GROWTH REGULATORS AND THE FLOWERING OF EVERGREEN AZALEAS (RHODODENDRON CV.)
Ballantyne, David J.
Link, Conrad B.
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Spraying experiments were conducted in 1958 and 1959 to find the effectiveness of certain growth regulators upon multiple flower bud formation and rate of flower bud development of evergreen azaleas. Paper chromatograms of extracts of vegetative buds and of flower buds treated with 37°F. storage and potassium gibberellate (GAk) sprays, were tested with a wheat coleoptile bioassay in 1959. Foliar sprays of 2, 3, 5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA), an antiauxin, showed evidence of inhibiting multiple flower bud formation, and a foliar spray of 2,200 ppm indoleacetic acid (IAA) tended to promote multiple flower bud formation. The time of spraying in relation to the time of floral initiation apparently is important if growth regulators are to influence multiple flower bud formation. The rate of flower bud development was increased by two weeks of 37°F. storage and either two sprays of 200 ppm TIBA or single sprays of 160, 400 or 1,000 ppm TIBA, or by three weeks of 45°F. storage and a single spray of 1,000 ppm IAA. Rate of flower bud development was increased by two sprays of 200 ppm TIBA and one spray of 1,000 ppm gibberellic acid (GA). Flower bud dormancy was removed by foliar sprays of 900 ppm GAk with no cold storage or two weeks of 37°F. Four weeks of 37°F. storage was effective without GAk and six weeks of 37°F. storage gave no increase over four weeks of storage. Concentrations of GAk lower than 900 ppm were ineffective. GAk was effective whether applied before or after two weeks of 37°F. storage. Naphthalene acetic acid in concentrations of 9 ppm or greater inhibited the rate of flower bud development. Apical dominance was removed by 800 ppm or more of TIBA. The wheat coleoptile bioassay indicated that a growth inhibitor in the flower buds was removed by three or more weeks of 37°F. storage and three sprays of 1,000 ppm GAk. The promoter was not in vegetative buds and could not be considered to be IAA, GA or GAk.