Preliminary study of white and black shadecloth and groundcovers on three landscape/cut foliage crops

Robert H. Stamps

Abstract


Florida accounts for 81% of shade/temporary cover production of floricultural crops in the United States. In addition, Florida produces 75% of U.S. florists' greens and the majority of that production occurs under shade, especially under artificial shade provided using shadecloth. Black shadecloth is the common color used in the industry but other colors have become available. The purpose of this preliminary shadehouse experiment was to compare the growth and vase life of three cut foliage crops under white and black shadecloth. In addition, the effects of white and black groundcovers were evaluated. For ruscus (Ruscus hypophyllum L.) and umbrella plant (Cyperus alternifolius L.), stems produced under the white shadecloth or on the black groundcover were heavier than stems produced using the other color treatments. Neither shadecloth nor groundcover color affected stem weights of ming quot;fernquot; (Asparagus retrofractus L.). There were no interactions between shadecloth and groundcover treatments. Although not readily apparent visually, a? values (a measure of greenness) for ruscus cladophylls were affected by shadecloth treatments. Stem vase lives were not affected by treatments and averaged 141, 44 and 9.3 days after one week of storage, respectively, for ruscus, umbrella plant and ming quot;fernquot;. In a longer-term storage study, ruscus stems stored for 54, 96 and 148 days lasted for 54, 54 and 29, respectively. Ruscus cladophyll transpiration rates and stem water potentials were not affected by treatments. Air, cladophyll, pot and growing medium temperatures were affected by shadecloth and/or groundcover temperatures; however, there were no treatment interactions. These effects were attributed to differing shade factors and permeabilities of the shadecloths and differences in the absorptance/reflectance of the groundcovers.

Keywords


Asparagus retrofractus; Cyperus involucratus; Ruscus hypophyllum; ming quot;fernquot;; umbrella plant; Florida ruscus; Israeli ruscus; cut foliage; ?orists' greens; landscape plants; transpiration; water potential; vase life

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283