|Authors: ||R.G. Lopez, M.G. Blanchard, E.S. Runkle|
|Keywords: ||daily light integral, light quantity, temperature|
Zamioculcas zamiifolia (Lodd.) Engl. is a tropical ornamental perennial native to Eastern Africa that produces succulent rhizomes at the base of its attractive dark green and glossy foliage.
We performed experiments to determine if plants could be asexually propagated by single leaflets, apical leaflet sections, basal leaflet sections, or rachis cuttings.
The effects of photoperiod and photosynthetic daily light integral (DLI) on rhizome development were also quantified.
Cuttings were rooted in a greenhouse with overhead mist and maintained at 24 to 25°C and a vapor-pressure deficit of 0.3 kPa.
A 9- or 16-h photoperiod was delivered using a 9-h natural day extended with light from soft-white fluorescent lamps.
DLI environments were created using 0, 30, 50 and 70% woven shade cloth.
Apical and entire leaflet cuttings developed 250% and 142% more rhizomes, respectively, than basal leaflet cuttings propagated under a 16-h photoperiod.
In another experiment, apical leaflet cuttings produced fewer rhizomes under a 9-h photoperiod than under 16h.
After 6 weeks, regardless of DLI, apical cuttings produced a mean of 4.3 rhizomes compared to 1.4 for basal cuttings.
Rooted cuttings were then transplanted into 10-cm pots and grown at a constant 20, 23, 26, 29 and 32°C to determine the effects of temperature on plant development.
Marketable plants were achieved after 6 to 8 months at temperatures of 29 to 32°C; temperatures below 26°C delayed leaf development.
Commercial propagation and production time of Zamioculcas can be reduced by propagating apical leaflet cuttings under a 16-h photoperiod and a DLI as low as 0.6 mol•m–2•d–1 and by subsequently growing plants at 29 to 32°C.
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