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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #256987

Title: Mist Interval and Hormone Concentration Influence Rooting of Florida and Piedmont Azalea

item KNIGHT, P - Mississippi State University
item COKER, C - Mississippi State University
item ANDERSON, J - Mississippi State University
item MURCHISON, D - Mississippi State University
item WATSON, CLARENCE - Mississippi State University

Submitted to: Native Plants Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2005
Publication Date: 4/1/2005
Citation: Knight, P.R., Coker, C.E., Anderson, J.M., Murchison, D.S., Watson, C. 2005. Mist Interval and Hormone Concentration Influence Rooting of Florida and Piedmont Azalea. Native Plant Journal. Summer. 2005:111-115.

Interpretive Summary: In 2003 the United States imported cut flowers valued at more than $611 million while U. S. production of cut flowers was estimated to be valued at $ 421 million. The value of cut flower production in Mississippi accounts for 0.2% of the value of all floriculture and nursery crops grown in the state. The objectives of this study are to determine production potential and market acceptability of greenhouse and field grown cut flowers produced in Mississippi. The production of fresh, cut flowers is virtually nonexistent in Mississippi. If quality and supply are acceptable and constant, florists in Tupelo indicated that they would prefer to buy locally produced flowers compared to flowers transported for several days from distant farms. A survey of Mississippi consumers reported that they would pay a premium to purchase fresh, cut flowers that were grown in Mississippi (3). The survey indicated that the flowers that Mississippi consumers most often purchased are roses. Following the rose in the order of purchase preference were daisy, carnation, iris, lily, and gladiola. They also reported that Mississippi consumers would pay a premium price for flowers with fragrance. This potential crop could have an immediate impact in the local and regional retail outlets and farmer’s markets. Larger volumes of perishable produce generally are marketed wholesale through established brokers and agents. Entering into the wholesale markets would require a close working relationship between the grower and the buyer based on experience and trust. Determining the marketing possibilities for Mississippi produced cut flowers could be harder to accomplish than establishing cultural requirements for flower production.

Technical Abstract: Native azalea (Rhododendron spp.) vegetative propagation information is limited. The objective of this experiment is to determine optimal levels of K-IBA and mist intervals for propagation of Florida azalea (Rhododendron austrinum) and Piedmont azalea (Rhododendron canescens). Florida azalea rooted at 50 to 100% for cuttings treated with 5,000 or 10,000 ppm K-IBA, respectively. Average root length for Florida azalea cuttings increased linearly with increasing K-IBA concentration. Greatest average root length and root quality occurred on cuttings treated with 7,500 or 10,000 ppm K-IBA compared to 0 or 2,500 ppm K-IBA. Cutting growth was unaffected by hormone concentration. Piedmont azalea rooted at 75 to 100% for cuttings treated with 0, 2,500, and 5,000 or 7,500 ppm K-IBA, respectively. Root number, average root length, root quality, and cutting growth increased quadratically with increasing K-IBA concentration.