Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rotating high-pressure sodium lamps provide flowering plants for spring markets

Date:
September 20, 2010
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
When consumers visit garden centers in spring they will most likely buy flowering plants that are ready for their home gardens. To satisfy consumers' wishes, producers start growing crops far in advance of the spring buying season, often during the dark and short days of winter. New research offers commercial plant producers a cost-effective method for producing market-ready plants that appeal to both consumers and retailers.

When consumers visit garden centers in spring they will most likely buy flowering ornamental plants that are ready for their home gardens. Studies have shown that consumers favor plants that are already in flower rather than those that are "vegetative" -- a preference that can present multiple challenges for commercial growers.

To satisfy consumers' wishes, producers of ready-to-flower ornamentals like bedding plants and perennials start growing crops far in advance of the spring buying season, often during the dark and short days of winter. When the days are short, commercial growers turn to "light manipulation" techniques that either promote or prevent flowering in preparation for delivery to markets. New research from a team at Michigan State University offers commercial plant producers a cost-effective method for producing market-ready plants that appeal to both consumers and retailers.

"Long-day" plants are varieties in which flowering is promoted under short periods of darkness, whereas "short-day" plants flower when the dark period exceeds a critical duration. To satisfy spring markets, some commercial ornamental growers create artificial long-day (LD) environments to produce flowering plants for delivery to retailers. Growers employ several methods to promote flowering in LD plants under natural short photoperiods. Methods include extending day length with artificial lighting, shortening the period of darkness by providing night-interruption (NI) lighting, or using cyclic or intermittent lighting during which incandescent lamps are turned on and off at specific intervals for a certain duration.

Matthew G. Blanchard and Erik S. Runkle from the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State designed an experiment to evaluate a technology for long-day lighting for commercial production of ornamentals. The experiment used four popular flowering ornamentals (campanula, coreopsis, petunia, and rudbeckia) to compare the efficacy of a rotating high-pressure sodium lamp (HPS) in promoting flowering with night-interruption lighting using incandescent lamps.

Seedlings were grown under natural short-day photoperiods (12 hours or less) and night-interruption treatments were delivered from a rotating HPS lamp mounted at one gable end of the greenhouse or from incandescent lamps that were illuminated continuously for four hours or cyclically for 6 minutes every 30 minutes for 4 hours. Within 16 weeks, 80% or more of the plants of each species that received night-interruption lighting had a visible flower bud or inflorescence; all species but petunia remained vegetative under the short-day treatment. Flowering of all species grown at 13 meters from the rotating HPS lamp was delayed by 14 to 31 days compared with those under continuous incandescent illumination.

The researchers estimated that the weekly cost to operate night-interruption lighting was an impressive 80% to 83% less than the cost of continuous incandescent lighting. According to Blanchard and Runkle, "a rotating HPS lamp operated continuously during a 4-hour night-interruption was effective at promoting flowering in these long-day species and consumed less energy compared with incandescent lamps operated continuously." The researchers concluded that use of rotating high-pressure sodium lamps could be effective in commercial production as long as the light intensity is above the recommended value.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Blanchard, Matthew G., Runkle, Erik S. Intermittent Light from a Rotating High-pressure Sodium Lamp Promotes Flowering of Long-day Plants. HortScience, 2010; 45: 236-241 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Rotating high-pressure sodium lamps provide flowering plants for spring markets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920151809.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2010, September 20). Rotating high-pressure sodium lamps provide flowering plants for spring markets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920151809.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Rotating high-pressure sodium lamps provide flowering plants for spring markets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920151809.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — New research has shown that the Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur, might have been just as well suited for life in the water as on land. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins