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Timothy K. Broschat

Twenty-two preemergent herbicides were applied at their maximum labeled rates and twice those rates to determine their safety and effectiveness on areca palm [Dypsis lutescens (H. Wendl.) Beentje & Dransf.], pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii O'Brien), and mexican fan palm (Washingtonia robusta H. Wendl.). Two products, dichlobenil and metolachlor showed consistent phytotoxicity on all three species. Several of the remaining products caused death of the apical meristem in mexican fan palms and reduced growth rates in pygmy date palms, but most caused little damage to areca palms. Herbicides applied as sprays generally remained effective for 2 to 4 months, whereas granular products, especially those containing oxyfluorfen plus another chemical, were effective for up to 8 months.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Five species of tropical ornamental plants—artillery fern (Pilea serpyllacea), pleomele (Dracaena reflexa), fishtail palm (Caryota mitis), areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), and sunshine palm (Veitchia mcdanielsii)—were grown in containers under full sun, 55% shade, or 73% shade. They were fertilized every 6 months with Osmocote Plus 15-9-12 (15N-4P-10K) at rates of 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 g/pot (0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.1, and 1.3 oz/pot). For pleomele and the three palm species, optimum shoot dry weights and color ratings were similar among the three light intensities tested. However, artillery fern grown in full sun required fertilizer rates at least 50% higher for optimum shoot dry weight and color than under 55% or 73% shade. Light intensit × fertilizer rate interactions were highly significant for pilea and fishtail palm color and dry weight and sunshine palm and pleomele color.

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Monica L. Elliott and Timothy K. Broschat

A commercially available microbial inoculant (Plant Growth Activator Plus) that contains 50 microorganisms, primarily bacteria, was evaluated in a soilless container substrate to determine its effects on root bacterial populations and growth response of container-grown plants at three fertilizer rates. The tropical ornamental plants included hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis `Double Red'), spathiphyllum (Spathiphyllum `Green Velvet') and areca palm (Dypsis lutescens). The bacterial groups enumerated were fluorescent pseudomonads, actinomycetes, heat-tolerant bacteria, and total aerobic bacteria. Analysis of the inoculant before its use determined that fluorescent pseudomonads claimed to be in the inoculant were not viable. The plant variables measured were plant color rating, shoot dry weight and root dry weight. Only hibiscus shoot dry weight and color rating increased in response to the addition of the inoculant to the substrate. Hibiscus roots also had a significant increase in the populations of fluores-cent pseudomonads and heat-tolerant bacteria. From a commercial production point of view, increasing fertilizer rates in the substrate provided a stronger response in hibiscus than did addition of the microbial inoculant. Furthermore, use of the inoculant in this substrate did not compensate for reduced fertilizer inputs.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly A. Klock-Moore

Areca palms [Dypsis lutescens (H. Wendl.) Beentje & J. Dransf.], spathiphyllums (Spathiphyllum Schott. `Figaro'), ixoras (Ixora L. `Nora Grant'), tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. `Floramerica'), marigolds (Tagetes erecta L. `Inca Gold'), bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. `Better Bell'), and pentas [Pentas lanceolata (Forssk.) Deflers. `Cranberry'] were grown in a pine bark-based potting substrate and were fertilized weekly with 0, 8, 16, 32, or 64 mg (1.0 oz = 28,350 mg) of P per pot. Shoot, and to a much lesser extent, root dry weight, increased for all species as weekly P fertilization rate was increased from 0 to 8 mg/pot. As P fertilization was increased from 8 to 64 mg/pot, neither roots nor shoots of most species showed any additional growth in response to increased P. Root to shoot ratio decreased sharply as P fertilization rate was increased from 0 to 8 mg/pot, but remained relatively constant in response to further increases in P fertilization rate.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Downy jasmines [Jasminum multiflorum (Burm. f.) Andr.] and areca palms [Dypsis lutescens (H. Wendl.) Beentje & J. Dransf.] were grown in containers filled with a fine sand soil (SS) or with a pine bark-based potting substrate (PS). Each of these substrates was amended with 0%, 10%, or 20% clinoptilolitic zeolite (CZ) by volume. Plants were fertilized monthly with a water-nonsoluble 20N-4.3P-16.6K granular fertilizer. Downy jasmines were larger and had darker color in CZ-amended PS and were larger in CZ-amended SS than in nonamended SS or PS. Areca palms, which tend to be limited by K in SS had better color and larger size when the SS was amended with CZ. In PS, where K is seldom limiting, areca palms did not respond to CZ amendment of the PS. Both ammonium (NH4)-N and potassium (K) were retained against leaching by CZ, but some of the NH4-N adsorbed to CZ was subject to nitrification, either before or after its release into the soil solution. Some phosphate (PO4)-P was also retained by CZ.

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Kimberly A. Klock-Moore and Timothy K. Broschat

In this study, areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), crossandra (Crossandra infundibuliformis), pentas (Pentas lanceolat), and philodendron (Philodendron) `Hope' plants were transplanted into containers filled with four growing substrates and watered daily, every 2 days, or every 3 days using subirrigation or overhead irrigation. Plants were grown in either a pine bark/sedge peat/sand substrate (BSS), Metro-mix 500 (MM), Pro-mix GSX (PM), or a 60% biosolid substrate (SYT). For both irrigation systems, final shoot dry weight of pentas, crossandra, philodendron, and areca palm plants in each substrate was greatest for plants watered every day and least for plants watered every 3 days. At all three irrigation frequencies, pentas, crossandra, and philodendron shoot dry weight in subirrigated pots filled with PM was greater than in overhead watered pots filled with PM. PM had the highest total pore space and moisture content of the four substrates examined. There was no difference in pentas, crossandra, or philodendron shoot dry weight between the irrigation systems, at all three irrigation frequencies, when plants were grown in BSS, MM, or SYT. However, for all four substrates and at all three irrigation frequencies, areca palm shoot dry weight was greater in overhead watered pots than in subirrigated pots. The final substrate electrical conductivity (EC) in all four subirrigated palm substrates was more than double the concentrations in overhead watered palm substrates. In this study, largest pentas, crossandra, and philodendron plants were grown in pots filled with PM and subirrigated daily, while largest areca palm plants were grown in pots filled with MM or SYT and watered overhead daily.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly K. Moore

In two experiments, chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii), areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), fishtail palm (Caryota mitis), macarthur palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii), shooting star (Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum), downy jasmine (Jasminum multiflorum), plumbago (Plumbago auriculata), alexandra palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae), and foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) were transplanted into 6.2-L (2-gal) containers. They were fertilized with Osmocote Plus 15N-3.9P-10K (12-to14-month formulation) (Expt. 1) or Nutricote Total 18N-2.6P-6.7K (type 360) (Expt. 2) applied by either top dressing, substrate incorporation, or layering the fertilizer just below the transplanted root ball. Shoot dry weight, plant color, root dry weights in the upper and lower halves of the root ball, and weed shoot dry weight were determined when each species reached marketable size. Optimal fertilizer placement method varied among the species tested. With the exception of areca palm, none of the species tested grew best with incorporated fertilizer. Root dry weights in the lower half of the root ball for chinese hibiscus, bamboo palm, and downy jasmine were greatest when the fertilizer was layered and root dry weights in the upper half of the root ball were greatest for top-dressed chinese hibiscus. Weed growth was lower in pots receiving layered fertilizer for four of the six palm species tested.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-chinensis), shooting star (Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum), downy jasmine (Jasminum multiflorum), areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), and `Jetty' spathiphyllum (Spathiphyllum) were grown in containers using Osmocote Plus 15-9-12 (15N-3.9P-10K), which provided phosphorus (two experiments), or resin-coated urea plus sulfur-coated potassium sulfate, which provided no phosphorus (one experiment). Plants were treated with water drenches (controls), drenches with metalaxyl fungicide only, drenches with phosphoric acid (PO4-P), drenches with metalaxyl plus phosphorus from phosphoric acid, drenches with PhytoFos 4-28-10 [4N-12.2P-8.3K, a fertilizer containing phosphorous acid (PO3-P), a known fungicidal compound], or a foliar spray with PhytoFos 4-28-10. Plants receiving soil drenches with equivalent amounts of P from PhytoFos 4-28-10, PO4-P, or PO4-P+metalaxyl generally had the greatest shoot and root dry weights and foliar PO4-P concentrations. There were no differences between the control and metalaxyl-treated plants, indicating that root rot diseases were not a factor. Therefore, responses from PhytoFos 4-28-10 were believed to be due to its nutrient content, rather than its fungicidal properties. Foliar-applied PhytoFos 4-29-10 produced plants that were generally similar in size to control plants or those receiving metalaxyl only drenches. Fertilizers containing PO3-P appear to be about as effective as PO4-P sources when applied to the soil, but are relatively ineffective as a P source when applied as a foliar spray. A distinct positive synergistic response for shoot and root dry weights and foliar PO4-P concentrations was observed for the PO4-P+metalaxyl treatment when no P was applied except as a treatment.

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Timothy K. Broschat

application rate to prevent K:Mg imbalances ( Broschat, 2009 ; von Uexkull and Fairhurst, 1991 ). Table 1. Nitrogen and potassium rates (per application) used for areca ( Dypsis lutescens ) and Mexican fan palms ( Washingtonia robusta ) growing in a

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Timothy K. Broschat

areca palm ( Dypsis lutescens ), queen palm [ Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman], and Veitchia H. Wendl. spp. ( Broschat, 2009 ). Still, although N deficiency is rare, N is the element that most strongly affects growth rate and thus N