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 Journal of Applied Horticulture Selected Contents of Year

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Saurabh Kulshrestha, Anshul Sharma and Chandrika Attri Seth

Faculty of Biotechnology, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Bajhol, Solan, HimachalPradesh, India.

Key words: TSWV, Thrips, L RNA, M RNA, S RNA, Intergenic region

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 71-80.

Abstract: Advances in understanding of Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) molecular biology are reviewed. TSWV, a type species of the genus Tospovirus, is an enveloped virus that causes high economical losses in many crops worldwide. It is transmitted by several species of thrips and multiplies in insect cells. The most important vector is Frankliniella occidentalis which transmits TSWV in a persistent propagative manner. Several factors are known from both virus and vector side which plays important role in virus acquisition by thrips and its subsequent transfer. TSWV is a segmented negatively strand RNA virus. RNA of TSWV is partitioned among three negative or ambisense single stranded RNA (ssRNA) labeled as L, M and S in order of decreasing size, (approximately 8897, 4821 and 2916 nucleotides long, respectively). These RNA segments encode various proteins like N and Ns by S RNA; NSm and G1/G2 by M RNA and RdRp by L RNA. Intergenic region present in M and S RNA of TSWV helps in proper transcription of different genes encoded by M and S RNA. The different proteins encoded by TSWV genome help the virus in protection, cellular movements, vector transmission, replication and recently in RNA silencing suppressor activity. The present review focuses on basic structure, genome organization, molecular basis of transmission and recent advances in TSWV detection.
Joseph P. Albano, Kim D. Bowman and P. Chris Wilson

United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, United States Horticultural Research Laboratory, Fort Pierce, Florida 34945-3030, USA.

Key words: Orange tree, grove, orchard, nutrient toxicity, nutrient deficiency, chelates

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 81-86.

Abstract: Florida citrus groves that have been under continuous production for many years often have high levels of soil-fraction copper (Cu) from the use of Cu-containing fertilizers and pesticides. On such groves, citrus trees may develop Cu toxicity, a disorder that impacts both plant growth and nutrition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the growth and nutritional response of six citrus rootstock seedling varieties grown in sand in 3.8 L containers to increasing concentrations of Cu-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (CuEDTA). Citrus rootstocks included in the study were: 'Swingle' citrumelo [SC (Citrusparadisi x Poncirus trifoliata)], 'Volkamer' lemon [VL (C. volkameriana)], 'Cleopatra' mandarin [CM (Citrus reticulata)], 'Flying Dragon' trifoliate [FD (P trifoliata)], 'US-812' [US812 ('Sunki' mandarin x 'Benecke' trifoliate)], and 'US-897' [US897 (CMx FD)]. Incorporated into a complete nutrient solution, Cu was supplied at 0.05, 0.25, 1.00 and 2.00 mg L-1. Citrus rootstock but not Cu treatment was significant for root and leaf dry mass with FD and VL having the least and greatest total plant dry mass, respectively. Rootstock and Cu treatment was significant for root and leaf Cu. As a mean of Cu treatments, foliar Cu ranged from 4.05 ug g-1 (CM) to 7.74 ug g-1 (US812); and root Cu ranged from 30.18 ug g-1 (FD) to 61.08 ug g-1 (VL). Rootstock but not Cu treatment was significant for Ca, K, Mg, P, Fe, Mn and Zn. 'Volkamer' lemon had significantly higher levels of foliar Ca, K, and Mg than the other rootstocks; and along with US812, the highest level of foliar Fe. For all nutrients analyzed except for Mg, accumulation was greater in roots than in leaves. Magnesium, as a mean of rootstocks, accumulated equally in roots and leaves. Subjective visual observations of plants at harvest for nutrient disorder revealed that young terminal-growth leaves of VL and SC in the highest Cu treatment (2.00 mg L-1) showed few to pronounced symptoms of a micronutrient-type disorder, respectively, that correlated with increasing Cu treatment. Based on visual symptoms in the highest Cu treatment (interveinal chlorosis and leaf/leaflet deformation/cupping), plants segregated as follows from greatest to least expression of the observed micronutrient-like disorder: SC > CM/FD > US812/US897 > VL.
Dennis J. Carey, Barbara A. Fair, Wayne Buhler, Ingram McCall and Brian E. Whipker

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609,

Key words: 6-Benzylaminopurine, N6-Benzyladenine, Configure, cytokinin, meadow sage, plant growth regulator

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 87-89.

Abstract: Foliar sprays of benzyladenine (BA) at concentrations of 100 to 1600 mg L1 were applied 14 days after potting (DAP) onto Salvia nemorosa (L.) Caradonna' to determine if it would increase branching and flowering. At 28 DAP, BA foliar sprays > 400 mg L1 controlled plant height, > 200 mg L1 resulted in smaller plant diameter, 100 mg L1 controlled growth index and inhibited flowering. Phytotoxicity in the form of leaf edge necrosis was observed at 1600 mg L1 BA. Flowering was delayed by two to three weeks with > 400 mg L1 BA, however the plants were more compact, and the total number of flower stalks produced increased by 350 %. Total growing time to achieve maximum increased flower stalk number was an additional 21 days and growers will have to determine if the trade-off of flower delay is worth having more compact plants with 350 % more flowers. In a second experiment, BA was applied 13 DAP as a foliar spray at 0, 125, 250 and 500 mg L-1 to Salvia 'Ultra Violet', Salvia Marcus?, and Salvia 'May Night'. Plant height, number of flowering shoots, and flowering dates were recorded. Growth control effect was not observed with BA on 'Ultra Violet' plants, and control effect was limited and inconsistent for both 'May Night' and Marcus?. Thus, cultivar response to BA varies, and individual trials will have to be conducted to determine BA suitability as a growth enhancer.
Z. Nasr, M.L. Khouja, R. Aini, A. Hammadi, H. Manai and B. Mimouni

Institut National de la Recherche en Genie Rural, Eaux et Forets Rue Hedi Karray, BP10 2080 Ariana - Tunisia

Key words: Biodiesel crops, irrigated jatropha, semi-arid areas, genetic diversity, global warming

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 90-94.

Abstract: Bio-diesel crops are presented as a potential tool to mitigate global warming. However, these crops are often highly water consuming, which limits their use in semi-arid areas. In this respect, the Jatropha is considered by many researchers as the most appropriate species in these dry conditions. The aim of our investigation was to study the possibility of its use in Tunisia regarding its behavior in semi-arid area of the north-west region. Eight provenances of Jatropha curcas L. introduced from Brazilia (5), Surinam (1), Mosambic (1) and Tanzania (1) were compared on the basis of their ecophysiological performance. Results showed variability in photosynthesis, leaf transpiration, chlorophyll content and leaf growth between accessions during the growing season. Average photosynthesis and leaf transpiration values ranged from 7 to 13 Limol m-2 s-1 and from 2.5 to 3.5 mmol m-2 s-1, respectively. Specific dry matter per unit leaf area varied from 50 g m-2 to 90 g m-2. Provenances from the Mozambic and Prana with the lowest biomass per unit leaf area and high photosynthetic capacity are more likely to offer greater productivity in semi-arid zone.
B.D. Pawar, A.S. Jadhav, A.A. Kale, V.P. Chimote and S.V. Pawar

State Level Biotechnology Centre, Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri, Maharashtra, India.

Key words: Agrobacterium, GUS, transformation, Solanum lycopersicum L.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 2, pages 95-99.

Abstract: Improved protocol for Agrobacterium mediated transformation of tomato cultivar, "Dhanshree" was developed by optimizing various parameters that affect transformation efficiency. In the present investigation, Agrobacterium strain EHA 105 harboring a pBI121: gus gene construct was used for transformation. The kanamycin concentration was standardized and 50 mg/L was found to be optimum based on lethal effect to the explants. Effect of varying concentration of Agrobacterium on the transformation efficiency of cotyledon explants revealed that the concentration of 0.2 at OD 600 was optimum. Cotyledons proved to be better for transformation as compared to hypocotyls and leaf explants. Highest transformation efficiency was obtained in 7-14 days old cotyledon which was precultured for one day on the MS medium containing 2 mg/L zeatin and 0.2 mg/L IAA. It was then co-cultivated with Agrobacterium for 3 days on the same medium composition used for preculture. Subsequently the explants were transferred to selective shooting medium supplemented with 50 mg/L kanamycin, 250 mg/L cefotaxime and 250 mg/L carbenicillin. These explants were maintained for 6-8 weeks which resulted in more than 12 % transformation efficiency as judged by GUS assay technique.
F.R. Torpy, P.J. Irga, D. Moldovan, J. Tarran and M.D. Burchett

Plants and Indoor Environmental Quality Group, Centre for Environmental Sustainability, School of the Environment, Faculty of Science, University of Technology, Sydney; PO Box 123 Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia

Key words: VOC, microorganisms, indoor air quality, indoor plants, Biolog EcoPlate, biostimulation

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 10-15.

Abstract: Over 900 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been detected in indoor air, where they cause acute and chronic health problems to building occupants. Potted-plants can significantly reduce VOC levels in indoor air, the root-zone bacteria of the potting mix effecting most of the VOC biodegradation. In this study, a baseline community level physiological profile (CLPP) was established for the potting mix bacteria of the indoor plant species, Spathiphyllum wallisii 'Petite', using Biolog EcoPlates, to provide information on the functional abilities of this community. Changes in the CLPP resulting from benzene exposure were then determined and following the identification of the carbon sources associated with changes in the CLPP, biostimulant solutions were formulated and applied to fresh potted-plant specimens. Biostimulation of benzene removal was observed, with increases in removal rates of about 15%, providing proof-of-concept for the biostimulation of this process. The findings further elucidate the mechanisms of bacterial activity associated with removal of indoor airborne benzene, and could be applied to increase VOC biodegradation rates, augmenting the uses of indoor plants in improving building environmental quality.
G.O. Nkansah, A.K. Ahwireng, C. Amoatey and A.W. Ayarna

Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre, Institute of Agricultural Research, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.

Key words: Grafting, African eggplant, Solanum lycopersicum, Solanum aethiopicum, rootstock, scion, tomato, yield

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 16-20.

Abstract: Field experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research farm of the University of Ghana Forest and Horticultural Crop Research Centre (FOHCREC), Okumaning-Kade to investigate the effect of grafting on growth, yield, disease resistance and fruit quality of tomatoes grafted onto two different African eggplant rootstocks. Two commercial tomato varieties ('Tropimech' and 'Roma') were used as scions and two African eggplant varieties ('Aworoworo' and 'Green') were used as rootstocks. The scion/rootstock combinations or treatments were 'Roma/Green', 'Tropimech/Green', 'Roma/Aworoworo', 'Tropimech/Aworoworo', 'Roma/Roma', 'Tropimech/Tropimech', and Roma non-grafted (control) and Tropimech nongrafted (control). The results indicated that, grafted tomatoes on African eggplant rootstocks performed better in terms of growth, yield, earliness, disease incidence and shelf life than non-grafted or control plants. Pooled mean data indicated significant differences in terms of percent fruit set, fruit number and weight among the treatments. Percent fruit set was higher for tomato on Africa eggplant (67.9) compared to the self grafted (58.7) and the control (52.6). Fruit number/plant and yield of tomato on the African eggplant was 16.2 and 1120.7g/plant compared to the control (10.8 and 916g/plant) while the self grafted had 13.2 and 1064.9g/plant, respectively. The shelf life of grafted tomatoes onto egg plant was significantly higher (25.4 days) compared to control (13.6 days). Grafting did not significantly affect Brix (%), pH and acidity of tomato. Grafted plants significantly recorded low disease incidence compared to non-grafted ones. The study indicated that the use of grafting on eggplant in the humid forest zone of Ghana can boost tomato production considerably.
T. Damodaran, Shailendra Rajan, Ram Kumar, D.K. Sharma, V.K. Misra, S.K. Jha and R.B. Rai

Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, RRS, Lucknow, India

Key words: Polyembryony, mango, natural selection, tsunami, Andaman Islands, sodium toxicity, tolerance, sodic soils, mortality

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 21-25.

Abstract: The study includes collection of polyembryonic mango types from tsunami affected areas of the South Andaman district where trees are under natural selection pressure for salt tolerance and screening of collections against high sodium in sodic soils ex situ. Forty two accessions were located and collected on the basis of phenotypic expression and indentation level in tsunami. Out of which 15 diverse polyembryony types from different locations were evaluated for survival and growth in sodic soils of pHe 9.51 and sodium (Na+) 21.20 meq/L at Lucknow. The mortality percentage and relationship between the salt tolerance potential of the selections and Na+ / K+ ratio, root length and shoot length were investigated. Based on mortality in ex situ screening, collected types were classified into different groups. An increase in pH and Na+ concentrations led to higher mortality (96.67 -100.00 %) in polyembronic seedlings when compared to salt tolerant types (3.33-16.678 %). Six accessions GPL-1, GPL-3, ML-3, ML-4, ML-2 and GPL-4 exhibited tolerance to high soil sodium content and pH. Accessions GPL-1 and ML-2 collected from sites affected by inundation of sea water during tsunami under acid saline soil conditions were found to have the highest tolerance level. These accessions accumulated comparatively higher amounts of K+ ions in leaves than other accessions. They also had lower Na+ / K+ ratio which was even lower than the other tolerant collections. The collections demonstrated an increase in the root and shoot length and significant negative correlation with mortality of the seedlings (r= 0.97 and 0.98, respectively). The study revealed the importance of natural selection of mango polyembryony seedlings for salt tolerance and scope of its utilization.
Mona M. Hassan, Ibrahim A. Ibrahim, Mohsen K.H. Ebrahim and Ewald Komor

Central Laboratory for Date Palm Research and Development, Agricultural Research Centre, Giza, Egypt

Key words: activated charcoal, cytokinins, date palm cultivars, shoot formation, somatic embryos

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 26-31.

Abstract: This study presents a procedure for the rapid development of a large number of somatic embryos and shoots from seven date palm cultivars (Barthamuda, Sakkoty, Malkaby, Shamia, Khalas, Barhee and Medjool). Clusters of leaf meristem explants were cultured on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/L naphthalene acetic acid and cytokinins (benzyl adenine, kinetin or 2-isopentenyl adenine) at 0.05 or 0.1 mg/L, in the presence or absence of activated charcoal. Regeneration to newly formed embryos and shoot formation was significantly (P<0.05) promoted in all cultivars using a culture medium with 0.05 mg/L benzyl adenine in the absence of activated charcoal. The presence of charcoal was inhibitory to shoot formation in all cases, except on the medium with 0.05 mg/L benzyl adenine, where it stimulated 33% shoot formation. This medium plus activated charcoal is therefore the recommended one for shoot formation. The number of somatic embryos and shoots generated was greatest with cultivars Barthamuda, Barhee and Sakkoty, while Medjool had the lowest number. The healthy shoots were suitable for acclimatization to form plantlets in soil.
H.M. Mahadeva Swamy, S.N. Nagesha, Prakash M. Navale, T.K.S. Gowda, R. Asokan and Riaz Mahmood

Department of Biotechnology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore 560 065

Key words: Synthetic crylF gene, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, cabbage, transformation, regeneration, kanamycin

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 3-9.

Abstract: Insect-resistant crops have been one of the major successes of applying plant genetic engineering technology to agriculture. There is an urgent need for improvement in vegetable production, especially in developing countries where the economic, health and environmental benefits of bioengineered vegetables could be of great importance. In this view a synthetic cry1F gene coding for an insecticidal crystal protein of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) was transformed to cabbage cultivar 'Hare Krishna' by co-cultivating hypocotyls explants with AAgrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation. The transformed plants resistant to kanamycin were regenerated on selection medium. Confirmation of transgene in putatively transformed plants was carried out by using nptII and crylF gene specific primers. Multiple shoot regeneration of hypocotyl and shoot tip explants of cabbage after co-cultivation with Agrobacterium was optimized and medium containing 2 mg/L BAP was observed to be the best for shoot regeneration after co-cultivation. In this study, 45 and 32.5% transformation efficiencies were achieved for hypocotyl and cotyledonary leaf explants, respectively using the optimized procedure.
Farhat Naz, Jalal-Ud-Din Baloch, M. Munir and A.A. Khakwani

Faculty of Agriculture, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, KPK. Pakistan;Frontier Agriculture, SOYL Division, Recommendations Dept., Newbury, United Kingdom

Key words: Antirrhinum majus, snapdragon, growth and development, growing media

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 32-37.

Abstract: The seedlings of Antirrhinum majus L. cv. 'Orchid Rocket Mixed' at four leaf stage (two cotyledonary leaves and two true leaves) were planted in 15 cm diameter pots containing seven combinations of plant growing media viz., river sand, silt, leaf mold, river sand+silt (1:1), river sand+leaf mold (1:1), silt+leaf mold (1:1) and river sand+silt+leaf mold (1:1:1). The experiment was laid out in 'Randomised Complete Design' while each pot was considered as a replicate. Three equally spaced plants were kept in one pot in one replication and there were three replications in each treatment. Plant growth and development parameters indicated that plant height was significantly (P<0.05) affected by growing media and time interval. Plants grown in leaf mold attained maximum height than the other treatments. A linear and significant (P<0.05) increase in leaf development was observed in seven growing media such as plants grown in leaf mold media produced maximum number of leaves than the others. Similarly, plants grown in leaf mold media took minimum time to flowering, maximum number of flower buds per spike, maximum number of branches per plant, and maximum stem, leaf and plant fresh and dry weight.
S. Sarkar, A. Saha, P. Hazra and M. Pandit

Department of Vegetable Crops, Faculty of Horticulture, Bidhan Candra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur-741252, West Bengal, India

Key words: Temperature, phenophases, growing degree days, yield, snapmelon.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 38-42.

Abstract: The aim of the study was to workout relationship between phenological development and yield of snapmelon in relation to temperature that could be predicted with easily obtainable weather station data and used as an aid in projecting harvest dates along with potential yield. Temperature is one of the most important elements of the climate which determines the potential productivity level of a crop. Heat unit requirement was used for characterizing the thermal response in snapmelon (Cucumis melo var. momordica) for the assessment of yield potential of a crop in different growing environments. A field experiment was carried out to find out the phenophasic development and yield attributes of snapmelon in relation to ambient air temperature and to find out suitable varieties for commercial cultivation of snapmelon with eight genotypes as influenced by three sowing dates. The studies revealed that the snapmelon sown on 22nd January, accumulated lower number of growing degree days with higher heat use efficiency, among the genotypes tried. Efficiency of converting thermal regime to yield formation was higher when the crop was sown on 22nd January and it decreased with the delayed sowing. A sharp decline in crop duration as well as days to flowering occurred with the rise in temperature irrespective of the varieties. Where as fruit weight, fruit diameter and fruit length were varietal characteristics and not influenced by the different environmental conditions. Genotype IC-102K-Bh (V4) was found to be the best cultivar with regard to early female flower initiation and yield as the cultivar utilized the thermal regime for yield most efficiently.
S. Muthu Kumar and V. Ponnuswami

Horticultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore - 641 003, Tamil Nadu, India

Key words: 1-methylcyclopropene, vase life, cut roses

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 43-46.

Abstract: A lab experiment was conducted on a Hybrid Tea rose variety "First Red" to study the effect of 1-Methyl Cyclo Propene on post harvest quality of cut rose flowers. Pretreatment of flower stem with 1-Methyl Cyclo Propene was carried out in airtight chamber. The experiment was laid with 0.18 % of 1-MCP / m3 for 6 hours and 0.18 % of 1-MCP / 2m3 for 6 hours along with control. The treatment 0.18 % of 1-MCP / m3 for 6 hours recorded the lowest mean values for physiological loss in weight (11.43 per cent), loss of membrane integrity (31.63 per cent), transpirational loss of water (5.23 g stalk-1) and peroxidase activity (0.031 units g-1 of fresh weight) during the entire vase life period while the control recorded the highest mean values for physiological loss in weight (25.36 per cent), loss of membrane integrity (53.82 per cent), transpirational loss of water (8.44 g stalk-1) and peroxidase activity (0.057 units g-1 of fresh weight). Besides, the cut rose flowers treated with 0.18 % of 1-MCP/ m3 for 6 hours had highest relative water content of 78.16 per cent and water uptake of 6.80 g stalk-1. Flowers exposed to 0.18 % of 1-MCP/ m3 for 6 hours maintained higher mean values for appearance (score 4 - very good) and stem strength (82.40 o angle) during the entire course of study. The cut rose flowers exposed to 0.18 % of 1-MCP/ m3 for 6 hours had significantly enhanced the vase life and recorded the longest vase life of 4.3 days whereas the control recorded the shortest vase life of 2.6 days.
C. Thangamani and L. Pugalendhi

Department of vegetable crops, Horticultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-641003, India

Key words: Momordica charantia L., diallel mating, diverse parents, relative heterosis, heterobeltiosis, standard heterosis, earliness, yield and quality

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 47-56.

Abstract: Evaluation of ninety hybrids of bitter gourd resulting from full diallel mating of ten genetically diverse genotypes for earliness, yield and quality characters had revealed the presence of heterotic vigour. Fifty nine hybrid combinations were found to exhibit negative significant heterobeltiosis for days to first female flower appearance and the hybrid CO-1 x GL had registered favourable values for this trait. The hybrid CO-1 x MC-105 registered negative significant relative heterosis, heterobeltiosis and standard heterosis for node at which the first female flower appears. The heterosis for sex ratio was found to be in the desired direction in UB x GL and seventy six hybrids showed significant negative heterobeltiosis for sex ratio. The highest significant relative heterosis (KR x UB) and heterobeltiosis (MC-10 x KR) for fruit length was also observed. The highest positive and significant standard heterosis was observed in the hybrid Priyanka x GL for fruit length. The estimate of heterobeltiosis for fruit weight had shown positively significant value for fifteen hybrids, and it was the highest in KR x USL. Among the ninety hybrids, sixteen hybrids had registered positive and significant heterobeltiosis values for number of fruits per vine, and the hybrid Preethi x MC-30 had the highest value for this trait. The highest positive heterobeltiosis for yield of fruits per vine was recorded in KR x USL followed by Preethi x MC-30. However, the estimates of standard heterosis for fruit yield revealed that the hybrid Preethi x MC-30 had the highest positive significant value followed by the hybrid KR x USL. In order of merit the hybrids viz., Preethi x MC-30, KR x USL and MC-105 x MC-10 were noted to be the top performing hybrids with respect to yield and quality parameters since they had showed significant heterotic values.
Henry A. Akintoye, Olusola O. AdeOluwa, Olukemi Y. Akinkunmi

Floriculture Improvement Programme, National Horticultural Research Institute, P.M.B.5432, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Key words: Flowers production, plant characters, responses, rooting, beefsteak begonia

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2013, volume 15, issue 1, pages 57-61.

Abstract: Experiments were conducted over a two-year cropping season to determine the effect of growth media on rooting, growth and flowering. Nine growth media viz., river sand (RS), topsoil + poultry manure (T+P), topsoil (T), river sand + poultry manure (RS+P), sawdust (S), topsoil + river sand + poultry manure (T+RS+P), topsoil + sawdust (T+S), sawdust + river sand (S+RS), topsoil + poultry manure + river sand + sawdust (T+P+RS+S) were used for the study. It was found that growth media significantly (P>0.05) affected the number of branches and branch length per plant; number of leaves and number of flowers per plant. The quantity of flowers produced per week varied according to each growth media as follows: Begonia planted in topsoil + poultry manure (4:1) produced the highest number of flowers per plant, while sawdust + river sand (3:1) produced the least number of branches per plant, branch length per plant, number of leaves per plant and number of flowers per plant in the two years of the experiment. The slow growth, poor development and late blooming in soil + sawdust (4:1) and sawdust + river sand (3:1), could be as a result of inadequate nutrients in the substrates. Topsoil + poultry manure (4:1) growth medium (with or without river sand), appeared to be the suitable growth medium that will significantly enhance early rooting, establishment, growth and development of beefsteak begonia and sustain flower production for a good length of time.

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Journal of Applied Horticulture