Title page for ETD etd-05152012-111325

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Grossman, Mara Celeste
Author's Email Address mgrossman@vt.edu
URN etd-05152012-111325
Title Use of Plant Growth Regulators to Improve Branching of Herbaceous Perennial Liners
Degree Master of Science
Department Horticulture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Latimer, Joyce G. Committee Chair
Ervin, Erik H. Committee Member
Scoggins, Holly L. Committee Member
  • benzyladenine (BA)
  • ethephon
  • dikegulac sodium
  • PGR
Date of Defense 2012-05-01
Availability unrestricted
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 Haze’,

Gaura lindheimeri Engelm. & A. Gray 'Siskiyou Pink', Lavandula ×intermedia Emeric ex

Loisel. 'Provence', Leucanthemum ×superbum (Bergmans ex J.W. Ingram) Bergmans ex Kent.

'Snowcap', and Salvia ×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 Kippenberg’

(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. ‘Goodness Grows.’ 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. ‘Tutti Frutti’ 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


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 ‘Autumn Joy,' Gaillardia

aristata Pursh ‘Gallo Red,’ Phlox paniculata L. ‘Bright Eyes,’ Nepeta racemosa Lam. ‘Walker’s

Low,’ Delosperma NE Br. ‘Table Mountain,’ and Achillea L. ‘Moonshine’ 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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