Effects of Nutrient Supply and Cooling on Growth, Flower Bud Differentiation, and Propagation of the Nobile Dendrobium Orchid
Yen, Christine Yung-Ting
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Studies of Dendrobium Sea Mary ?Snow King? investigated the effect of nutrient termination (1 Aug., 1 Sept., or 1 Oct.) and reapplication [at the beginning, in the middle, immediately after, or 2 weeks after (relative to cooling), or no nutrient reapplication] on growth and flowering, quantified cooling requirements (10, 13, 15, or 18 ?C for 2 to 6 weeks) for flowering, and determined optimum nutrient termination (on the three above dates) and nutrient rate (0.33, 0.67, or 1.33 g?L-1 15N-2.3P-12.9K) for producing single-node cuttings. Regardless of reapplication stages, nutrient termination on 1 Oct. caused taller plants with more nodes, more leaves, more flowering nodes, more total flowers, and fewer aborted flowers than those being terminated earlier. Only buds protruding above 2 mm from pseudobulb surface showed differentiated floral structures. Plants with 1 Aug. nutrient termination had larger flower primordia than those with 1 Oct., indicating flower differentiated earlier or faster with an earlier nutrient termination. No reversion of reproductive to vegetative buds arose due to either late nutrient termination or resumption of nutrients during cooling. Interactions between temperature and cooling duration were significant on time required for anthesis and full flowering, recorded from either beginning or completion of cooling, average flower number per flowering node, and flower diameter. Increasing cooling duration from 2 to 6 weeks led plants to reach anthesis and full flowering faster after cooling; however, the increasing cooling duration actually extended total time for producing flowering crops. Increasing temperature from 10 to 15 ?C accelerated flowering after cooling. Plants had more flowering nodes and total flowers when cooled at 10 to 15 ?C than at 18 ?C. The results suggest that 3 weeks of cooling at 13 or 15 ?C produce quality flowering plants that require less time to reach flowering. Plants fertilized at 0.67 or 1.33 g?L-1 were taller with 18% more nodes and more leaves than those receiving 0.33 g?L-1. Increasing nutrient rate with prolonged supply to the plants caused more single-node cuttings to grow into vegetative shoots for propagation, fewer cuttings to transition to flowering nodes, and less flower abortion to occur.