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Yin-Tung Wang

Leaf blades, axillary buds, shoot tips, green bark, suberized bark, or the whole plant of container-grown Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. cv. Jane Cowl were treated with uniconazole. Applying uniconazole (50 mg·liter-1) to axillary buds or the green bark below a bud immediately after pruning limited elongation of the first three internodes. Length of the fourth internode was unaffected, regardless of the site of uniconazole application. When used on plants with 24-day-old shoots, uniconazole (40 mg·liter -1) applied to the whole plant provided the only satisfactory height control. Leaf size was reduced by nearly 50%, with a concomitant increase (12%) in fresh weight per unit area. GA3 (50 mg·liter-1, was more effective in promoting elongation of shoots previously retarded with a drench application of uniconazole (0.1 mg/2.6-liter pot) when applied to the whole shoot, leaf blades, or shoot tip. Application of GA, only to the stein surface, whether old or young, did not effectively encourage the growth of shoots of plants previously treated with uniconazole. Chemical names used: (E)-1-(p-chlorophenyl) -4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazole-1-yl)-1-penton-3-ol (uniconazole); analogue of (1α,2β,4 α,4bβ,10β)-2,4a,7-trihydroxy-1-methyl-8-methylenegibb-3-ene-1,10 dicarboxylic acid 1,4a-lactone (GA3).

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Yin-Tung Wang

On 6 Sept. 1996, container-grown vegetatively propagated Phalaenopsis Atien Kaala `TSC22' plants were harvested and individually weighed. The bare-root plants were packed in cartons with shredded newspaper and placed in incubators at 15, 20, 25, or 30°C air temperature. Control plants were undisturbed. After 4, 7, or 14 days, one-third of the plants were removed from each temperature treatment, weighed, planted in pots, and then placed in a greenhouse. Mass loss (primarily water) increased with increasing air temperature and duration in storage. Symptoms of chilling injury (yellow blotches on leaves) were inversely related to 15 and 20°C storage temperatures. Chilling injury became more severe as storage duration increased. Plants had little or no chilling injury at 25 and 30°C, regardless of storage duration. Leaf loss was most severe on plants stored at 15°C for 7 or 14 days or at 30°C for 14 days. Increased storage duration up to 14 days did not affect the time of spiking (appearance of the flowering shoot) for plants stored between 15 and 25°C. Those kept at 30°C, regardless of the duration, spiked 5 to 8 days after the control. The results suggest that vegetative Phalaenopsis plants harvested in late summer should be stored and shipped at 25°C. Under such conditions, plants could lose 20% of the fresh mass between harvesting and planting without adversely affecting subsequent performance.

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Yin-Tung Wang

Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White' plants were selected when their first flower buds reached 2 or 5 cm in length, sprayed with 2 mL of PBA at 0 or 500 mg·L–1, and then placed under 1440 or 60 μmol·m–2·s–1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) during flowering. PBA resulted in delayed anthesis and increased dry matter accumulation in flowers under the high PPF but had no effect under the low PPF. PBA did not decrease the severity of flower bud abortion under the low PPF. Application of PBA induced the formation of numerous bulbils in the leaf axils. Regardless of PPF, PBA-treated plants had less dry weight in the main bulbs than the control plants. Chemical name used: N-(phenylmethyl)-9-(tetra-hydro-2H-pyran-2-yl)-9H-purin-6-amine (PBA).

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Yin-Tung Wang

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis `Jane Cowl' were pruned several weeks after receiving 0.1 mg/pot uniconazole soil drenches to retard the growth. Plants then received foliar sprays of GA3 (50 ppm), KIBA (200 ppm), or PBA (200 ppm) immediately after pruning or when the lateral shoots had three leaves. Application of the above growth regulators immediately after pruning had no effect on plant growth. When treatments were delayed until the three-leaf stage, GA3 completely restored leaf production rate and partially restored shoot elongation and pedicel length. GA3 also increased leaf area, and the leaf specific weight was similar to leaves on plants not receiving uniconazole. GA3 increased flower production 175% and 65% more than plants treated with uniconazole and the untreated plants, respectively. KIBA and PBA had no effect on altering the growth of uniconazole-treated plants. Foliar application of a combination of GA3, KIBA and PBA at the three-leaf stage had an effect similar to that of GA3 alone. However, the effect of GA3 on growth appeared to be transient and repeated application may be required to maintain the restored growth of uniconazole-treated plants.

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Yin-tung Wang

Bougainvillea cuttings propagated in fall and winter often bloom profusely before putting out adequate shoot growth. These large flowers shade the small leaves, resulting in slow growth. In an attempt to solve this problem, rooted `Juanita Hatten' cuttings were planted in 11.5-cm pots, clipped to 5 cm, and placed under natural short day or a 4-hour night interruption on 7 Dec. Plants were sprayed on 8 Dec. and again on 2 Jan. with 0, 50, 100, or 200 mg GA3/L or a combination of GA3 and PBA at 200 mg·L–1. Data were taken on the uppermost new shoot of each plant. Under long-day conditions, the first inflorescence was produced on the first node of all control plants, whereas plants treated with GA3 at 100 or 200 mg·L–1 produced the first inflorescences on higher nodes. The number of inflorescences on this shoot was unaffected by any treatment. GA3 treatment resulted in longer shoots (6.7–10.2 cm vs. 2.4 cm) and more leaves (13.4–l6.2 vs. 7.5), with greater effects at higher concentrations. These shoots had several inflorescences at the base, followed by many nonflowering nodes and additional flowers near the tip. The GA3 + PBA treatment had no effect on the position of the first inflorescence. However, shoots had twice as many nodes and fewer inflorescences than the controls and were shorter than those treated with GA3 alone. Plants under short day responded similarly to respective treatments under the long-day conditions. Tests will be conducted to determine if stock plants need to be treated in early fall and cuttings collected from the new growth to prevent early flowering.

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Yin-Tung Wang

Vegetatively propagated liners of six hybrid anthurium cultivars (Anthurium Schott), `Pink Aristocrat', `Patty Anne', `Purple Viking', `Royal Pink', Royal Orange', and `Royal Red', were planted in pots and grown under warm [maximum 30 °C (86 °F)] or hot [maximum 35 °C or (95 °F)] conditions with or without a single foliar application of 500 mg·L-1 (ppm) GA3 and evaluated after 7, 9, and 13 months. GA3, when applied 7 months after planting, did not promote flower production or result in taller plants. Plants in warm and hot areas, except for `Pink Aristocrat', had similar degrees of foliage injury in April, but those in the warm environment had better quality in July than those in the hothouse. Yellow leaves and necrosis on leaf margins were apparent on plants in the hot area. `Pink Aristocrat' was the most (>20 flowers) and `Royal Red' was the least (2 flowers) floriferous after 1 year. Flower color of `Royal Red' was unaffected by high temperature, whereas flowers of the other cultivars faded under heat. Growing these anthurium cultivars at maximum 30 °C (86 °F) air temperatures is recommended for good quality and high flower count.

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Yin-Tung Wang

Results of a series of experiments showed that the ground, noncomposted woody stem core of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) can be used successfully as a container medium amendment for producing potted tropical foliage and woody nursery crops. The growth of Brassaia actinophylla Endl., Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. `Jane Cowl', and Pittosporum tobira (Thunb.) Ait. `Wheeler's Dwarf' in 70% or 80% kenaf (by volume, the balance being peatmoss or perlite or vermiculite and other nutrients) was similar to or greater than growth in two popular commercial mixes. Undesirable shrinkage of certain kenaf-amended media during plant production was reduced greatly by mixing it with at least 30% peatmoss or by using a coarser kenaf grind. As the portion of peatmoss increased from 0% to 30%, noncapillary porosity and water-holding capacity per container increased. A medium consisting of 50% kenaf, 40% peatmoss, and 10% vermiculite held as much water as a commercial medium. However, plants in most kenaf-amended media required more-frequent irrigation than those in the commercial media.

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Yin-Tung Wang

Foliar application of 500 or 1000 mg BA or PBA/liter to stock plants of golden pothos [Epipremnum aureum (Linden & Andre) Bunt.] induced axillary bud elongation but did not promote growth of cuttings taken from these stock plants. Cuttings from plants treated with BA + GA4+7, each at 1000 mg·liter-1, died. Plants grown under 1000 μmol·s-1·m-2 had more but smaller leaves than those under 420 μmol·s-1·m-2. Cuttings produced under the higher light level grew more rapidly. Leaf area increased while stem length decreased as Osmocote slow-release fertilizer (18N-2.6P-10K) increased from 4 to 16 kg·m-3. A 24N-3.5P-13.3K water-soluble fertilizer applied at the rate of 0.42 g/500 ml weekly produced the best plants and resulted in the best cutting growth. Cuttings taken from stock plants receiving Osmocote at 4 kg·m-3 grew slower than those produced at other rates. Placement of cuttings in a mist-propagation bed for 1 or more weeks resulted in an accelerated growth rate relative to nonmisted cuttings. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (BA); N-(phenylmethyl)-9-(tetrahydro-2H-pyran-2-yl)-9H-purin-6-amine (PBA); (1α,2β,4aα,10β) 2,4a,7-trihydroxy-l-methyl-8-methylenegibb-3-ene-1,10-dicarboxylic acid l,-4a-lactone (GA4+7).

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Yin-Tung Wang

Since Phalaenopsis orchids are CAM plants, learning how they respond to night temperature warmer than the day would help regulate their production. On 1 Apr. 2003, P. amabilis plants were subjected to day/night temperatures at 30/25, 25/30, 25/20, 20/25, 20/15, or 15/20 °C under 140 μmol·m-2·s-1 PPF. After 4 months, the total length of new leaves was shorter as a result of fewer and shorter new leaves when nights were cooler than the days and as the average daily temperature declined. More spikes were produced at 25/20 and 20/25 °C than at 20/15 or 15/20 °C. In another experiment, P. amabilis plants were moved to the above conditions on 12 Aug. Plants exposed to 30/25 or 25/30 °C had more leaf growth than at lower temperatures, but no flowering. Plants that were exposed to 25/20 or 20/25 °C spiked in 2 weeks; but plants took 20 and 18 d to spike under 20/15 or 15/20 °C, respectively. Again, as average daily temperature decreased, there was less leaf growth. Cooler day than the night reduced vegetative growth, regardless of temperature. Plants at 25/20 or 20/25 °C had higher flower count (12) than those at 20/15 or 15/20 °C (8). In a third experiment, plants of a large-flowered Doritaenopsis hybrid spiked at 22–24 d when exposed to 25/20 or 20/25 °C, whereas 30-33 d were needed to spike under 20/15 or 15/20 °C. In a fourth experiment, a Doritaenopsis hybrid spiked after 22, 21, or 25 d under 25/25, 25/20, or 20/20 °C. However, 37 d was required to spike under 20/15 °C. These results suggest that the best temperature range for spiking these orchids is 25 to 20 °C and a day/night temperature differential is not needed for spiking when temperature is at or below 25 °C.