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Forcing of florist azalea is a relative short, though important step in the production cycle of this ornamental. This phase determines the flowering quality which is important for the economic value of the
plant. Forcing is performed inside heated greenhouses (21 ◦C), and application of supplemental light is increasing in popularity among growers. Optimizing the use of supplemental light is essential to
minimize energy costs. Here, the minimum daily light integral (DLI) needed to balance photosynthesis and respiration for two rhododendron simsii cultivars was determined. Whole-plant net CO2 exchange measurements resulted in a minimum DLI for photosynthesis of 2.1 mol m−2 d−1 for the early-flowering cultivar ‘Nordlicht’ and of 1.7 mol m−2 d−1 for the late-flowering cultivar ‘Thesla’. Increasing the forcing temperature by 6 ◦C resulted in a 72% increase of the minimum DLI for photosynthesis of ‘Thesla’. The developmental stage of the flower buds had no effect on the minimum DLI. Further, forcing experiments showed that to obtain a high-quality flowering plant, this minimum DLI for photosynthesis must be raised by at least 57%.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Volume177
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
ISSN0304-4238
Publication statusPublished - 12-Aug-2014

ID: 3141257