EFFECT OF ETHREL ON SMOOTH CAYENNE PINEAPPLE SLIPS AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF GROWTH
Vegetative growth in terms of leaf number and plant height (at flowering) slip and sucker production (at harvest) showed significant increase with plant age at forcing. However, mean fruit weight and total yield were not affected by forcing age. Total soluble solids content of the juice increased while fruit acidity significantly decreased with plant age at forcing. The interval between forcing and flowering and between forcing and harvesting decreased while that between planting and harvesting significantly increased with late forcing. Flowering and harvesting were irregular and significantly prolonged when forcing was delayed. It was not possible to determine conclusively the optimum forcing age. However, forcing between 44 and 56 weeks (10 and 13 months) significantly reduced the interval between planting and harvesting and was considered reasonable. It was concluded that with aid of hormones slips could reliably be adopted as an additional source of planting material in Uganda.