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  • Author or Editor: Shravan Dasoju x
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Plant growth retardant (PGR) foliar sprays (in mg·L−1) of daminozide at concentrations from 1,000 to 16,000; paclobutrazol from 5 to 80; and uniconazole from 2 to 32 were applied to `Pacino' potted sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) to compare their effectiveness at chemical height control. Plants were grown in 650-mL or 1.2-L pots. When the first inflorescence started to shed pollen, number of days from seeding until anthesis, total plant height measured from the pot rim to the top of the inflorescence, inflorescence diameter, and plant diameter were recorded. There was no significant difference in plant height between `Pacino' plants grown in 650-mL or 1.2-L pots. Total plant height, plant diameter, inflorescence diameter, and days until flowering were significant for the PGR treatment main effect. Marketable-sized plants grown in the 1.2-L pots were produced with uniconazole concentrations from 16 to 32 mg·L−1 or with daminozide concentrations from 4,000 to 8,000 mg·L−1. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays up to 80 mg·L−1 had little effect, and higher foliar spray concentrations or substrate drench treatments may be needed to effectively control height.

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Pot sunflowers (Helianthus annuus cv. `Pacino') were fertigated on ebband-fl ow benches with 100 or 200 mg·liter–1 of N to determine the influence of fertility level on plant growth and postharvest quality in interior conditions. The fertilization rates were held constant from potting until day 45, then the fertilization rates were continued, decreased, or ceased on day 45 and day 55, giving a combination of nine fertilization subtreatments. At bloom, the number of days from potting to flowering, plant height, plant diameter, flower diameter were recorded, and the root medium of five replicates per treatment were analyzed to determine the nutrient status. Five replicates of each treatments also were moved into interior conditions with artificial lighting and were graded 5, 10, and 15 days after moving to evaluate the postharvest quality. There was no significant difference among fertilizer treatments for the number of days to flower, plant height, or flower diameter. Plants fertilized with 100 mg·liter–1 N from potting until day 45, in combination with a ceasing of fertilization on day 55, had significantly better plant grades when compared to plants grown with 200 mg·liter–1 N. Plants fertigated with 100 mg·liter–1 N also had a longer postharvest life and the number of days before the flowers wilted were significantly longer. Good-quality plants with longer postharvest life were produced with 100 mg·liter–1 N and by terminating fertilization 55 days after potting.

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Drench applications of plant growth retardant paclobutrazol were applied at 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 mg a.i./pot, plus an untreated control to pot sunflowers (Helianthus annuus cv. `Pacino') to determine its effect as a chemical height control. All paclobutrazol concentrations applied significantly reduced plant height by »27% when compared to the untreated control, but excessively short plants were observed at 16 and 32 mg a.i./pot. Plant diameter was also significantly decreased by »16% at 2 and 4 mg a.i./pot of paclobutrazol, when compared to the untreated control. Flower diameter decreased by »4% at 2 and 4 mg a.i./pot of paclobutrazol, but only concentrations ≥4 mg a.i./pot were significantly different from the untreated control. Paclobutrazol concentrations had no effect on days from potting to flowering. Drench concentrations of 2 and 4 mg a.i./pot of paclobutrozol produced optimum height control in relation to 16.5-cm-diameter pot size used.

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Plant growth retardant (PGR) foliar spray treatments (mg•liter–1) of daminozide at 1000 to 16,000; paclobutrazol from 5 to 80; and uniconazole from 2 to 32 were applied to `Pacino' pot sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) to compare their effectiveness at chemical height control. When the first inflorescence opened, the number of days from seeding until flowering, total plant height measured from the pot rim to the top of the inflorescence, inflorescence diameter, and plant diameter were recorded. Total plant height, plant diameter, inflorescence diameter, and days until flowering were significant for the PGR treatment interaction. Marketable-sized plants grown in the 1.2-liter pots were produced with uniconazole concentrations between 16 and 32 mg•liter–1 or with daminozide concentrations between 4000 and 8000 mg•liter–1. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays up to 80 mg•liter–1 had little effect and higher concentrations or medium drench treatments should be considered.

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Paclobutrazol drenches were applied at 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 mg a.i./pot to potted sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L. `Pacino') to determine its effect on growth. Plant height was shorter as paclobutrazol dose increased up to 16 mg; however, additional increases in dose had little effect on height. Severe height retardation of `Pacino' plants was evident at 16 and 32 mg. Plants treated with 2 mg of paclobutrazol were 17% and 25% smaller in diameter than untreated plants in Expts. 1 and 2, respectively. Plant diameter was smaller as paclobutrazol dose increased up to 16 mg, with additional increases in dose having little effect on plant diameter in Expt. 2. Plants treated with 16 or 32 mg of paclobutrazol exhibited phytotoxicity symptoms including crinkled leaves and stunted growth, and smaller and greener leaves. Sunflower plant growth was greater in the summer (Expt. 1) than in winter (Expt. 2). In the summer higher doses of paclobutrazol will be required than in winter for growth control. Marketable sized plants grown in 15- to 16.5-cm-diameter pots were produced with doses of paclobutrazol at 2 and 4 mg in both seasons, and doses up to 8 mg can also be used in summer for growth control.

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Paclobutrazol drench applications of 0, 2, and 4 mg a.i./pot were applied to `Pacino' potted sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) and `Red Pigmy' tuberous rooted dahlias (Dahlia variabilis Willd.) grown in substrates containing 50%, 60%, 70%, or 80% (by volume) sphagnum peat or coir, with the remainder being perlite, to study the efficacy of paclobutrazol (Bonzi). Potted sunflower plant height differed significantly for peat- and coir-based substrates, with greater plant height being observed in coir-based substrates. Plant diameter was significantly greater at higher percentages of peat or coir in the substrate at 2 and 4 mg of paclobutrazol. Inflorescence diameter also was significantly decreased as paclobutrazol concentration increased. When the percent of height control from the untreated plants for potted sunflower was compared between coir and peat-based substrates, the percent height reduction was similar for peat- and coir-based substrates at 2 mg of paclobutrazol and height control was greater at 4 mg of paclobutrazol in coir-based substrates. The differences in plant growth observed in peat- and coir-based substrates can be attributed to differences in physical properties of these substrates. Dahlia plant height, diameter, and number of days until anthesis were not influenced by substrate type or percentage. However, dahlia growth was significantly reduced as paclobutrazol concentration increased. Coir-based substrates did not reduce the activity of paclobutrazol drenches compared to peat-based substrates, although to compensate for the greater amount of plant growth in coir-based substrates, paclobutrazol concentrations may need to be increased slightly to achieve a similar plant height as with peat-based substrates.

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Drench applications of paclobutrazol or uniconazole were applied at doses of 0, 0.0025, 0.005, 0.01, 0.02, or 0.04 mg a.i./pot (28,350 mg = 1.0 oz) to vegetatively propagated `Aurora', `Medallion Dark Red', and `Pink Satisfaction' geranium (Pelargonium ×hortorum L.H. Bailey). Geranium total plant height, leaf canopy height, and plant diameter responded similarly to drench applications of either paclobutrazol or uniconazole. There was a significant quadratic relationship between plant growth regulator (PGR) dose and total plant height and leaf canopy height for `Aurora' and `Medallion Dark Red', with total plant height and leaf canopy height being shorter as paclobutrazol or uniconazole doses increased up to 0.02 mg. However, doses of ≥0.02 mg had little additional effect on total plant height and leaf canopy height. Most of the total height control achieved by the use of PGRs was primarily due to a reduction of leaf canopy height, rather than inflorescence height. Doses of 0.005 to 0.01 mg of either PGR produced marketable sized potted plants of `Medallion Dark Red' and `Pink Satisfaction'. `Aurora', which was the most vigorous cultivar, required doses of 0.01 or 0.02 mg of either paclobutrazol or uniconazole to produce marketable sized potted plants.

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Double impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook.) `Blackberry Ice' (variegated-leaf) and `Purple Magic' (green-leaf) were grown on flood benches and irrigated with 50, 100, 200, or 300 mg·L-1 (ppm) N to study the effect of fertility on growth and development. Electrical conductivity (EC) levels at week 9 were similar for both cultivars at each fertilizer rate, except for the 100 mg·L-1 N where EC levels of `Blackberry Ice' were more than double those of `Purple Magic'. This indicated that the nutrient demands were less for `Blackberry Ice' and fertilization rates lower than 100 mg·L-1 N would be required. After nine weeks, plants grown with 100 mg·L-1 N had a 22% larger plant diameter than plants grown with either 50 or 200 mg·L-1 N. Fertilization rates of 50 mg·L-1 N resulted in plants which were covered with a higher percentage of blooms per unit of leaf area, but the plants were smaller. Plant tissue dry weight (leaf, bud, stem, and total) increased to the highest level at 100 mg·L-1 N, then decreased with further increases in fertilization rate. For maximum shoot growth with flood irrigation, growers should apply 100 mg·L-1 N when growing `Purple Magic' double impatiens and a fertilization rate between 50 and 100 mg·L-1 N for `Blackberry Ice'.

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