In order to understand the effects of reduced nitrogen and sulfur on overall poinsettia plant growth and development, experiments were run to determine the relationship, if any, between nitrogen and sulfur applied and other macroand micronutrients. Cuttings of `Freedom Red' (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) were grown vegetatively in a peat:perlite:vermiculite mix during the fall and spring. Three levels of sulfur (0, 12.5, 25 ppm) were applied in combination with four levels of nitrogen (50, 100, 200, 275 ppm). The experimental design was a randomized complete block. Leaf samples were analyzed using LECO for nitrogen and ICP-ES for sulfur. X-ray fluorescence was used to determine trends in the nutrient concentration of other macronutrients and micronutrients. Nutrient analyses indicated that all nutrients were present in sufficient quantities. Leaf concentrations of nitrogen, sulfur, potassium, and copper were distinctly higher in spring and fall, while phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and iron concentrations were higher in fall. The typically subtle effects of sulfur were most obvious in magnesium and calcium leaf concentrations. Phosphorus and calcium concentrations increased at lower levels of applied nitrogen. Concentrations of boron, copper, and manganese also increased strikingly at lower levels of applied nitrogen. Apparently when levels of nitrogen less than 200 ppm are applied, micronutrient uptake increases, suggesting the potential of either luxury consumption or possible toxic effects if too little nitrogen is supplied.
Rubber stamps have traditionally been used in business to deliver visual or concise verbal messages. That tradition has changed as rubber stamps have also become an art form. Stamps are now available in virtually any horticultural design, including flowers, vegetables, fruits, trees, cacti, turf and as landscape design forms.
Stamps can be purchased at specialty stores, craft stores, book stores, kiosks at shopping malls, and from catalogs or they can be easily crafted from gum or rubber erasers. Two periodicals are available that describe stamping techniques and provide catalog sources: Rubberstampmadness (Corvallis, Oregon) and Rubber Stampers World (Placerville, California).
Using rubber stamps is fun and promotes creativity! Stamps can be used in a wide range of colors and they allow versatility in positioning, whether on paper or fabric. They are cost effective because they can be reused. Some suggested uses include enhancement of visual displays, personalization of mailings, and application for 4-H projects.
Three cultivars of poinsettia, Freedom Red, Lilo and Red Sails, were grown in a peat:perlite:vermiculite mix according to a commercial production schedule. Twelve selected nitrogen–sulfur fertilizer combinations were applied (125, 150, 175 ppm N with either 12.5, 25, or 37.5 ppm S, 225 and 275 ppm N with either 37.5 or 75 ppm S). The experimental design was a split plot with cultivars as the whole plot and fertilizer levels as the split-plot factor. Mix samples were taken initially, at production week 7 and at the end of the experiment. Nitrate-nitrogen, sulfate-sulfur and total nitrogen were determined. Data were analyzed using SAS PROC MIXED. Visually all cultivars responded similarly to all treatments and were salable. Thus, levels of N as low as 125 or 150 with 12.5 ppm S produced quality plants. Sulfate-S tended to accumulate in the mix while nitrate-N and total N did not. Both nitrate-N and sulfate-S concentrations were affected by an interaction between the cultivar and the amount of S applied with `Freedom' better able to utilize available sulfur. `Lilo' removed more nitrate-N and total N from the mix than `Freedom' which removed more than `Red Sails', but only at specific levels of sulfur. There was no cultivar by nitrogen interaction for any variable measured.
Response surface methods refer to a set of experimental design and analysis methods to study the effect of quantitative treatments on a response of interest. In theory, these methods have a broad range of applicability. While they have gained widespread acceptance and application in manufacturing and quality improvement research, they have never caught on in the agricultural sciences. We propose that this is because there has not been specific research demonstrating their usage. In this paper, two 34 factorial experiments were performed using 100 poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) to measure nutrient element concentrations in leaves at three rates each of nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), iron (Fe), and manganese (Mn). Three different methods of analysis were compared—the standard analysis of variance with no regression model, the quadratic regression model commonly assumed for most standard response surface methods and the Hoerl model regression, a nonlinear alternative to quadratic response. Actual nutrient element values were compared with the values predicted by each regression model and then also evaluated to see if the visual symptomology of yellowing related to those nutrient concentrations in leaves. The Hoerl model demonstrated better ability to detect biologically relevant nonlinear two-, three-, and four-way nutrient interactions. Though there was minimal replication this model characterized the treatment effects while keeping the size of the experiment manageable both in terms of time (labor) and cost of plant analyses. Additionally, it was shown that when S, Fe, and/or Mn were deficient along with N, their visual deficiency symptoms were masked by the overall yellowing associated with N deficiency. This model is recommended as the initial experiment in a series where scientists are looking to expand information already determined for two factors. Other treatment systems that this can be used with include: levels of irrigation, pesticides, and plant growth regulators.
Common swedish ivy plants when exposed to nitrogen (N) stress display typical nitrogen deficiency symptoms such as reddening of stems and petioles and yellowing of leaves. When N levels are restored, leaves of swedish ivy plants will re-green without leaf loss. An experiment was conducted to determine how proteins change when leaves were re-greened after N deficiency. Cuttings of Plectranthus australis were rooted under mist and allowed to yellow. Plants were then potted up and fertilized with one of two treatments: complete nutrients with N at 150 ppm or complete nutrients with 0.8 ppm N. The experimental design was a randomized complete-block design with six blocks. Each block had the two N treatments and six plants per treatment. After 3–4 weeks, all plants in the 150-ppm N treatment had re-greened and leaf samples for protein analysis were taken. Plants in four of the six blocks were then switched to the other treatment. After leaves had re-greened once again, leaf samples were taken and the experiment was terminated. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to compare the treatments. No obvious differences in protein absence or presence were noted. However, Rubisco appeared to be differentially expressed between the two treatments. 2-D gel analysis with subsequent Western blots showed that for most of the leaf samples, the large subunit of Rubisco (56kD) was quantitatively about 1.3 times more concentrated in the N-deficient plants and possibly modified. The small subunit (12kD) was not reliably detectable. Additional protein results for repeated leaf re-greening and the role Rubsico may play in leaf re-greening will be discussed.
Previous hydroponic studies have shown that nitrogen rates applied to roses can be cut in half as long as known quantities of sulfur are added. A two-year study began in February, 1991, to determine if roses potted in a 2:1:1 mix (soil:peat:perlite) would respond similarly. Six cultivars and three treatments (300 ppm N 20-30-10, N:S at 2:1 and N:S at 4:1 with N being approx. 155 ppm) were replicated three times in a split-plot design. Data included number of flowers and length of stems cut daily. Plants were allowed to grow for 4 months, were cut back, then allowed to grow for 7 months and cut back again. After the second pruning, shoots were harvested for N and S analysis. Soil samples were also taken. Initial data, analyzed through September, indicates that across cultivars the total number of flowers produced was not influenced by the N:S treatments. Certain cultivars, however, were more productive than others. Champagne and Bridal White consistently produced more flowers than Samantha and Amorous, regardless of fertilizer treatment. Certain treatment cultivar combinations were also significant indicating that cultivar response may limit N:S recommendations.
Horticulturists are often interested in evaluating the effect of several treatment factors on plant growth in order to determine optimal growing conditions. Factors could include three or more nutrient elements, or types and rates of irrigation, pesticides or growth regulators, possibly in combination with one another. Two problems with such experiments are how to characterize plant response to treatment combinations and how to design such experiments so that they are manageable. The standard statistical approach is to use linear and quadratic (a.k.a. response surface) regression to characterize treatment effects and to use response surface designs, e.g., central-composite designs. However, these often do a poor job characterizing plant response to treatments. Hence the need for more generally applicable methods. While our goal is to be able to analyze three and higher factor experiments, we started by tweaking two-factor nutrient analysis data. The result was a hybrid model which allows for a given factor to respond linearly or non-linearly. We will show how this was done and our current “in progress” model and analysis for analyzing three quantitative factors.