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  • Author or Editor: William F. Hayslett x
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A 24-month experiment was conducted to study the effects of shading levels on the foliage color changes in Fire Power Nandinas. This popular ornamental shrub is the dwarf form of the Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina domestica. It originated in New Zealand, and has vivid green leaf color in the spring and summer months that changes to a fluorescent red as winter approaches. In this experiment light was limited by covering the plots with black woven shadecloth of 43% and 78% shade, while allowing the control plots to receive full sunlight. Fifteen shrubs from each plot were randomly selected and 10 leaves per plant in each treatment were taken at 28-day intervals. The leaf color was recorded using a camera attached to a microscope. The results from this study indicate that changes in leaf color may be affected by the change of the seasons. The level of light/shade that the plants receive may also affect leaf color. The control group turned a bright fluorescent red, the 43% shade turned a deep red, and the 78% shade remained a deep green with few leaves turning red. Based on the different hues observed, this research indicates that limiting light has a direct effect on leaf color in this species. The correlation between the amount of sunlight received and the season of the year are the two factors that determine the degree of color change in this ornamental shrub.

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Seedlings of Celosia plumosus `New Look', a new variety, were evaluated for their response to the recommended rates of three different plant growth regulators commonly used by growers. The plant growth regulators were B-nine, paclobutrazol, and uniconizole. These plant growth regulators were applied at the rate recommended by the manufacturer for this species. Group I, the control, was not treated with a plant growth regulator, but was sprayed with water at the same time the other treatments were applied. Plants were grown in 5-inch plastic pots in the greenhouse. Plant height was recorded before treatment and once weekly thereafter for the duration of the experiment. Upon termination of the experiment, plant top fresh weight and top dry weight were measured. Results showed that at the recommended rate for all three plant growth regulators, there were no significant difference in height or weight between the plant growth regulator-treated groups of plants or the control group. The only observable difference noted was in leaf coloration of the plants treated with plant growth regulators.

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Seeds of Dynamo white geraniums were started in a soilless media in the germination chamber. After germination, one-third of the plants were placed under an intermittent mist system, and two-thirds were placed in rockwool cubes (7.62 cm × 7.62 cm × 6.35 cm) and placed into the hydroponics system. Plants that were placed under the mist system were transplanted into 16 cm × 16 cm (width × depth) plastic pots containing a soilless media of 1 peat moss: 1 perlite (v/v). After 45 days, half of the hydroponically grown plants were transplanted into 16 cm × 16 cm plastic pots containing peat moss and perlite. Observations included final plant height, top fresh weight, and top dry weight. The hydroponically-grown geraniums were significantly taller than the pot-grown geraniums and the hydroponic/pot-grown geraniums, 58.17 cm, 36.42 cm, and the 41.75 cm, respectively. The hydroponically grown plants were also significantly higher in top fresh weight and top dry weight.

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Two year old sugar maples grown in 25 gallon containers were subjected to different levels of stress by withholding water. Drought levels were measured using irrometers. Irrometer readings of 40, 60, and 80 centibars were used to determine when to add water. The media used were a primary nursery mix of 50:50 sand and pine bark by volume. The maples were evaluated for differences in stomatal responsiveness with the porometer and growth parameters of number of nodes, internode length, and leaf number were taken. Some of the trees were treated with ROOTS as a drench to determine if it would enhance resistance to water stress of containerized nursery plants. Despite the use of ROOTS there was no significant difference between the stressed and the non-stressed plants of stomatal responsiveness or the growth parameters.

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Red Delano chrysanthemum cuttings were transplanted into 15 cm pots. Fertilizer treatments were started immediately. Initial fertilizer rates were 14.8 cc of the designated formulation per pot. Two formulations of fertilizer, 20-20-20 and 5-50-17 NPK, were used in excessive rates to determine if it would override the effects of the growth inhibitors. Paclobutrazol, uniconizole, and daminozide were used to retard growth. Three rates-30, 60, and 120 ppm of paclobutrazol, and 10, 20, and 40 ppm of uniconizole and one rate of 25 % daminozide were foliar applied (two applications) on the plants. After two weeks the plants were treated with the growth retardants and an additional treatment of fertilizer were added at the rate of 29.6 cc per pot. Measurements taken were plant height, top fresh weight, root fresh weight, and root development. ANOVA was used to determine differences and interactions. Significant differences were noted in plant height and root development.

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Hybrid ornamental cabbage started from seed and grown in a greenhouse was studied. The plants were transplanted into 15 cm pots, and treated with foliar sprays of 30 and 60 ppm of uniconizole, and 7.4 and 14.8 cc of triple superphosphate. Combinations of 30 ppm of uniconizole and 7.4 cc of P, 30 ppm of uniconizole and 14.8 cc of P, 60 ppm of uniconizole and 7.4 cc of P, 60 ppm of uniconizole and 14.8 cc of P, and a control was also used. Half of the plants in each treatment were water stressed. Data taken was plant's height, fresh weight, stem caliper, and porometer readings. There were significant differences in the plants height. The tallest plants were treated with 14.8 cc P, while the shortest was treated with 60 ppm uniconizole and 14.8 cc of P. The addition of phosphorus seemed to increase the activity of uniconizole as noted in the height differences. Water stress did not effect the plants except for aesthetic appearance.

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A field study was conducted at Tennessee State University's research station to evaluate the effect of hardwood bark mulch on the winter survival of garden mums. A randomized complete block design was used. Cultivars used were adorn, encore, grandchild, jackpot, legend, minnautumn, minnwhite and triump. At the end of the flowering season the tops were removed leaving a four inch stubble in the mulch. The number of mum plants that resumed growth the following spring were counted for each cultivar. There was a difference in the winter survival of the different cultivars as well as a significant difference in the mulch treated and the control. Grandchild and jackpot were most cold hardy followed by encore, minnwhite, minnautumn, triump, legend, and adorn. Grandchild and jackpot with four inches of hardwood bark mulch had an 88 percent survival while the control had a 44 percent survival. Adorn. had a 51 percent survival with four inches of mulch and a 20 percent survival in the control. This data shows that hardwood bark mulch holds a great potential for providing excellent winter protection for garden mums.

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Growth regulators were applied on Iridon Chrysanthemums during the month of January, 1993 to determine their response. The growth regulators used were uniconizole, [(E)-(+)-(S)-I-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4 dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-trazol-lyl)-1-pent-lene-3-01],daminozide [(butanedoic acid mono (2,2dimethyl hydraide)], ancymidol [a-cyclopropyl-a-(p-methoxy-phenyl)-5-pyridinemethanol] and chlormequat* (2-chloroethyl) trimethylammonium chloride (not labeled for mums). The daminozide treated plants received a second application 14 days after the initial treatment. Peters 20-20-20 NPK water soluble all purpose fertilizer were used for all treatments.

There were significant differences in plant height, total fresh weight, total dry weight, total number of flowers, and total number of buds due to treatment. Uniconizode had the greatest effect on plant height, and the other parameters observed. Although there were differences between the uniconizide and daminozide treated plants for number of flowers and number of buds, these differences were not significant.

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