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M. Gonzalez and M. Serpa

In vitro propagation of Nephrolepis exaltata L., was accomplished in 4 phases: 1. Initiation explants taken from apical portions of the stolon were cultivated in M.S. inorganic salts plus 0,4 mg/l Hcl tiamine, 100 mg/l m-inositol, 30 g/l Difco Bacto Agar at pH 5, 7. 2. Multiplication of that material in a similar medium as the one used before; but without kinetine. 3. Root of shoots took place in the multiplication medium devoided of the growth regulator substances, and decreasing sucrose to 10 g/l. 4. Plants were transplanted to sterilized medium (rice husk 2 parts, light sand 1 part, black soil 1 part, and horse manure 1/2 part), and placed under saran mesh. Starting with one explant, and considering 100% success in both the multiplicative and rooting phases, it's possible to obtain about 100.000 plants of Nephrolepis exaltata L. during a period of 6 months.

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John E. Erwin, Royal D. Heins, and James E. Faust

Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott `Dallas Jewel' plants were grown for 92 days under 16 day/night temperature (DT/NT) regimes and two photoperiods for a total of 32 environments. Temperatures ranged from 15 to 30 ± 1.5C. Photoperiod was either 9 hours (short days) or 9 hours plus a 4-hour night interruption (long days) using incandescent lamps. Photoperiod had no significant effect on either morphology or development rate. Frond length and leaflet count per frond were highly correlated with the average daily temperature (ADT). Frond length increased from 9.3 to 21.9 cm and leaflet count increased from 21 to 42 leaflets per frond as ADT increased from 15 to 30C. Solon count and frond orientation were highly correlated with the weighted difference (WDIF) between DT and NT. The weighted difference between DT and NT was equal to: (DT × photoperiod) - (NT × scotoperiod). The scotoperiod was inclusive of the night interruption. Stolon count increased as the weighted NT increased relative to the weighted DT, i.e., as WDIF decreased. In contrast, frond angle relative to the soil surface, i.e., frond orientation, increased as WDIF increased. Frond unfolding rate and total plant dry weight increased as temperature increased to ≈ 25C, then decreased.

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H. Wang, S. Parent, A. Gosselin, and Y. Desjardins

Micropropagated plantlets of Gerbera jamesonii H. Bolus ex Hook. F. `Terra Mix', Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott `Florida Ruffles', and Syngonium podophyllum Schott `White Butterfly' were inoculated with two vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi, Glomus intraradices Schenck and Smith and G. vesiculiferum Gerderman and Trappe. They were potted in three peat-based media to determine the effects of mycorrhizal peat substrate on acclimatization and subsequent growth of micropropagated plantlets under greenhouse conditions. Symbiosis was established between the three ornamental species and VAM fungi within 4 to 8 weeks of culture in the greenhouse, but not during acclimatization. Mortality of Gerbera and Nephrolepis mycorrhizal plantlets was reduced at week 8 compared to the noninoculated control. A peat-based substrate low in P and with good aeration improved VAM fungi spread and efficiency. Mycorrhizal substrates had a long-term benefit of increasing leaf and root dry weight of Gerbera and Nephrolepis. Mycorrhizal Gerbera plants flowered significantly faster than non-mycorrhizal plants.

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C. A. Conover and R. T. Poole

Leaching of N into ground water has become a major pollutant in several areas of the U.S. The potential for regulation of environmental plant producers is increasing, but limited information is available on cultural management. This factorial experiment tested a liquid and a slow release fertilizer source at 3 irrigation levels (100, 200 or 300 ml/20 cm pot/2 times/wk) for NH4 +, NO3 - and P found in leachate collected weekly for 12 weeks. Plant quality and fresh weight for all treatments was similar, but large variations occurred in NH4 +, NO3 - and P levels in leachate due to irrigation level. Increasing irrigation level from 100 to 300 ml twice weekly resulted mainly in linear increases of NO3 - present in leachate, with levels as high as 159 mg/l observed near the end of the production cycle. NH4 + levels were most affected by irrigation and highest early in the experiment, but were generally lower than 1 mg/l. P levels ranged from 1.4 to 16.0 mg/l in leachate with responses to fertilizer source and irrigation mainly during the first 6 weeks.

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Doina Clapa, Alexandru Fira, and Nirmal Joshee

’ and ‘Cristiana’ are procumbent roses; Nephrolepis sp., Drosera capillaris , and Drosera rotundifolia are carnivorous species used as ornamentals. Amelanchier canadensis ‘Rainbow Pillar’ is an ornamental as well as fruit shrub. ‘Gisela 5

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F. Ponton, Y. Piché, S. Parent, and M. Caron

Rooted plantlets of in vitro micropropagated Boston fern [Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott var. Whitmanii] were transferred to pots containing a brown peat-based mix and simultaneously inoculated with one of four species of Glomus. Glomus intraradices and G. clarum formed rapid and extensive infection in Nephrolepis exaltata roots, while Glomus vesiculiferum and G. versiforme showed a significantly slower rate of infection. The high P fertilized control performed better than the other treatments, except in the number of fronds, which was similar. From the four mycorrhizal treatments, plants inoculated with Glomus vesiculiferum showed the most significant increase in growth when compared with the low P fertilization control. These results led us to re-examine vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation as an alternative to higher P fertilization in horticultural Boston fern production.

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F. Ponton, Y. Piché, S. Parent, and M. Caron

The horticultural Boston fern [Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott cv. Verona] was micropropagated in vitro using commercial techniques. Rooted plantlets were transferred into pots containing one of three test substrates made of peat and vermiculite and subsequently inoculated with one of two species of Glomus. Survival of uninoculated control plants growing on a black peat-based mix was less than that on a brown peat-based mix. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) inoculation significantly increased survival on the former, but not the latter, substrate. The growth of roots was enhanced in brown peatmoss, but VAM colonization was faster with black peatmoss. Compared to uninoculated controls growing under the same fertilization regime, inoculated plants had significantly higher frond P and N concentration and also showed better frond and root growth. On a growth-increment basis, our results suggested that the brown peat-based mixed was more suitable for fungal activity and fern growth.

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Johnny Carter, Bharat P. Singh, and Wayne Whitehead

Two greenhouse studies (1990 and 1991) were conducted to evaluate the effect of dikegulac (Atrinal) and benzyladenine (ProShear) on frond initiation and vegetative growth of Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata L.). Four weeks after transplanting, fern liners were sprayed with aqueous solutions of dikegulac and benzyladenine (BA). Chemical concentrations of dikegulac were 0, 250, 500, or 750 mg·L–1 and those of BA were 0, 50, 100, or 150 mg·L–1. The effect of dikegulac and BA on number of shoots, frond length, leaf area, and dry weight were measured. Dikegulac stimulated shoot initiation and increased leaf area and dry weight without affecting frond length. BA reduced frond length and its effect on shoot initiation, leaf area and dry weight varied from one time to another. This study suggests the potential use for dikegulac in improving the appearance and aesthetic quality of Boston fern.

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Johnny Carter and Sauveur Mahotiere

Effects of BA, Promalin and Dikegulac-sodium on frond number and overall growth in Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata L.) were studies. Four weeks after transplanting, fern liners were sprayed with aqueous solutions of BA, Promalin and dikegulac-sodium. Chemical concentrations of BA and promalin ranged from 0 to 150 mg. liter-1 at 50 mg. liter-1 increments. Chemical concentrations of dikegulac-sodium ranged for 0 to 750 mg.liter-1 at 250 mg.liter-1 increments. Chemical treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with 6 replications. BA and Promalin significantly increased the number of fronds, average frond length, leaf area and dry weight as the concentration of the chemicals increased. In contrast, dikegulac-sodium significantly suppressed the average frond length, leaf area and dry weight when compared to the control. Similarly to BA and Promalin, dikegulac-sodium increased the number of fronds as the concentration of the chemical increased.

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R. Dudley Williams and Nancy A. Reichert

Two types of ground kenaf core (fresh and aged) were used in concentrations from 70% to 100% (v/v) in combination with peat for use as greenhouse potting media and were compared to two commercial mixes in completely randomized block designs. Greenhouse crops of Boston fern (Nephrolepis), impatiens, and pansies (Viola) were grown in the different mixes. Irrigation was conducted regularly, based primarily on the average need of all the plants. Kenaf-based media did not retain water as well as the commercial mixes. Consequently, impatiens and pansies displayed slower growth rates. However, no differences were noted for fern growth in 70% kenaf compared to commercial mixes. A second study on plants that were grouped by media type and watered as needed provided different results. Ferns grew equally well in all media, but impatiens grew best in 70% fresh kenaf. Kenaf-based media were less costly than the commercial mixes, and the cost decreased steadily as the kenaf proportion increased. The lower cost of kenaf coupled with the decreasing availability of peat should make kenaf-based media an attractive alternative to conventional greenhouse potting media.