Use of Plant Growth Regulators to Improve Branching of Herbaceous Perennial Liners
Grossman, Mara Celeste
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The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of PGRs to improve branching during production of herbaceous perennial liners and finished plants. The effects of benzyladenine (BA) on the branching and root and shoot growth of Agastache Clayt. Ex Gronov. 'Purple Hazeâ , Gaura lindheimeri Engelm. & A. Gray 'Siskiyou Pink', Lavandula Ã intermedia Emeric ex Loisel. 'Provence', Leucanthemum Ã superbum (Bergmans ex J.W. Ingram) Bergmans ex Kent. 'Snowcap', and Salvia Ã sylvestris L. (pro sp.) 'May Night' was tested. Root dry weight was found to be highly correlated to root volume and root surface area. In liners, all taxa except Salvia had increased branching while all except Gaura had reduced rooting. Increased branching was not evident in most taxa as finished plants. The effects of BA on Aster 'Professor Anton Kippenbergâ (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii L.'Professor Anton Kippenburg'), Campanula punctata Lam. 'Cherry Bells,' Cosmos atrosanguineus (Hook) Voss., Verbena bonariensis L. 'Lollipop,' Rosmarinus officinalis L.'Hill Hardy' and Veronica spicata L. â Goodness Grows.â was tested. BA increased branching of three taxa as liners while roots were not affected. The addition of IBA did not improve root growth in BA-treated plants. Dikegulac sodium and ethephon were evaluated as branching enhancers in the same six perennials. Dikegulac increased branching of all except Campanula while ethephon increased branching in Veronica and Verbena. The effects of application time of BA on the branching of Agastache Clayton ex Gronov. â Tutti Fruttiâ and Verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop' was evaluated with application of BA at 0, 7, 14, 17, 20 and 21 days after sticking (DAS); however growth was reduced in plants treated before rooting had occurred. Agastache finished plants treated at 14 DAS had increased branching whereas iii branching was not affected in Verbena liners or finished plants. The effects of single or multiple applications of BA and dikegulac sodium on Sedum spectabile Boreau â Autumn Joy,' Gaillardia aristata Pursh â Gallo Red,â Phlox paniculata L. â Bright Eyes,â Nepeta racemosa Lam. â Walkerâ s Low,â Delosperma NE Br. â Table Mountain,â and Achillea L. â Moonshineâ were evaluated. Two applications of PGR was most effective at increasing branching in finished plants. High rates of dikegulac sodium reduced growth in most plants studied while BA increased branches without negatively affecting plant growth.
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