% NO3), 15-220 plus Ca and Mg (1.5% NH4, 12.7% NO3, 0.8% urea), and 15–5–15 Excel CalMag (1.2% NH4, 11.75% NO3, 2.05% urea) applied at 200 mg·L-1. Plants were fertigated by drip irrigation with zero leachate. There were no significant differences between fertilizer treatments for plant height, width, bloom diameter, and dry weight. Electrical conductivity and pH did vary significantly between treatments; however, this did not effect plant growth. Thus, by using lower nitrogen levels and zero leachate, quality poinsettias can be grown with commercial fertilizers high in ammonium/urea or high in nitrate nitrogen, or ammonium and nitrate in combination.

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Maria P. Paz*, Jeff S. Kuehny, Gloria B. McClure, Richard Criley, and Charles J. Graham

Ornamental gingers are popular cut flowers and have been promoted as a promising potted flower crop because of unique foliage, long-lasting colorful bracts, and few pest problems. Rhizomes are the primary means of propagation in late spring followed by shoot growth and flowering, and plants enter dormancy under short days in the fall. Termination of dormancy is important for greenhouse forcing and extending the growing season. Manipulation of rhizome storage to satisfy dormancy requires investigation into the storage environment. It appears that controlling growth, development and flowering in geophytic plants is dependent on reserve accumulation, mobilization, and redistribution. Rhizomes of four ginger species (Curcuma alismatifolia Gagnep., C. roscoeana Wallich, Globba winittii C.H. Wright, and Kaempferia galanga L.) were stored for 0 to 16 weeks at 15, 20, or 25 °C to determine the effect on growth, flowering, respiration rates, and carbohydrate content. Upon completion of treatment application, rhizomes were planted in a peat moss:bark:perlite mix and placed in a greenhouse with 25 °C day/21 °C night temperatures with 40% shade. The production time, days to emergence (DTE) and days to flower (DTF), was reduced with an increase in storage temperature and duration for all species. DTE and DTF for Globba and Kaempferia were hastened when rhizomes were stored for 16 weeks at 25 °C. For C. alismatifolia, DTE and DTF were hastened when rhizomes were stored at 25 °C for at least 10 weeks. For C. roscoeana, storage at 25 °C for 14 or 16 weeks was found to hasten emergence. The response of respiration and carbohydrate concentration was not consistent with rhizome and plant growth responses.

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D.H. Willits, P.V. Nelson, M.M. Peet, M.A. Depa, and J.S. Kuehny

The results of six experiments conducted over 3 years were analyzed to develop a relationship between nutrient uptake rate and growth rate in hydroponically grown Dendranthema ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura, cv. Fiesta. Plants subjected to two levels of CO, and three levels of irradiance in four greenhouses were periodically analyzed for growth and the internal concentration of 11 mineral elements. The resulting data were used to determine relative accumulation rate and relative growth rate, which were included in linear regression analyses to determine the dependence of uptake on growth. The regression equations were significant, with a slight trend toward nonlinearity in some elements. This nonlinearity seems to be related to the aging of the plant and suggests a process in the plant capable of controlling uptake rate, perhaps as a result of changes in the rate of formation of different types of tissues.

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Michael R. Evans, Todd J. Cavins, Jeff S. Kuehny, Richard L. Harkess, and Greer R. Lane

Economics and logistics have greatly reduced or eliminated the ability of horticulture instructors to use field trips or on-site visits as educational tools. This is especially problematic in the field of greenhouse management and controlled environment agriculture, since the facilities and technologies used are essential to the discipline. To address this problem, we developed 15 DVD-based virtual field trips (VFT's) that instructors may use to demonstrate to students the most up-to-date facilities, technologies, and management strategies used in greenhouse management (ornamental and food crops) and controlled environment agriculture (GCEA). Each VFT included a preface with background information about the company, a tour organized by subject chapters, self-examination, and a teacher's guide with additional information and case studies. Each land-grant institution with an instructional program in greenhouse management of controlled-environment agriculture will be provided a free copy of each VFT, which will benefit all instructors of GCEA in the United States.