Historic note
 Front Cover

Title: Influence of macro- and microelement fertilization on rooting pentas
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065276/00001
 Material Information
Title: Influence of macro- and microelement fertilization on rooting pentas
Series Title: Bradenton GCREC research report
Physical Description: 3 p. : ; 28 cm
Language: English
Creator: Harbaugh, B. K ( Brent Kalen )
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (Bradenton, Fla.)
Publisher: Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, IFAS, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Bradenton Fla.
Publication Date: 1995
Subject: Flowers -- Fertilizers -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Flowers -- Propagation -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Brent K. Harbaugh.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "February/ 1995."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065276
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 68653289

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
    Front Cover
        Front cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

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Marston Science
i raY'
APR 0 1995

University of Florida

Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
5007 60th St. E., Bradenton, FL 34203
Bradenton GCREC Research Report
BRA-1995-7 (February 1995)

Bradenton GCREC Research Report BRA1995-7


Brent K. Harbaugh'
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
University of Florida, IFAS
5007 60th St. East
Bradenton, FL 34203

Pentas (Pentas lanceolata) are primarily propagated by rooting vegetative stem
cuttings. Factors affecting rooting have been studied on many floriculture crops
which are propagated by vegetative cuttings. However, published information on
cultural factors which influence rooting of pentas is scarce or lacking. Pentas
are still considered a minor floricultural crop although their popularity has
increased recently. New cultivars, new colors, better vegetative characteristics,
demand for drought tolerant plants, and use of pentas in butterfly gardens have
all contributed to a new demand for this crop. Because plant nutrition can
affect rooting characteristics, a study was implemented to determine the effects
of macro- and microelement fertilization practices on rooting of stem cuttings
of pentas.

Material and Methods

Two fertilizer solutions were prepared which contained either macroelements alone
or microelements in addition to macroelements. Solutions were applied either as
a drench to saturate the rooting medium or as a foliar spray to wet the foliage
to run-off. These four fertilization practices were compared to propagation with
water only. The macroelement fertilizer solution contained the following (in
ppm): 500 N : 250 P : 500 K : 200 Ca : 25 Mg. The second solution contained the
same macroelements but also contained the following microelements (in ppm): 10
Mn : 5 Zn : 5 Cu : 1 B.

Single-node stem cuttings approximately 2-inches in length of 'Ruby Red' pentas
were used for this study. The root medium was a v/v mix of 4 sphagnum peat : 2
vermiculite : 1 sand : 1 perlite amended with 4.5 hydrated lime, 4.5 calcitic
lime, and 1 dolomite (pounds per cubic yard). The resulting rooting medium pH
was approximately 6.5. Cuttings were dipped in a solution containing 0.1% IBA
and 0.05% NAA before they were placed in 1.5-inch pyramidal cells of propagation
flats. Cuttings were misted for 1 minute at 30-minute intervals from 8AM to 5PM.
Twice-weekly fertilizer applications were started six days after stem cuttings
were placed in rooting trays and continued for a total of four applications.

Half of the cuttings were evaluated after 23 days in propagation for root fresh
weight and lateral branch (break) length arid fresh weight. The rest of the
cuttings were transplanted into 4-inch pots with the above medium and grown for
four weeks to determine if fertilization practices during propagation would
effect final plant height or days to flower. Potted plants were fertilized twice
weekly with 500 ppm N from a soluble 15-16-17 with microelements.

'Professor (Floriculturist).

February 1995


Root fresh weights were higher for cuttings with drench applications of
fertilizer compared to cuttings propagated with water only (Table 1). Addition
of microelements to fertilizer solutions containing macroelements had little
effect. Cuttings with foliar applications of macroelement-fertilizer had
intermediate root fresh weights compared to cuttings with water or drench

Cuttings had the longest lateral branches and highest fresh weights with drench
applications of either fertilizer. Foliar applications of either fertilizer had
little effect on lateral branch length or fresh weight. Finished plant heights
were similar regardless of fertilization practices during cutting production.
However, the number of days-to-flower was least for cuttings produced with
macroelement-fertilizer applied as a drench.

In summary, rooted cuttings of pentas produced with drench applications of
macroelement-fertilizer had greater than 1.5 x root fresh weight, 10 x lateral
branch length, 7 x lateral branch fresh weight, and flowered 5 days earlier than
cuttings propagated with water only. Addition of microelements to the
macroelement-fertilizer solution had little effect on any measured variable.
Foliar applications of fertilizer also did not benefit cutting production. These
results indicate that further studies would be warranted on use of controlled
release fertilizer incorporated into the rooting medium. This fertilization
practice would afford a more practical means of supplying nutrients through the
rooting medium without additional concerns of overwatering and leaching that
occur with drench fertilization.

Table 1. Influence of fertilization practices during propagation on cutting
root development and lateral branch development after 23 days under
mist, and subsequent flowering of 'Ruby Red' pentas.

Lateral branch
Root fresh Fresh Finished potted plant
Fertilization weight Length weight Height Days to
practice (q) (cm) (g) (cm) flower

Water 0.73 0.8 0.19 32 52
Drench application
macroelementz 1.18 8.1 1.40 34 47
macro + microy 1.13 9.0 1.90 33 49
Foliar application
macroelement 0.96 1.8 0.37 33 53
macro + micro 0.79 1.9 0.35 32 51
LSD P=0.05 0.26 2.1 0.47 NS 3.9

ZMacroelements (in
YMicroelements (in

ppm):500N :
ppm): 10 Mn

250 P : 500 K : 200 Ca
: 5 Zn : 5 Cu : 1 B.

25 Mg.

The Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

The Gulf Coast Research and Education Center is
a unit of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sci-
ences, University of Florida. The Research Center
originated in the fall of 1925 as the Tomato
Disease Laboratory with the primary objective of
developing control procedures for an epidemic out-
break of nailhead spot of tomato. Research was ex-
panded in subsequent years to include study of sev-
eral other tomato diseases.

In 1937, new research facilities were established
in the town of Manatee, and the Center scope was
enlarged to include horticultural, entomological, and
soil science studies of several vegetable crops. The
ornamental program was a natural addition to the
Center's responsibilities because of the emerging in-
dustry in the area in the early 1940's.

The Center's current location was established in
1965 where a comprehensive research and extension
program on vegetable crops and ornamental plants is
conducted. Three state extension specialists posi-
tions, 16 state research scientists, and two grant
supported scientists from various disciplines of
training participate in all phases of vegetable and
ornamental horticultural programs. This interdisci-
plinary team approach, combining several research
disciplines and a wide range of industry and faculty
contacts, often is more productive than could be ac-
complished with limited investments in independent

The Center's primary mission is to develop new
and expand existing knowledge and technology, and
to disseminate new scientific knowledge in Florida, so
that agriculture remains efficient and economically

The secondary mission of the Center is to assist
the Cooperative Extension Service, IFAS campus
departments, in which Center faculty hold appropri-
ate liaison appointments, and other research centers
in extension, educational training, and cooperative
research programs for the benefit of Florida's pro-
ducers, students, and citizens.

Program areas of emphasis include: (1) genetics,
breeding, and variety development and evaluation;
(2) biological, chemical, and mechanical pest manage-
ment in entomology, plant pathology, nematology,
bacteriology, virology, and weed science; (3) produc-
tion efficiency, culture, management, and counteract-
ing environmental stress; (4) water management and
natural resource protection; (5) post-harvest physiol-
ogy, harvesting, handling and food quality of horti-
cultural crops; (6) technical support and assistance to
the Florida Cooperative Extension Service; and (7)
advancement of fundamental knowledge ofdisciplines
represented by faculty and (8) directing graduate
student training and teaching special undergraduate

Location of
GCREC Bradenton

3 The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
University of Florida.
" A statewide organization dedicated to teaching,
research and extension.
O Faculty located in Gainesville and at 13 research
and education centers, 67 county extension
offices and four demonstration units throughout
the state.
" A partnership in food and agriculture, and natural
and renewable resource research and education,
funded by state, federal and local government,
and by gifts and grants from individuals, founda-
tions, government and industry.
O An organization whose mission is:
Educating students in the food, agricultural,
and related sciences and natural resources.
Strengthening Florida's diverse food and
agricultural industry and its environment
through research.
Enhancing for all Floridians, the application
of research and knowledge to improve the
quality of life statewide through IFAS exten-
sion programs.


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