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M. P. Kaczperski and A. M. Armitage

The effects of differing storage conditions prior to transplanting were examined for Salvia splendens `Red Hot Sally', Impatiens wallerana `Super Elfin White', Viola × wittrockiana `Universal Beaconsfield' and Petunia × hybrida `Supercascade Lilac'. Plug-grown seedlings were stored for 0, 1, 2 or 3 weeks at 5C or 10C and irradiance levels from incandescent bulbs at 0, 2 or 12 μmol s-1 m-2. A second group of plants were stored at 18C and irradiance from fluorescent bulbs at 105 μmol s-1 m-2 for the same time period. Temperature was more important than irradiance in maintaining plant quality over the storage period. Impatiens and salvia could be stored successfully for a minimum of 2 weeks at 5 or 10C with no appreciable loss of quality, petunia and pansy up to 3 weeks. Seedlings of all species showed diminished quality when stored longer than 1 week at 18C. After storage, petunias stored at 18C flowered sooner than those stored at 5 or 10C. However, these plants were single stemmed, with long internodes and few flowers while those plants stored at 5 or 10C developed multiple branching and a short, compact growth habit at flowering.

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M.P. Kaczperski and A.M. Armitage

The effects of storage conditions before transplanting were examined for Petunia × hybrida Vilm. `Supercascade Lilac', viola × wittrockiana Gams `Universal Beaconsfield', and Salvia splendens F. Sellow ex Roem. & Schult `Red Hot Sally'. Plug grown seedlings were stored for 0, 7, 14, or 21 days at 5 or 10C and with continuous irradiance levels from incandescent bulbs at 0, 2, or 12 μmol·m-2·s-1. A second group was stored at 18C with irradiance from fluorescent bulbs at 105 μmol·m-2·s-1 and a 16-hour photoperiod for the same durations. Temperature was more important than irradiance in maintaining a commercially acceptable plant during the storage period. Petunia and pansy could be stored successfully for 21 days at 5 or 10C with no appreciable loss of quality; salvia could be stored for a minimum of 14 days. Seedlings of all species elongated excessively when stored >7 days at 18C and 105 μmol·m-2·s-1 irradiance. After 14 days of storage, petunias stored at 18C flowered sooner than those stored at 5 or 10C but time in a production environment (days to flower - days in storage) was similar for petunias stored at 5 or 18C.

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Mark P. Kaczperski, Allan M. Armitage, and Pamela M. Lewis

Seed of Viola × wittrockiana `Majestic Giant Yellow' were germinated in #406 plug trays at ambient CO2, 25 C and a light intensity of 100 μmol s-1m-2 with an 18 hr photoperiod. At emergence and at successive one week intervals, seedlings were exposed to CO2 levels of 500, 1000 or 1500 μl l-1 and irradiances of 100, 225, 350 μmol s-1m-2 for 7 to 35 days, after which seedlings were transplanted into 10 cm pots and grown to flower in the greenhouse. CO2 at 1000 μl l-1 was as effective as 1500 μl l-1 in accelerating growth in the plug stage. 500 μl l-1 at all irradiances did not accelerate growth significantly. Plants grown at 1000 μl l-1 and 225 μmol s-1m-2 intensity reached the 5 leaf stage up to 14 days earlier than the control, as well as decreasing time to flower during the growing on phase.

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Mark P. Kaczperski, Allan M. Armitage, and Pamela M. Lewis

Pelargonium×hortorum L.H. Bailey `Scarlet Elite' seedlings were grown in plugs from seed to transplant size. About 14 days before attaining transplant size, seedlings were exposed to various fertility or temperature regimes (preconditioning treatments), then stored for 1 to 3 weeks at 5C. Seedlings receiving 150 mg N/liter before storage flowered sooner and required less crop time (days to flower – days in storage) than those receiving 0, 75, or 300 mg. Temperature preconditioning at 10 or 15C delayed flowering compared to preconditioning at 20C. Final plant height and dry weight were not adversely affected by varying N levels or temperature during preconditioning. Preconditioning seedlings with 300 mg N/liter resulted in seedling mortality rates up to 16% after 7 days' storage. Low temperature or fertility were not effective preconditioning treatments. Best results were attained by preconditioning seedlings with 150 mg N/liter.

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Mark P. Kaczperski, Allan M. Armitage, and Pamela M. Lewis

Seed of Petunia × hybrida `Ultra White' were germinated in #406 plug trays at 2.5 C and at a light intensity of 100 μ mol s-1m-2 using a 24 or photoperiod. At germination, seedlings were grown under natural light conditions for 8 hrs (SD) or for 8 hrs with the photoperiod extended to 16 hrs (LD) using incandescent bulbs. At approximately the 6th leaf stage, seedlings were stored at 5 C in the dark or at 12 μ mol s-1m-2 and a 24 hr photoperiod for 0 to 21 days. After storage, plants were potted n 10 cm pots and grown to flowering in a greenhouse. Plants grown under SD to the 6th leaf stage with no cold treatment were shorter. flowered later and had more lateral branching than unstored LD plants. Storage at 5 C decreased time to flower of SD plants and increased branching of LD plants regardless of photoperiod during storage.

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M.P. Kaczperski, W. H. Carlson, and M.G. Karlsson

Petunia × hybrids `Snow Cloud' plants were grown under 25 temperature combinations ranging from 10 to 30C and at photosynthetic photon flux levels of 100 or 200 μmol·s-1·m-2 (6.5 and 13 mol·day-1·m-2, respectively). Days to flower-was a quadratic function of average temperature, with 25C being the optimum temperature for minimal tire-e to flower at 200 μmol·s-1·m-2. Plant height increased “linearly and average internode length increased quadratically as day temperature increased. The number of lateral shoots decreased quadratically as average temperature increased, and the average length of each shoot decreased quadratically as day temperature increased.