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Sahar Eid, Keri L. Druffel, Dayle E. Saar, and Hanu R. Pappu

Dahlia is a high-value flower crop in the United States ( Pappu et al., 2005 ) and several other countries in the world ( Albouy, 1995 ; Brunt, 1971 ). The genus Dahlia , whose vernacular name is also “dahlia,” is in the sunflower family

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H.R. Pappu, S.D. Wyatt, and K.L. Druffel

2 Current address: 1505 Little Kitten Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66503. Research was supported in part by an endowment created by the American Dahlia Society. We thank Kevin Larkin for his assistance with the survey

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Karen K. Schneck, Cheryl R. Boyer, and Chad T. Miller

Dahlia ( Dahlia ×hybrida ) is a common annual garden plant that provides a variety of color and interest to the landscape and is an important part of the modern floriculture and landscape industries. In the past several years, potted annual

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John M. Dole, Zenaida Viloria, Frankie L. Fanelli, and William Fonteno

flowers introduced to commercial markets each year, several show potential. ‘Lace Violet’ linaria, ‘Sunrise’ lupine, ‘Temptress’ poppy, and ‘Indian Summer’ rudbeckia are new species for the cut flower industry. ‘Karma Thalia’ dahlia, ‘Jemmy Royal Purple

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Jens J. Brondum and Royal D. Heins

Dahlia “Royal Dahlietta Yellow” plants were grown in controlled temperature chambers under 25 different day and night temperature environments ranging from 10°C to 30°C. The day length was 12 hours with an average PPF level of 300 micromolm-2 s-1 at canopy level. Leaf unfolding rate, shoot elongation and flower development rate were determined and models developed. Leaf unfolding rate increased as temperature increased up to 25°C. Stem elongation increased as the difference between day and night temperature increased. Flower initiation was delayed at high (30°C) temperature and flower development rate increased as temperature increased from 10°C to 25°C. Plants are currently being grown under greenhouse conditions to provide data for validating the models.

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John M. Dole, Frankie L. Fanelli, William C. Fonteno, Beth Harden, and Sylvia M. Blankenship

Optimum postharvest handling procedures were determined for Dahlia `Karma Thalia', Lupinusmutabilis ssp. cruickshankii`Sunrise', Papaver nudicaule `Temptress', and Rudbeckia`Indian Summer.' Dahlia harvested fully open had a vase life of 7–10 days in deionized (DI) water that was increased by 1.5–2 days using commercial holding solutions (Chrysal Professional 2 Processing Solution or Floralife Professional). Neither floral foam nor 0.1–1.0 ppm ethylene had any effect on vase life. One week of cold storage at 1 °C reduced vase life up to 2 days. The longest vase life, 12–13 days, was obtained when floral buds, showing a minimum of 50% color, were harvested at the breaking stage (one petal open) and placed in 2% or 4% sucrose or a commercial holding solution. Lupinus flowers held in DI water lasted 8–12 days; 1 week cold storage at 1 °C reduced vase life by 3 days. Florets and buds abscised or failed to open when exposed to ethylene; STS pretreatment prevented the effects of ethylene. Commercial holding solutions increased Papaver vase life to 7–8 days from 5.5 days for stems held in DI water. While stems could be cold stored for 1 week at 1 °C with no decrease in vase life, 2 weeks of cold storage reduced vase life. Flowers were not affected by foam or ethylene. Rudbeckia had a vase life of 27–37 days and no treatments extended vase life. Stems could be stored at 2 °C for up to 2 weeks and were not ethylene sensitive. Floral foam reduced the vase life over 50%, but still resulted in a 13-day vase life.

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Brian E. Whipker and P. Allen Hammer

Plant growth retardant (PGR) substrate drench treatments (mg a.i./1.5-L pot) of ancymidol at doses of 0.5 to 8, paclobutrazol from 1 to 16, and uniconazole from 0.125 to 2 were applied to tuberous-rooted dahlias (Dahlia variabilis Willd.) to compare their effectiveness for controlling height. When the first inflorescence opened, the number of days from potting until flowering, leaf canopy height, inflorescence height above the foliage, and plant diameter were recorded. Total height control achieved using PGRs was primarily due to reduced inflorescence height, rather than leaf canopy height. Paclobutrazol, ancymidol, and uniconazole at all doses reduced total plant height of the less-vigorous `Red Pigmy' by >21% compared to the untreated control, with a height of 43.5 cm for the untreated control plants. Marketable potted plants were produced with doses of 2 to 4 mg of paclobutrazol, 0.25 to 0.5 mg of uniconazole, or 0.5 mg of ancymidol. All paclobutrazol, ancymidol, and uniconazole doses reduced total plant height of the more-vigorous `Golden Emblem' by >11% compared to the untreated control, with a height of 82.1 cm for the untreated control. Marketable potted plants were produced with 4 to 8 mg of paclobutrazol, 0.5 to 1 mg of uniconazole, or 2 mg of ancymidol.

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Jens J. Brøndum and Royal D. Heins

Effects of temperature and photoperiod on growth rates and morphological development of Dahlia pinnata Cav. `Royal Dahlietta Yellow' were determined by growing plants under 45 combinations of day and night temperatures (DT and NT, respectively, and photoperiod. DT and NT ranged from 10 to 30C and photoperiods from 10 to 24 hours·day-1. Photoperiod influenced vegetative development more than reproductive development as plants flowered in all photoperiods. Lateral shoot count and length decreased and tuberous root weight increased as photoperiod decreased from 16 to 10 hours. Temperature interacted with photoperiod to greatly increase tuberous root formation as temperature decreased from 25 to 15C. Increasing temperature from 20 to 30C increased the number of nodes below the first flower. Flower count and diameter decreased as average daily temperature increased. Nonlinear regression analysis was used to estimate the maximum rate and the minimum, optimum, and maximum temperatures for leaf-pair unfolding rate (0.29 leaf pair/day, 5.5, 24.6, and 34.9C, respectively), flower development rate from pinch to visible bud (0.07 flower/day, 2.4, 22.4, and 31.1C, respectively), and flower development rate from visible bud to flower (0.054 flowers/day, 5.2, 24.4, and 31.1C, respectively). The results collectively indicate a relatively narrow set of conditions for optimal `Royal Dahlietta Yellow' dahlia flowering, with optimal defined as fast-developing plants with many large flower buds and satisfactory plant height. These conditions were a 12- to 14-hour photoperiod and ≈ 20C.

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Garry Legnani and William B. Miller

Experiments were conducted to evaluate effects of photoperiod on growth and dry-weight partitioning in Dahlia sp. `Sunny Rose' during both seedling (plug) production and subsequent production in 10-cm pots. Plugs were grown under short days [9-hour natural photosynthetic photon flux (PPF)] or long days (same 9-hour PPF plus a 4-hour night interruption with incandescent light). Total plant dry weight was unaffected by photoperiod; however, long days (LD) inhibited tuberous root development and increased shoot dry weight, fibrous root dry weight, leaf area, shoot length, and number of leaf pairs. Long days reduced plug production time by ≈1 week compared with short days (SD). Following transplanting to 10-cm pots, shoot growth and foliar development were superior under LD. There was no effect of photoperiod on foliar N concentration. The superior growth of LD plugs following transplanting can be attributed to the plant being in a physiological state conducive to shoot expansion instead of storage.

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Brian E. Whipker and P. Allen Hammer

Plant growth retardant (PGR) media drench treatments (in mg a.i./pot) of ancymidol at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, or 8.0; paclobutrazol at 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, 8.0, or 16.0; uniconazole at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, or 8.0 were applied to tuberous-rooted dahlias to compare their effectiveness as a chemical height control. All paclobutrazol, ancymidol, and uniconazole rates applied significantly reduced `Red Pigmy' plant height by 21% or greater compared to the nontreated control. Excessively short plants resulted from uniconazole and ancymidol drench rates ≥1.0 mg. `Red Pigmy', a less vigorous cultivar, were acceptable as potted-plants with paclobutrazol rates of 2.0 to 4.0 mg, 0.25 to 0.5 mg of uniconazole, or 0.5 mg of ancymidol. All paclobutrazol, ancymidol, and uniconazole rates significantly reduced `Golden Emblem' plant height by ≥11% when compared to the nontreated plants. Excessively short plants resulted from paclobutrazol drench rates of 16.0 mg, uniconazole rates of 2.0 mg and for ancymidol drenches ≥4.0 mg. `Golden Emblem', the more vigorous cultivar, were acceptable as potted-plants with paclobutrazol rates of 4.0 to 8.0 mg, 0.5 to 1.0 mg of uniconazole, or 2.0 mg of ancymidol.