ZANTEDESCHIA AETHIOPICA: EFFECTS OF BASAL THERMAL TREATMENTS ON FLOWERING TIME, YIELD AND FLOWER QUALITY

S. Lazzereschi, A. Grassotti, S. Cacini, B. Nesi
Zantedeschia aethiopica has become one of the most popular cut flowers worldwide thanks to its ornamental characteristics, such as the beauty of the spathe and the long shelf-life. In Mediterranean traditional protected cultivation, calla lily reaches the full blooming stage in spring with a drastic reduction in summer, when a rest period is necessary due to excessively high temperatures at root zone level. This phase can be avoided restoring the optimal thermic conditions, to extend the production time including summer. The aim of this research was to estimate the effects of thermal treatments on flowering time, yield and flower quality. Rhizomes were placed into plastic containers in August 2007, using a substrate composed by 33% of expanded clay and 66% of peat. The following treatments were applied: only heating in winter, only cooling in summer, both heating in winter and cooling in summer, no thermal treatment (control). Treatments were applied using a basal distribution system placed under the containers where hot and cool water were circulated in winter and summer time respectively. Temperatures between 12 and 15°C in winter and between 16 and 20°C in summer were constantly maintained in the root zone. During the winter, air temperature was heated by a hot air generator, while during the summer shade nets were used to reduce the light intensity inside the greenhouse. The following quali-quantitative traits of cut flowers were evaluated: flowering time, yield, length and weight of the inflorescence and length of the spathe. Winter basal heating improved yield and quality of the plants, while summer basal cooling allowed to overcome the rest period. These results showed that by means of basal heating and cooling it is possible to obtain a high quality production of calla lily flowers all over the year.
Lazzereschi, S., Grassotti, A., Cacini, S. and Nesi, B. (2011). ZANTEDESCHIA AETHIOPICA: EFFECTS OF BASAL THERMAL TREATMENTS ON FLOWERING TIME, YIELD AND FLOWER QUALITY . Acta Hortic. 893, 953-959
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.893.107
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.893.107
cut flowers, extra-seasonal production, ornamental bulbous, rhizome, soilless cultivation, summer cooling, winter heating
English

Acta Horticulturae