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Open access

C. M. Gesalman and D. D. Davis

Abstract

Ten cultivars of azalea (Rhododendron sp.) were exposed to 0.30 ± 0.05 ppm ozone (590 ±100 μg/m3) for 8 hours at various times during the summer. ‘Louise Gable,’ ‘Delaware Valley White’ and ‘Rose Greeley’ were significantly more susceptible than were ‘Stewartstonian,’ ‘Fedora,’ ‘Orange Beauty,’ ‘Hino-crimson,’ ‘Hershey Pink,’ ‘Rosebud,’ and ‘Springfield Crimson.’ Neither rate of gas exchange nor stomatal frequency was correlated with degree of visible injury induced by ozone.

Open access

Peter M. Rosen, George L. Good, and Peter L. Steponkus

Abstract

Four cultivars of kurume azalea (Rhododendron sp.), ‘Hersey Red’, ‘Snow’, ‘Coral Bells’ and ‘Hino Crimson’ reported to have different susceptibilities to winter injury in the nursery were compared for their sensitivities to direct freezing injury (both to roots and leaves) and desiccation injury under controlled conditions. Sensitivity to root freezing injury was inversely correlated with winter injury. A positive association between leaf hardiness to freezing injury and resistance to winter injury was found only in ‘Hino Crimson’. Susceptibility to winter injury was most closely associated with desiccation, as indicated by the minimum water potentials under conditions of frozen soil and high evaporative demand.

Open access

M. Bodson

Abstract

For 2 cultivars of azalea (Rhododendron sp.), floral initiation was earlier when irradiance was increased from 80 to 160 µE m-2s-1. Buds aborted at an early stage of floral initiation in 8-hr days, but this was prevented by increasing the irradiance from 80 to 250 µE m-2s-1. A night interruption of 1.5-hr incandescent light allowed plants kept in 8-hr days to grow vegetatively for a longer time. Inflorescence development increased with increasing daylength and irradiance. In the late cultivar ‘Knut Erwén’, inflorescence development was reduced by low light intensities more than in the semi-early ‘Reinhold Ambrosius’.

Open access

Athanasios S. Economou and Paul E. Read

Abstract

Sphagnum peat (peat) media (adjusted to pH 4.0, 4.6, 5.5, 6.6, and 7.4 with ground dolomitic limestone) and unadulterated peat (pH 3.6) were tested for their effectiveness on rooting of hardy deciduous azalea (Rhododendron sp.) microcuttings in high-humidity chambers. Rooting of more than 90% occurred in media with pH 4.0, 4.6, and 5.5; however, a) shoot height and quality rating and b) root length and quality rating were superior at pH 4.0. Clonal differences in rooting percentages were found for 3 clones of azalea microcuttings rooted in 5 soilless mixtures. A mixture including equal parts (v/v) of peat and either sphagnum, vermiculite, or perlite, or a combination of 2 peat : 1 vermiculite : 1 perlite (by volume) increased rooting percentages over peat alone for all 3 azalea clones examined.

Open access

Athanasios S. Economou and Paul E. Read

Abstract

Shoots harvested from the first and 2nd reculture of azalea (Rhododendron sp.) accession 800374 shoot tip cultures grown under 16 hr photoperiod from cool-white fluorescent light were taller and achieved higher quality ratings than shoots from 24 hr daily photoperiod. The number of shoots produced during the first reculture was the same for both 16 and 24 hr photoperiod, whereas significantly more shoots were harvested from cultures grown under 16 hr in the 2nd reculture. Similarly, 24 hr light inhibited elongation of shoots and decreased quality rating from in vitro-derived shoot cultures without any effect on the number of shoots per culture. Photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) of 30 and 75 μmol s−1m−2 (400–700 nm) increased number, length, and quality rating of shoots harvested from in vitro-derived shoot explants when compared to a 10 μmol s−1m−2 PPFD. However, recultured in vitro-derived shoot explants produced similar number and length of shoots under 10, 30, and 75 μmol s-1m-2, whereas the quality rating was reduced in cultures under 75 μmol s−1m−2. The highest percentage of rooting occurred in microcuttings harvested from cultures grown under 10 and the lowest under 75 μmol s−1m−2. Increasing the PPFD from 10 to 75 μmol s−1m−2 reduced shoot length and quality rating of rooted microcuttings, as well as root length and quality rating.

Open access

D.C. Milbocker

Abstract

Conventional leafburn evaluations were compared with a new root cell plasmolysis technique to test azalea cultivars (Rhododendron sp.) for salt tolerance. Plasmolysis was a more rapid indicator of salt tolerance than leafburn evaluation, and the technique was an acceptable method of evaluating azalea salt tolerance. Results of this research indicated that the salt-tolerant group contained those species and cultivars considered sun-tolerant, which are characterized by large leaves, coarse stems, and rapid growth. Kurume azaleas were among those determined to be salt-sensitive.

Free access

Carrie E. Green and David R. Hershey

Fundamental research on mineral nutrition of azalea has been restricted due to the lack of a model experimental system for growing azaleas in solution culture. The need to maintain a clean root system dictates that azalea cuttings be rooted in solution. A propagation system (HortScience 24:706) was used to root 10-cm long terminal shoot cuttings of azalea `Delaware Valley White' under intermittent mist in a greenhouse. Cutting bases were dipped in 8,000 mg/liter K-IBA for 40 seconds before rooting. Rooting percentages after 7 weeks were 6, 10, and 50% for rooting solutions of tap water, modified 20% Hoagland solution, and 2mM CaCl2, respectively. After an additional 5 weeks the rooting percentage had increased to 83% in the 2 mM CaCl2 treatment. Three other azalea cultivars were found to root much slower than `Delaware Valley White'. Acclimatization of rooted cuttings to the normal greenhouse environment is essential to prevent leaf necrosis and is accomplished by gradually reducing the misting frequency prior to removal from under intermittent mist.

Free access

Carrie E. Green and David R. Hershey

Fundamental research on mineral nutrition of azalea has been restricted due to the lack of a model experimental system for growing azaleas in solution culture. The need to maintain a clean root system dictates that azalea cuttings be rooted in solution. A propagation system (HortScience 24:706) was used to root 10-cm long terminal shoot cuttings of azalea `Delaware Valley White' under intermittent mist in a greenhouse. Cutting bases were dipped in 8,000 mg/liter K-IBA for 40 seconds before rooting. Rooting percentages after 7 weeks were 6, 10, and 50% for rooting solutions of tap water, modified 20% Hoagland solution, and 2mM CaCl2, respectively. After an additional 5 weeks the rooting percentage had increased to 83% in the 2 mM CaCl2 treatment. Three other azalea cultivars were found to root much slower than `Delaware Valley White'. Acclimatization of rooted cuttings to the normal greenhouse environment is essential to prevent leaf necrosis and is accomplished by gradually reducing the misting frequency prior to removal from under intermittent mist.

Free access

Lori A. Black, Terril A. Nell, and James E. Barrett

Dormant-budded `Gloria' azaleas (Rhododendron sp.) at various maturity levels (one, eight, or 32 individual open flowers) were moved from the greenhouse to postproduction rooms. Postproduction rooms were maintained at 21 ± 1C, relative humidity 50% ± 5%, and 12 hours of daily irradiance at 12 μmol·s–1·m–2 from cool-white fluorescent lamps to simulate home conditions. Using predetermined categories, the number of tight, showing-color, candle, and open-flower inflorescences were recorded. After 2 weeks postproduction, plants chosen at the start of postproduction with eight or 32 individual open flowers had the best flowering uniformity and flower color. In a second experiment, azaleas with one, eight, or 32 individual open flowers were placed into simulated transport for 4 days at 16 ± 1C. Plants with one individual open flower had greatest longevity, but those with eight open flowers had the best overall postproduction performance. In a final experiment, azaleas at similar maturity levels were placed in simulated transport at 5, 16, or 27C for 2, 4, or 6 days. After 2 weeks postprodudion, there was no difference due to simulated-transport temperature or duration on flowering performance or flower color. Longevity was good for plants held 2, 4, or 6 days at 5C and for plants held for 2 days at 16 or 27C.

Free access

R.C. Beeson Jr.

Elaeagnus pungens Thunb., Ligustrum japonicum Thunb., Photinia ×fraseri `Red Top', and Rhododendron sp. `Fashion' (azalea) growing in 10.4-liter containers were irrigated only at dawn with overhead impact sprinklers or pulse-irrigated three or four times each day with a drip system. Plant water potential was measured diurnally each week for 24 weeks, and growth was measured at the end of the growing season in December. Overhead irrigation resulted in less growth of all species than plants maintained near 100% container moisture with pulse irrigation. With the exception of photinia, more growth was associated with significantly lower daily accumulated water stress. Water stress of overhead-irrigated plants was generally not severe enough to cause stomata1 closure.