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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #212044

Title: Bedding Plant Plugs suffering from “Stubby Plant Syndrome”

item Krug, Brian
item Whipker, Brian
item Frantz, Jonathan
item Mccall, Ingram

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2007
Publication Date: 7/14/2007
Citation: Krug, B., Whipker, B., Frantz, J., Mccall, I. 2007. Bedding Plant Plugs suffering from “Stubby Plant Syndrome”. HortScience. American Society for Horticultural Science, Scottsdale, AZ, July 16-20, 2007.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Pansy, gerbera, and petunia plugs with distorted terminal growth has been a production problem and is thought to be a deficiency of either boron (B) or calcium (Ca). Plants with B or Ca deficiencies both produce symptoms on the newly developing tissue which can cause confusion. Plants were grown hydroponically in a complete modified Hoagland’s solution, minus B or minus Ca for 5 wk. Visual symptoms of plants treated with the minus B solution were similar to plants seen in production greenhouses. Boron tissue concentrations were not detected for pansy, gerbera and petunia, compared to the controls, 31.8, 37.4 or 29.7 ppm, respectively. Tissue concentrations of pansy, gerbera and petunia plants treated with minus Ca solution, 0.03, 0.1 or 0.05% respectively, were significantly lower when compared to tissue concentrations in the control plants, 0.97, 1.1 or 1.5%, respectively. When comparing symptoms of the two deficiencies a unique set of visual characteristics stand out to easily differentiate between the problems. Calcium deficient plants will typically be small and leaves quickly turn necrotic, while B deficient plants will have distorted growth which remains green.