Avoiding flower bleaching in spring bedding plants

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Daminozide is a widely used plant growth retardant (PGR) for producing compact spring flowering bedding plants; however, growers should be aware that it can induce flower bleaching or breaking in flower color.

Plant growth retardants (PGRs) are useful tools for controlling plant height in greenhouse floriculture crops. There are several PGR products available to control plant height, including those with active ingredients such as ancymidol, chlormequat chloride, daminozide, flurprimidol, paclobutrazol, and uniconazole. Each of these PGRs vary in their relative activity and efficacy which are influenced by factors such as application method and concentration, plant species and growth stage, and environmental conditions.

Of the PGR products available, those formulated with the active ingredient daminozide (Fig. 1) are widely used on spring flowering bedding plants to control internode elongation resulting in compact plants (Figs. 2 and 3). It can also delay flowering. Daminozide is effective as a foliar spray and most effective under cooler conditions.

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