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Effect of pot size and growing system on development and quality of potted zinnia cultivars.

Zinnia has good prospect to be used as potted plant in Brazil.It shows attractive flowers, drought resistance, easy propagation, fast growth, minimal labor requirements and rusticity. The present study evaluated the effects of pot size (0.6 and 1.3 L) and growing system (free sprout of buds and apical flower bud pinch) on zinnia cultivars (‘Profusion Cherry’, ‘Thumbelina’, ‘Lilliput’ and ‘Persian Carpet’) development and quality. Plants were grown in the fall, in greenhouse, at Jaboticabal, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The experimental design was a randomized blocks, with four replicates (six pots per experimental unit), in factorial arrangement 4 x 2 x 2 (four cultivars, two pot sizes and two growing systems). Seeds were sown in polystyrene plug trays. Seedlings were transplanted, at second nodal true leaves stage to pots filled with commercial media and fertilized with Osmocote‚. When apical flower bud had 3-5mm it was manualy removed. ‘Profusion Cherry’ showed the best performance among the cultivars with a compact and short aspect (18.0 cm), larger flower diameter (4.74 cm), larger pot coverage by canopy (87.3%), larger foliage and flowers harvest index (0.65) and, a shorter production cycle (52 days). ‘Thumbelina’ showed potential as potted plant, but
was inferior to ‘Profusion Cherry’ regarding to plant height (23.0 cm), pot coverage (80.8%) and, production cycle (59 days). ‘Lilliput’ and ‘Persian Carpet’ did not show a compact and short aspect, with plants height of 57.0 and 50.0 cm, respectively. For all cultivars, the 0.6 L pot was more appropriated, considering plant development and quality. Apical flower bud pinch delayed production cycle and did not improve plants quality.

ISSN: 2447-536X

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