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Osamu Arakawa and Joe M. Ogawa

The skin of `Elegant Lady' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] fruit turned black when exposed to 100 ppm ferrous sulfate solution. This color change appeared on the red and the yellow portions of the fruit. Microscopy of the skin showed blue-black pigment distribution in epidermal and hypodermal tissues. Some epidermal and hypodermal cells discolored immediately when exposed to ferrous solutions, but many cells turned black later. Some cells with anthocyanin pigments did not discolor. Chromic acid showed that tannic substances were distributed in the epidermal and hypodermal cells, and they likely are the main factor in black discoloration of peach fruit exposed to solutions containing Fe.

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R. Fernández-Escobar, D. Barranco and M. Benlloch

Chlorotic `Manzanillo' olive (Olea europaea L.) trees and `Maycrest' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] trees were injected with Fe solutions using an apparatus that consisted of a plastic injector and a pressurized latex tube containing the solution to be injected. Injections were made on various dates from Sept. 1987 to July 1988. All treatments increased chlorophyll content compared to that of the control. Ferrous sulfate was the most effective Fe compound in alleviating chlorosis; its effect lasted for two seasons in peach and for at least three seasons in olive. Also, ferrous sulfate increased vegetative growth and affected cropping the year following injections. Ferrous sulfate at 0.5% to 1% is recommended to reduce the risk of foliar burning. The injection method effectively introduced Fe compounds into olive and peach trees.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly K. Moore

Zonal geraniums (Pelargonium ×hortorum) from seed and african marigolds (Tagetes erecta), which are known to be highly susceptible to Fe toxicity problems, were grown with I, 2, 4, or 6 mm Fe from ferrous sulfate, ferric citrate, FeEDTA, FeDTPA, FeEDDHA, ferric glucoheptonate, or ferrous ammonium sulfate in the subirrigation solution. FeEDTA and FeDTPA were highly toxic to both species, even at the 1 mm rate. Ferrous sulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate caused no visible toxicity symptoms on marigolds, but did reduce dry weights with increasing Fe concentrations. Both materials were slightly to moderately toxic on zonal geraniums. FeEDDHA was only mildly toxic at the 1 mm concentration on both species, but was moderately toxic at the 2 and 4 mm concentrations. Substrate pH was generally negatively correlated with geranium dry weight and visible phytotoxicity ratings, with the least toxic materials, ferrous sulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate, resulting in the lowest substrate pHs and the chelates FeEDTA, FeDTPA, and FeEDDHA the highest pH. The ionic Fe sources, ferrous sulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate, suppressed P uptake in both species, whereas the Fe chelates did not. Fe EDDHA should be considered as an effective and less toxic alternative for the widely used FeEDTA and FeDTPA in the production of these crops.

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Timothy K. Broschat

`Petite Yellow' dwarf ixoras (Ixora spp.) were grown in an alkaline substrate (3 limestone gravel: 2 coir dust) or a poorly aerated composted seaweed substrate to induce iron (Fe) chlorosis. Chlorotic plants were fertilized every 2 months with soil applications of 0.1 g (0.0035 oz) Fe per 2.4-L (0.63-gal) pot using ferrous sulfate, ferric diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (FeDTPA), ferric ethylenediaminedi-o-hydroxyphenylacetic acid (FeEDDHA), Hampshire Iron (FeHEDTA plus FeEDTA), ferric citrate, iron glucoheptonate, or DisperSul Iron (sulfur plus ferrous sulfate). Additional chlorotic ixoras growing in a substrate of 3 sedge peat: 2 cypress sawdust: 1 sand were treated every 2 months with foliar sprays of Fe at 0.8 g·L-1 (0.11 oz/gal) from ferrous sulfate, FeDTPA, FeEDDHA, ferric citrate, or iron glucoheptonate. Only chelated Fe sources significantly improved ixora chlorosis when applied to the soil, regardless of whether the chlorosis was induced by an alkaline substrate or a poorly aerated one. As a foliar spray, only FeDTPA was effective in improving chlorosis in dwarf ixora. Leaf Fe content either showed no relationship to plant color or was negatively correlated with plant chlorosis ratings.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Monica L. Elliott

Foxtail palms (Wodyetia bifurcata Irvine) were grown in 6.2-L containers using a 3 calcitic limestone gravel: 2 coir dust (by volume) substrate to induce Fe chlorosis. Plants were treated initially and 2 and 4 months later with soil applications of FeDTPA, FeEDDHA, FeEDTA+FeHEDTA on vermiculite, FeEDTA+FeDTPA on clay, ferric citrate, ferrous ammonium sulfate, ferrous sulfate, ferrous sulfate+sulfur, or iron glucoheptonate at a rate of 0.2 g Fe/container. Similar plants were treated initially and 2 and 4 months later with foliar sprays of FeDTPA, FeEDDHA, ferric citrate, ferrous sulfate, or iron glucoheptonate at a rate of 0.8 g Fe/L. After 6 months, palms receiving soil applications of FeEDDHA, FeEDTA+FeHEDTA on vermiculite, FeDTPA, or FeEDTA+FeDTPA on clay had significantly less chlorosis than plants receiving other soil-applied Fe fertilizers or untreated control plants. Palms treated with foliar Fe fertilizers had chlorosis ratings similar to untreated control plants. Palms with the most severe Fe chlorosis also had the highest levels of leaf spot disease caused by Exserohilum rostratum (Drechs.) K.J. Leonard & E.G. Suggs. Neither chlorosis severity nor leaf spot severity was correlated with total leaf Fe concentration.

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A. Jeremy Bishko, Paul R. Fisher and William R. Argo

Medium-pH above 6.4 is a common cause of micronutrient deficiency for container-grown plants, and technologies are required to correct an excessively high medium-pH. The objective was to quantify the dose response from application of several acidic materials that have been recommended for lowering medium-pH in soilless media. A 70% peat/30% perlite (by volume) medium was mixed with a preplant nutrient charge, a wetting agent and 1.5, 1.8, 2.1, or 2.4 kg·m-3 of a dolomitic hydrated lime resulting in four starting pH levels ranging from 6.4 to 7.6. Aluminum sulfate (17% Al) at 1.8-28.8 g·L-1, flowable elemental sulfur (52% S) at 3.55-56.8 mL·L-1, ferrous sulfate (20.8% Fe) at 1.8-28.8 g·L-1, Seplex-L organic acid at 0.32-5.12 mL·L-1, sulfuric acid (93%) at 0.08-2.56 mL·L-1, 21.1N-3.1P-5.8K water-soluble fertilizer at 50-400 mg·L-1 N (potential acidity 780 g CaCO3 equivalents/kg), and a deionized water control were applied at 60 mL per 126-cm3 container with minimal leaching as a single drench (except repeat sulfuric acid applications at 0.08 or 0.16 mL·L-1 and 21.1N-3.1P-5.8K treatments that were applied about every 3 days). Medium-pH and electrical conductivity (EC) were tested over 28 days using the saturated medium extract method using deionized water as the extractant. One day after application, aluminum sulfate, ferrous sulfate, and sulfuric acid lowered pH by up to 3 pH units at the highest concentrations and medium-pH remained fairly stable for the following 27 days. Flowable sulfur lowered pH gradually over the course of the experiment by up to 3.3 pH units, with no difference across the wide range in concentrations. Organic acid had minimal impact on medium-pH, and 21.1N-3.1P-5.8K did not lower medium-pH despite the fact that all nitrogen was supplied in the ammonium and urea form. At recommended concentrations, chemicals tested raised medium-EC, but not above acceptable levels for plant growth. The highest rates of aluminum and ferrous sulfates, and sulfuric acid, however, increased medium-EC by 2.0 dS·m-1 on day 1. Medium-pH-responses to acid-reaction chemicals would be expected to vary in commercial practices depending on additional factors such as lime type and incorporation rate, water alkalinity, media components, and plant interactions.

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Ron M. Wik, Paul. R. Fisher, Dean A. Kopsell and William R. Argo

Two experiments were completed to determine whether the form and concentration of iron (Fe) affected Fe toxicity in the Fe-efficient species Pelargonium ×hortorum `Ringo Deep Scarlet' L.H. Bail. grown at a horticulturally low substrate pH of 4.1 to 4.9 or Fe deficiency in the Fe-inefficient species Calibrachoa ×hybrida `Trailing White' Cerv. grown at a horticulturally high substrate pH of 6.3 to 6.9. Ferric ethylenediaminedi(o-hydroxyphenylacetic) acid (Fe-EDDHA), ferric ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (Fe-EDTA), and ferrous sulfate heptahydrate (FeSO4·7H2O) were applied at 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, or 4.0 mg ·L–1 Fe in the nutrient solution. Pelargonium showed micronutrient toxicity symptoms with all treatments, including the zero Fe control. Contaminant sources of Fe and Mn were found in the peat/perlite medium, fungicide, and lime, which probably contributed to widespread toxicity in Pelargonium. Calibrachoa receiving 0 mg Fe/L exhibited severe Fe deficiency symptoms. Calibrachoa grown with Fe-EDDHA resulted in vigorous growth and dark green foliage, with no difference from 1 to 4 mg·L–1 Fe. Using Fe-EDTA, 4 mg Fe/L was required for acceptable growth of Calibrachoa, and all plants grown with FeSO4 were stunted and chlorotic. Use of Fe-EDDHA in water-soluble fertilizer may increase the upper acceptable limit for media pH in Fe-inefficient species. However, iron and Mn present as contaminants in peat, irrigation water, or other sources can be highly soluble at low pH. Therefore, it is important to maintain a pH above 6 for Fe-efficient species regardless of applied Fe form or concentration, in order to avoid the potential for micronutrient toxicity.

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B. Jack Johnson

A field study was conducted to assess the effects of N and Fe with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) on established `Tifway' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) during 2 years at Griffin, Ga. There were no TE × Fe or N treatment interactions when applied in three applications at 4-week intervals each year. Combinations of Fe with TE improved turfgrass quality over TE alone at 1 to 2 weeks after each treatment. The improvement from Fe sources was 17 % higher with Sprint 300 and SoluPlex, 33% higher with Ferromec and LawnPlex, and 67% higher with ferrous sulfate. Vegetative suppression of `Tifway' bermudagrass at 14 weeks after treatment ranged from 46% in 1994 to 28% in 1995 when treated with TE at 0.1 kg·ha-1 in three applications at 4-week intervals. Neither N or Fe influenced vegetative growth when applied with TE. Chemical name used: 4 (cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3.5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxlic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl).

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Paul R. Fisher, Ron M. Wik, Brandon R. Smith, Claudio C. Pasian, Monica Kmetz-González and William R. Argo

The objective was to evaluate and compare foliar spray and soil drench application methods of iron (Fe) for correcting Fe deficiency in hybrid calibrachoa (Calibrachoa × hybrida) grown in a container medium at pH 6.9 to 7.4. Untreated plants showed severe chlorosis and necrosis, stunting, and lack of flowering. An organosilicone surfactant applied at 1.25 mL·L-1 (0.160 fl oz/gal) increased uptake of Fe from foliar applications of both ferrous sulfate (FeSO4) and ferric ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (Fe-EDTA). Foliar sprays at 60 mg·L-1 (ppm) Fe were more effective when Fe was applied as Fe-EDTA than FeSO4. Increasing Fe concentration of foliar sprays up to 240 mg·L-1 Fe from Fe-EDTA or 368 mg·L-1 Fe (the highest concentrations tested) from ferric diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Fe-DTPA) increased chlorophyll content compared with lower spray concentrations, but leaf necrosis at the highest concentrations may have been caused by phytotoxicity. Drenches with ferric ethylenediaminedi(o-hydroxyphenylacetic) acid (Fe-EDDHA) at 20 to 80 mg·L-1 Fe were highly effective at correcting Fe-deficiency symptoms, and had superior effects on plant growth compared with drenches of Fe-DTPA at 80 mg·L-1 Fe or foliar sprays. Efficacy of Fe-DTPA drenches increased as concentration increased from 20 to 80 mg·L-1 Fe. An Fe-EDDHA drench at 20 to 80 mg·L-1 Fe was a cost-effective option for correcting severe Fe deficiency at high medium pH.

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Joseph P. Albano

also varied significantly in pH with Fe(II)EDDS and Fe(III)EDDS being basic (pH 7.8) and acidic (pH 3.5), respectively. Fig. 1. Absorbance spectra of 35.8 μmol·L −1 Fe-[S,S′]-EDDS produced ferrous sulfate (—) or ferric sulfate (- - -) solutions blanked