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  • Author or Editor: Wan-Wei Yu x
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Research on the restorative benefits of nature primarily has focused on the spiritual benefits of wilderness areas, but other areas, such as cities, have not been studied. Horticultural activities have the potential to promote spiritual health, but most participants are not aware of this benefit. To improve this situation and to increase evidence of the benefits of therapeutic horticulture, this study suggests treating plant parables as trigger cues, which would allow an approach to interaction with plants through metaphysical imagination, resulting in an improvement in spiritual health from horticultural activities. The purpose of this study was to understand participants' beliefs of the spiritual benefits of horticultural activities, and to see if these beliefs were enhanced after reading plant parables. This study surveyed subjects with different horticultural backgrounds, and measured their opinions regarding belief in the spiritual benefits of horticultural activities, before and after reading the parables. The results indicated that before reading the plant parables, neither group of subjects with different horticultural backgrounds agreed with the spiritual benefits of horticultural activities; however, after reading the plant parables, the belief of participants with formal horticultural education backgrounds increased significantly (P ≤ 0.001). The increase was not significant in subjects without formal horticultural education backgrounds.

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Begonia montaniformis × Begonia ningmingensis var. bella hybrids have high ornamental potential. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine the optimal conditions for the micropropagation of a Begonia montaniformis × Begonia ningmingensis var. bella F1 progeny by using various concentrations of plant growth regulators (PGRs) and varying light spectra in half-strength Murashige and Skoog (1/2 MS) medium. The results showed that the explant regeneration was optimal when the lamina was incubated in a medium supplemented with 2.0 μM N6-benzylaminopurine and 0.8 μM α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). Under such conditions, 98% of the explants regenerated adventitious shoots after 8 weeks, and 41 buds were produced per explant on average. The mean shoot length was 9.6 mm, and on average, 4.5 shoots per explant were more than 2 mm long. Subsequently, the induced adventitious shoots were transferred into rooting medium consisting of 1/2 MS and various NAA concentrations. After 4 weeks, the shoots subcultured in this medium showed ≈93% root induction and an average of 3.5 adventitious roots per explant. Furthermore, the applied light spectrum significantly influenced shoot regeneration, and optimal results were achieved under an equal distribution of blue, red, and infrared light. The histological sections of shoots regenerated from direct organogenesis were observed through scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Afterward, the rooting adventitious shoots were subcultured in PGR-free medium for 8 weeks. The seedlings were successfully acclimated 4 weeks after being transferred to soil and bloomed after 11 months in a greenhouse. Thus, the PGR composition in micropropagation efficiently shortened the time to blooming from 25 to 16 months.

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