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- Author or Editor: Matthew G. Blanchard x
A technology for long-day (LD) lighting was evaluated for commercial production of ornamentals using a stationary high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamp with an oscillating aluminum parabolic reflector (rotating HPS lamp). We performed an experiment with four LD species (Campanula carpatica Jacq., Coreopsis grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet, Petunia ×hybrida Vilm.-Andr., and Rudbeckia hirta L.) to compare the efficacy of a rotating HPS lamp in promoting flowering with night-interruption (NI) lighting using incandescent (INC) lamps. Seedlings were grown under natural short-day (SD) photoperiods (12 h or less) and NI treatments were delivered from a 600-W rotating HPS lamp mounted at one gable end of the greenhouse or from INC lamps that were illuminated continuously for 4 h or cyclically for 6 min every 30 min for 4 h. Plants were grown at lateral distances of 1, 4, 7, 10, or 13 m from the rotating HPS lamp, which provided a maximum photosynthetic photon flux of 25.4 μmol·m−2·s−1 (at 1 m) to 0.3 μmol·m−2·s−1 (at 13 m). Control plants were grown under an uninterrupted 15-h skotoperiod. Within 16 weeks, 80% or greater of the plants within each species that received NI lighting had a macroscopic visible flower bud or inflorescence, whereas all species but Petunia ×hybrida remained vegetative under the SD. Flowering of all species grown at 13 m from the rotating HPS lamp was delayed by 14 to 31 d compared with those under continuous INC. The weekly operational costs to provide NI lighting to a 139-m2 greenhouse with one 600-W rotating HPS lamp or a standard cyclic INC lamp installation was estimated to be 80% to 83% lower compared with INC lighting for the entire 4-h NI. These results indicate that a rotating HPS lamp can be used to efficiently deliver LD lighting, but flowering time was delayed and flower number reduced in some species when the maximum NI light intensity was less than 2.4 μmol·m−2·s−1.
The production value of potted orchids has increased by 155% in the past decade, and they are now the second-most valuable potted flowering plant in the United States. Scheduling orchids to flower on specific dates requires knowledge of the environmental parameters that regulate flower induction. However, the flowering requirements of the vast majority of orchid species and hybrids have not been well described. Odontioda is a cool-growing, epiphytic genus originating from the Andes Mountains of South America, and several hybrids are commercially grown for their bright-colored flowers and compact habit. We quantified the promotion of inflorescence initiation and time from visible inflorescence (VI) to anthesis at constant and fluctuating day/night temperatures. Odontioda George McMahon `Fortuna' and Lovely Penguin `Emperor' were grown at constant temperatures of 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, or 29 °C, and day/night (12 h/12 h) temperatures of 20/14, 23/17, 26/14, 26/20, 29/23, or 29/17 °C. Plants were grown in glass greenhouses under a 12-h photoperiod, and shading was provided so that the maximum instantaneous irradiance was ≤300 μmol·m-2·s-1. After 6 weeks at the various temperature setpoints, heat stress symptoms were observed on plants grown at 26, 29, 26/14, 26/20, 29/23, and 29/17 °C. After 14 weeks, ≥60% of both hybrids had VI when grown at 14, 17, 20, or 20/14 °C. Data for time from VI to anthesis were converted to a rate and a thermal-time model relating temperature with inflorescence development was developed. This information could be used by commercial orchid growers to schedule flowering Odontioda orchids for specific market dates.
The commercial production of potted flowering orchids has increased tremendously in the past decade, and is now the second most valuable potted flowering crop in the United States. Phalaenopsis spp. comprise a large percentage (75% to 85%) of the potted orchid sales in the U.S. due to their long flower life and ease of scheduling to meet specific market dates. Constant air temperatures above ≈26 °C inhibit flowering of most Phalaenopsis hybrids, and a 25/20 °C day/night temperature regimen is used commercially to induce flowering. However, the relative promotion of flowering by constant versus fluctuating day/night cool temperatures (<25 °C) has not been well described. Phalaenopsis Miva Smartissimo × Canberra `450' and Brother Goldsmith `720' were grown at constant temperatures of 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, and 29 °C, and day/night temperatures of 20/14, 23/17, 26/14, 26/20, 29/23, and 29/17 °C;. Plants were grown in glass greenhouses with a constant photoperiod of 12 h, and shading was provided so that the maximum instantaneous irradiance was ≤150 μmol·m-2·s-1. After 6 weeks at the various temperature setpoints, ≥80% of plants of both cultivars had VI when grown at a constant 17, 20, or 23 °C, and at the 23/17 °C day/night regimen. None of the plants were reproductive within 6 weeks when grown at a constant 26 or 29 °C, or at the 26/14, 26/20, 29/17, or 29/23 °C day/night temperature setpoints. Therefore, temperature during the day and night both influence flowering of these two Phalaenopsis orchid hybrids.
An increasingly popular technique for applying plant growth regulators (PGRs) to floriculture crops is to dip or soak the root medium of a transplant in a chemical solution before transplanting. This PGR application method, termed a “liner dip,” can be an effective height-control strategy for greenhouse crop production. However, few studies have quantified how bedding plant species respond to different chemicals and application rates. Argyranthemum (Argyranthemum ×hybrida ‘Sunlight’), calibrachoa (Calibrachoa ×hybrida ‘Callie Dark Blue’), petunia (Petunia ×hybrida ‘Cascadias Vivid Red’), scaevola (Scaevola albida ‘Jacob's White’), and verbena (Verbena ×hybrida ‘Rapunzel Red’) liners were dipped in paclobutrazol at 4, 8, or 16 mg·L−1 or in uniconazole at 2, 4, or 8 mg·L−1 for 30 seconds and subsequently transplanted into 4.5-inch-diameter round pots. At 28 days after transplant, all rates of paclobutrazol and uniconazole inhibited subsequent stem elongation by 21% to 67% in calibrachoa, petunia, scaevola, and verbena. In argyranthemum, stems were 33% to 42% shorter in plants treated with paclobutrazol at 8 or 16 mg·L−1 or uniconazole at all rates. In some species, the liner dip delayed flowering and reduced flower number compared with that of nontreated plants. This pretransplant PGR application technique can be useful on vigorous ornamental species when grown together in the same container with less aggressive species without a PGR application.
Volatile energy costs and lower profit margins have motivated many greenhouse growers in temperate climates to improve the energy efficiency of crop production. We performed experiments with dahlia (Dahlia ×hybrida Cav. ‘Figaro Mix’), French marigold (Tagetes patula L. ‘Janie Flame’), and zinnia (Zinnia elegans Jacq. ‘Magellan Pink’) to quantify the effects of constant and fluctuating temperatures on growth and flowering during the finish stage. Plants were grown in glass-glazed greenhouses with a day/night (16 h/8 h) temperature of 20/14, 18/18, 16/22 (means of 18 °C), 24/18, 22/22, or 20/26 °C (means of 22 °C) with a 16-h photoperiod and under a photosynthetic daily light integral of 11 to 19 mol·m−2·d−1. Flowering times of dahlia, French marigold, and zinnia (Year 2 only) were similar among treatments with the same mean daily air temperature (MDT). All species grown at 20/14 °C were 10% to 41% taller than those grown at 16/22 °C. Crop timing data and computer software that estimates energy consumption for heating (Virtual Grower) were then used to estimate energy consumption for greenhouse heating on a per-crop basis. Energy costs to produce these crops in Charlotte, NC, Grand Rapids, MI, and Minneapolis, MN, for a finish date of 15 Apr. or 15 May and grown at the same MDT were estimated to be 3% to 42% lower at a +6 °C day/night temperature difference (DIF) compared with a 0 °C DIF and 2% to 90% higher at a −6 °C DIF versus a 0 °C DIF. This information could be used by greenhouse growers to reduce energy inputs for heating on a per-crop basis.
Odontioda is a cool-growing, sympodial epiphytic genus of orchids originating from the Andes Mountains of South America. Several hybrids are commercially grown as potted flowering plants for their brightly colored flowers and compact growth habit. We quantified how constant and fluctuating day/night temperatures influenced inflorescence initiation, time from visible inflorescence (VI) to flower, and pseudobulb development. Odontioda George McMahon ‘Fortuna’ and Lovely Penguin ‘Emperor’ were grown at constant temperature set points of 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, or 29 °C and day/night (12 h/12 h) temperatures of 20/14, 23/17, 26/14, 26/20, 29/23, or 29/17 °C. Plants were grown in glass greenhouses under a 12-h photoperiod and a maximum irradiance of 500 μmol·m−2·s−1. Within 6 weeks, heat stress symptoms such as leaf necrosis were observed on plants grown at a day temperature of 26 °C or greater regardless of the night temperature. After 20 weeks, 90% or greater of both clones had a VI when grown at a constant temperature of 14 or 17 °C. Plants grown at a constant temperature of 17 °C had the greatest pseudobulb diameter with a mean increase of 3.5 to 4.0 cm. In all treatments, a minimum pseudobulb diameter was required for uniform inflorescence initiation; pseudobulbs with a diameter of 5.5 cm or greater developed a VI in 93% of plants. Data for time from VI to open flower were converted to a rate, and a thermal-time model relating temperature with inflorescence development was developed. The base temperature and thermal time for VI to flower in George McMahon ‘Fortuna’ and Lovely Penguin ‘Emperor’ were estimated at −0.1 °C and 1429 °C·d−1 and 0.8 °C and 1250 °C·d−1, respectively. This information could be used by commercial orchid growers to assist in producing potted flowering Odontioda orchids for specific market dates.
Many greenhouse growers have installed retractable energy curtains to reduce energy losses and heating costs. We performed experiments to quantify the effect of retractable nighttime curtains on plant shoot-tip temperature of New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri Bull.) grown in glass-glazed greenhouses during winter. Plants were grown in separate greenhouses under different curtain materials and the following measurements were collected: plant shoot tip, aerial wet and dry bulb, and cover (glazing and superstructure or curtain) temperature; net canopy radiation (250 to 60,000 nm); transmitted shortwave radiation (SWR; 300 to 3,000 nm); and air velocity. At night, plants under an extended curtain had a higher (by 0.5 to 2.3 °C) shoot-tip temperature and the net longwave radiation (LWRnet; 3,000 to 100,000 nm) was 70% to 125% greater than plants without a curtain. Shoot-tip temperature was 0.2 to 0.6 °C lower under a shading curtain with open-weave construction (high air permeability) compared with closed-weave constructed curtains (e.g., blackout). As cover temperature decreased from 21 to 12 °C, measured shoot-tip temperature and LWRnet decreased by a mean of 3.0 °C and 39.1 W·m−2, respectively. Under a vapor pressure deficit (VPD) of 0.4 to 0.9 kPa, plant shoot-tip temperature was a mean of 1.0 °C closer to dry-bulb temperature compared with plants under a VPD of 1.4 to 1.8 kPa as a result of decreased transpiration. During the day, shoot-tip temperature was 1.2 °C lower than dry-bulb temperature when transmitted SWR was less than 100 W·m−2 and on average 1.6 °C higher than the dry-bulb temperature when SWR was more than 100 W·m−2. Therefore, in addition to reducing greenhouse heating costs, a curtain extended at night over a crop of New Guinea impatiens could increase plant shoot-tip temperature and accelerate development.