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J^dlC `7ra Sc.nce i
Library F1 al Induction in Spathiphyllum 'Starlight'
S with Gibberellic Acid Treatment
F: i R. J. Henny and W. C. Foosheel
'" l''Iif of Florida University of Florida, IFAS
-....C.eraLFlorida Research and Education Center Apopka
CFREC-Apopka Research Report, RH-88-17
Several Spathiphyllum growers now routinely use gibberellic acid (GA )
treatment to induce flowering throughout the year. GA3 application is
especially useful for production of small blooming plants in 10-cm pots.
Standard treatment is a single foliar spray of 150 250 ppm GA3 10-12
weeks prior to sale.
Previous research had shown that some cultivars produced good quality
blooms after GA3 treatment while others did not (1,3,4). Treatment
resulted in a narrowing of new leaves and some degree of stretching of the
main shoot (2). These results indicated the necessity of testing new
cultivars for their response to GA, before initiating large-scale
treatments. This study was conducted with Spathiphyllum 'Starlight', a
newer cultivar, to test its response to GA3-treatment.
Tissue culture clumps of Spathiphyllum 'Starlight' with at least 3
main shoots, growing in a 72-celled tray were transplanted on October 23,
1987 to 12-cm pots containing Vergro container mix (Verlite Co., Tampa, FL)
and 2.5 grams of 19-6-12 Osmocote. Plants were grown in a greenhouse under
natural photoperiod at 2000 foot-candles maximum light intensity and a
Temperature range of 65-950F.
On March 2, 1988, 10 plants were treated with a single foliar spray of
0, 125, 250 or 375 ppm GA3. Plant height (with the leaves held upward), as
well as length and width of the largest leaf were measured. The same
measurements were repeated on May 20, 1988 (11 weeks after treatment).
Plants with open inflorescences, determined by unfurling of the spathe,
were recorded weekly beginning May 27, 1988 (12 weeks after treatment)
until June 17. The total number of open inflorescences per plant was also
Sporadic flowering occurred among GA3-treated plants 12-14 weeks after
treatment, however, most plants produced open inflorescences between the
14th and 15th week (Table 1). All GA3-treated plants flowered regardless
of rate while no untreated plants showed signs of blooming. Treated plants
averaged more than 3 open inflorescences (slightly more than 1 for each of
the main shoots). Several small inflorescences were also produced from
basal shoots which had developed by time of treatment, but they were mostly
distorted and of little value. The average number of distorted blooms
produced was 1.8, 1.9 and 2.2 per plant at the 125, 250 and 375 ppm rates,
respectively. These flower counts were not included in Table 1. All other
flowers produced were of very good quality.
GA-treated plants were slightly taller after 11 weeks and had new
leaves that were narrower than those on untreated plants (Table 2).
1Associate Professor and Biological Scientist III, Plant Genetics,
respectively. Central Florida Research and Education Center, 2807 Binion
Road, Apopka, FL 32703.
Similar results were observed with Spathiphyllum floribundum in a previous
study (2). However the effects were minor and would not affect salability
of the plants.
Spathiphyllum 'Starlight' appeared to be a good cultivar for GA3-
treatment. It is a cultivar that should be well adapted to 10, 12 or 15-cm
1. Henny, R. J. 1981. Promotion of flowering in Spathiphyllum 'Mauna
Loa' with gibberellic acid. HortScience 16:554-555.
2. Henny, R. J. 1981. Inducing flowering of Spathiphyllum floribundum
(Linden & Andre) N.E. Br. with gibberellic acid (GA). Proc. Fla.
State Hort. Soc. 94:111-112.
3. Henny, R. J. and W. C. Fooshee. 1984. Flowering of Spathiphyllum
'Tasson' following GA3 treatment. Foliage Digest 7(11):1-2.
4. Henny, R. J. and W. C. Fooshee. 1985. Inducing flowering of four
Spathiphyllum cultivars with gibberellic acid (GA.). AREC-A Research
Report RH-85-3. 3 p.
Table 1. Percentage of Spathiphyllum 'Starlight' plants with at least one open
inflorescence, followed by the average number of open blooms after treatment with 4
different GA levels on March 2, 1988.
Weeks after treatment
GA, 12 13 14 15
cone % No. % No. % No. % No.
(ppm) flowering blooms flowering blooms flowering blooms flowering blooms
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 az
125 40 0.4 40 0.4 40 0.4 100 3.5b
250 0 0 10 0.1 10 0.1 100 3.4b
375 40 0.4 60 0.6 60 0.6 100 3.7b
zMeans within this column followed by the same letter are not significantly different as
determined by the LSD test (5% level).
Table 2. Effect of GA,-treatment on plant height and leaf length/width ratio of
Spathiphyllum 'Starlight'. Plants were grown in 12-cm pots and treated on March 2,
1988 with a single foliar GA3 spray.
Gq cone Plant height (cm) Leaf length (cm) Length width (cm) Lenth/width ratio
ppm 3/2 5/20 3/2 /20 3/2 5/20 3/20 5/20
0 22.laz 32.8a 14.8a 23.1a 3.7a 4.8a 4.0a 4.9a
125 21.2a 35.4b 14.6a 24.0ab 3.6a 3.8b 4.1a 6.4b
250 22.3a 36.Ob 15.6a 24.7bc 3.6a 3.8b 4.3a 6.7b
375 23.6a 36.2b 16.2a 25.4c 3.8a 3.9b 4.3a 6.5b
"Means within each column followed by the same letter are not significantly different
as determined by the LSD test (5% level).