Ornamental Horticulture Research
Written by Administrator Friday, 13 August 2004 “Taken from the Davao Floriculture Journal 2000 pp. 76-85 by Rosalyn M. Platon” Growing ornamental plants is not just a hobby anymore. The industry is fast becoming a profitable business enterprise as evidenced by the expanding areas of production, increasing number of producers, farmers shifting to the crop and new cooperatives oriented towards ornamental crop production. These, together with a favorable economic climate spurred the growth of the industry in both the domestic and international markets. Recognizing the importance of the industry as foreign revenue earner and source of livelihood, DOST and PCARRD packaged the Integrated Ornamental Horticulture R and D Program (IOHRDP) in consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Federation of Cutflowers and Ornamental Plant Growers of the Philippines (FCOPGP). The IOHRDP envisions the ornamental industry to be a countryside export industry and a competitive supplier of high quality ornamental plants in the domestic and international markets. Subdivided into five commodity programs on orchids, anthurium, chrysanthemum, foliage and live ornamental plants, each has project components dealing on production, cultural management, varietal improvement, pest management, and postharvest handling. The technology transfer and training programs were designed to ensure that information and technologies are disseminated to target clientele. The five-year program which commenced in July 1996, is now on its fourth year of implementation. Sixteen projects have already been completed, while eight projects are ongoing. These projects are implemented by UP Los Baños, Benguet State University (BSU), Cavite State University (CvSU), and BPI-Los Baños National Coop Research and Development Center (BPILBNCRDC). PCARRD coordinates and monitors the program‟s activities. Foliage R and D For the past four years, the program was able to develop hybrids of Tiplants, La suerte, Polypodium and Dracaenas. In La suerte, six hybrid seedlings with export potential were selected. Registration of the three hybrid cultivars, namely „Pearl of the Orient‟, „Silver Anniversary‟ and „Platinum‟ was recently approved by the Technical Working Group of the National Seed Industry Council (NSJC). In Ti-plants, 42 plants have been preselected out of the 259 hybrid plants produced. These selections are dwarf with compact growth habit, good leaf arrangement, new color, retention and yield. In Polypodium, five variants produced from irradiated spores have been selected. The fronds varied from those of the normal plant in terms of thickness, width and flatness, making them ideal as florist green or filler for flower arrangements. To improve postharvest handling practices and minimize quality deterioration of foliage and live plants during packaging and shipment, acclimatization experiments are being conducted. To date, the project established the right amount of fertilizer and light level for the acclimatization of potted plants such as Florida beauty, Spathiphyllum, Polypodium, Murraya, Cordyline and Aglaonema; developed packaging technology for the export of cutfoliage such as Polypodium and Kamuning; identified pharmacological treatments that can maintain the quality of stored potted Mussaenda and Kamuning cutfoliage; and determined the right temperature and duration for the transport of acclimatized Florida beauty, Murraya, Spathiphyllum, Polypodium, Cordyline and Aglaonema. Six suitable combinations of non-soil media were found effective in rooting 12 different kinds of foliage plants. Mass propagation technologies that guarantee 80-100% rooting and survival of foliage plants were determined. Control measures for the important arthropod pests and diseases were identified. Live Ornamental R and D The program‟s achievement is the production of potted Mussaendas or Doñas. Eight mussaenda cultivars were found positively responding to pot culture. Doña Eva, the most liked but the most hard to root mussaenda cultivar, can now be effectively propagated through grafting using appropriate rootstock. Aglaonemas can be
efficiently propagated using nodal cuttings aside from shoot tip cuttings. For palms, germination techniques including the rooting media were identified. The projects also came up with recommendations for the control of insect pests and diseases affecting Mussaendas. Orchids R and D One of the problems being addressed by the program is the lack of orchid planting materials. The aim of producing 2.5M plantlets from tissue culture is underway through improved micro propagation protocol. A total of 260 orchid varieties were cultured and selected, and 25 varieties were established. Around 367,670 plantlets were already acclimatized and are ready for planting in single pots. About 650,000 plantlets are to be produced by year 2000 and another 1M will be potted by year 2001, part of which are 12,600 flasks of orchid cultures that will be made available to cooperating agencies in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. About 30,000 plantlets were released to cooperating agencies and walk-in customers. The project continuously provides laboratory services to orchid growers and institutions with no laboratory facilities.
The breeding project, on the other hand, is evaluating 24 crosses, 4 irradiated varieties and 13 pre-selected plants from private growers with potential for the cutflower trade. To date, 8 plants from one cross-made have flowered. These plants are being tested for productivity, length, size, color and arrangement of infloreseence, vase life and vigor. For the packinghouse operation, protocols for using ethylene adsorbents (EA) during transport of orchids were established. Various types of surfactants and concentrations that can prolong vaselife of chrysanthem urn were identified as well as the vaselife of different anthurium cultivars. Orchids infected with virus diseases can now be easily detected using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or ELISA and mechanical inoculation. The project was able to produce two local antisera that can detect two common viruses infecting orchids within two to three days.
Anturium R and D The program is vigorously pursuing the propagation of locally developed varieties such as Gloria Angara and Blushing Innocence. It is hoped that these tissue cultured varieties will replace the existing anthurium plants in the field which are mostly infected with bacterial blight. The program modified the existing protocol to efficiently produce anthurium planting materials. To date, 10 locally grown anthurium varieties have been successfully propagated. There are now 12,639 acclimatized plantlets of these varieties in compots and single pots; 755 flasks in proliferating medium; and 350 callus cultures. By year 2001, more than 500,000 plantlets will be made available to the industry. Meanwhile, three potential antibacterial agents were selected as eradicant and protectant against bacterial blight, the most serious disease besetting the anthurium industry.
Chrysanthemum R and D The program was able to propagate 66 chrysanthemum varieties through tissue culture. Mother plants that served as continuous source of planting materials were established. The program released 34,842 plantlings for on-station and on-farm trials to determine performance in different locations. Pest resistant varieties were identified as well as biological control agents that can minimize pesticide usage. DOST has allocated a total of P36.4M for the four-year implementation of JOHRDP. To sustain the activities initiated by the program, the remaining 1.3 years of project implementation will focus on technology transfer and distribution of planting materials to cooperators for further multiplication. Training will be continuously supported to ensure that output of the program are disseminated to end-users.
Prolong vaselife of mums Chrysanthemum, as cutflowers, is increasingly becoming popular and in-demand. It is used in almost all occasions. Because of its varied form and color, many florists prefer to use chrysanthemum in flower arrangements. Gone are the days when it was used for funeral ceremonies and cemetery decorations.
Realizing the importance of chrysanthemum in the ornamental industry, DOST-PCARRD supported the study on prolonging its vaselife in the four-year project entitled “Packinghouse Operation for Priority Cutflowers”. UPLB researchers, Prof. Tito J. Rimando, Misses Raquel Aquino and Zarah Rodriguez of the Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center (PHTRC) investigated various types of solutions in prolonging vaselife of chrysanthemum. The spray type chrysanthemums used in the study were sourced from three distant markets: Davao City, Cavite and Baguio City. The chrysanthemums “Red Jacoline” sourced from Davao City were soaked in five different surfactants composed of liquid detergents such as Tween 20, Amazing Glaze, Joy, Axion and Pril for 24 hours. Varying concentrations of.01, 0.1 and 1.0% were diluted in distilled water. Results showed that vaselife of flowers was longest when soaked in Tween 20. VaseLife lasted for 11 to 14 days compared to the control which lasted only for 4 days. This validated the findings of a group of researchers in 1991 that surfactants can significantly improve vaselife of cutflowers rather than in distilled water. Based on the experiment, the surfactant prolonged turgidity of the flowers thereby resulting to longer vaselife. Meanwhile, another experiment was conducted last year to determine preand post-storage effect of the abovementione d types of surfactants on the postharvest behavior of Chrysanthemum „Taiwan Yellow‟ and „Reagan White‟. For the pre-storage experiment, flowers were first soaked to the various types and concentrations of surfactants for 24 hours before storing at OOC for three weeks. For the post-storage experiment, the treatment was reversed. Flowers were soaked in the same types and concentrations of the surfactants after storage. The surfactants used include Tween 20, Teepol, Pril, Amazing Glaze, and Axion. For chrysanthemum „Taiwan Yellow,‟ vaselife was longer when soaked after storage. Higher water uptake was observed in 0.1% Teepol and 0.01% Tween 20. Chrysanthemum „Reagan White‟ favored soaking in Tween 20 and Amazing Glaze whether it was done before or after storage. Among the various surfactants used, Prof. Rimando observed that 0.0 1% Tween 20 is most effective in preserving flower quality and prlonging vaselife. The project also determined vase]ife of nine common chrysanthemum cultivars produced in Cavite namely „Rush‟, „Pink Liniker‟, „Puma‟, „Ellen van Langen‟, „Remix Yellow‟, „Jaguar Red‟, „Reagan Sunny‟, „Relance‟, and „Royal Target‟. „Reagan Sunny‟ exhibited the longest vaselife of 12 days immersed in distilled water. This was followed closely by „Puma‟ and „Relance‟ cultivars with 11 days vaselife. The „Rush‟ cultivar, as the name suggests, has the shortest vaselife of 3 days.
Effective method to propagate Doña Eva Cleft grafting is the most effective method in propagating Doña Eva”, this was reported to DOST-PCARRD by UPLB researchers, Dr. Calixto M. Protacio, Ms. Simeona Siar and Ms. Lilibeth Obmerga. Doña Eva is one of the more expensive and popular hybrid cultivars of Mussaendas because of its attractive red bracts. But among the hybrids developed, Doña Eva is the most hard to root. Other hybrids can be propagated easily by stem cuttings, but in Doña Eva, researchers observed that a mere 1-2% survived using stem cuttings. These eventually die after 3 to 5 months. As part of the DOST-PCARRD supported project entitled “Development and Mass Propagation of Live Ornamental Plants”, researchers studied methods to successfully propagate Doña Eva with high rates of survival. Results revealed that cleft grafting is the most effective method, with 83-100% survival in just four to six weeks. Grafting is best done when the scions are dormant or when the stem appears brownish and leaves fall off. This usually happens during the summer months, from January to April. Grafting can also be done during the months of July and August. However, during this period, it is necessary to pinch the tips or remove the first two leaf pairs of the scion to be used to initiate bud formation. The scions can be cut after three days. The rootstock should have a vigorous root system. The use of Doña Luz, Doña Aurora and Baby Aurora is recommended. After 8-10 weeks of grafting, researchers reported that plants begin to produce colored bracts. Here are the steps in grafting Doña Eva: 1. Select scion with brown stem and greenish or reddish bud. It should be approximately of the same size as the stock. Cut the stem with 2 to 5 nodes. Remove the leaves and wrap the scion with plastic strips. Do not cover the tip with active bud as well as the base of the scion where a wedge cut will be made. 2. Cut the base of the scion into a wedge about 2.5 cm. 3. Split the rootstock up to 2.5 cm.
4. Insert the scion into the slit of the stock. 5. Wrap the union firmly with plastic strips. 6. Cover the union with a small plastic bag or ice candy plastic and place under shade. Remove the shoots that will develop from the rootstock 7. Alter 7-10 days, remove the plastic strips wrapped around the scion. Return the plastic bag covering the union, afterwards. Remove after seven days. 8. After 2 to 2.5 months, apply ltbsp complete fertilizer or urea in 4 L of water. Govt tissue culture labs to supply hybrids The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been trying to increase the production of orchid planting materials, through a tissue culture project, to be able to supply the growing demand for hybrids that have fascinated many Filipinos. The project is being implemented since production of hybrids such as dendrobium, mokara and kagawara have been very limited due to the unavailability of planting materials. Orchids have become a favorite cutflower and pot plant of ornamental growers and hobbyists. Through the years, many have embarked on large-scale production because of its high demand. Its long vase life and climatic suitability in many regions of the country further encourage entrepreneurs to engage in the business. The project entitled “Intensified Mass Propagation of Orchids,” is implemented at UP Los Baños under the leadership of Ms. Amihan L. Arquiza and is being monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Foresty and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD). The project is targeting to produce at least 2.5 M plantlets within the five-year project duration. Arquiza reported that more than 30 orchid hybrids and 30 embryo cultures have been cultured. These orchids were selected and evaluated for pot plant and cutflower production. Mostly propagated are Dendrobiums with white, pink, yellow and two-tone colored varieties, Mokara and Kagawara of the yellow, pink and red hybrids and other orchid varieties with high market potential. Now available in single pots are Mokara Chark Kuan „Red‟, Vanda TMA „Select‟ and Kagawara Boonrub. The available hybrids in flask are Vanda TMA „Select‟, Mokara Chark Kuan „Pink‟, Oncidium Gower Ramsey „Hawaii‟, and Mokara Khai Pak Suan x Rasri gold. Orchids available in community pots are Mokara Chark Kuan „Red, Vanda TMA „Select‟ and Mokara Khai Pak Suan x Rasri Gold. To be made available this year are Dendrobium Bunyad „Pink‟, Dendrobium Betty Ho „Kamiya‟, Dendrobium White Fairy, UH 306, Vanda Merv Velthius x coerulea, Blc. Yellow and Kagawara#2 orange will all be available in flask. Embryo cultured white Cattleya will also be available in flask and compost. In line with the objective of the project, a number of grower-cooperators from Batangas, Cavite, Tagaytay, Quezon, Bulacan, Mindoro Palawan, Iloilo and Davao were provided with orchid planting materials at a lower cost. Some cultures in the laboratory are being sold to orchid hobbyist and walkin buyers while some are exported abroad. As part of the extension and dissemination program, the project is assisting government and private tissue culture laboratories on the technical and management operation. At present, the orchid laboratory is assisting DOST regional offices in Region III and XI and the Negros Occidental Cutflower Cooperative, Inc. For growers and breeders without tissue culture facilities and want to have their hybrids multiplied, the project also provides embryo and tissue culture services. Interested parties may send orchid pods, young flower spikes or pseudobulbs to Ms. Amihan Arquiza or Ms. Charito E. Balladares at the Department of Horticulture, Ornamental Crops Division, UP Los Baños. They can be contacted at tel. No. (049) 536-2227.
Platon, R.M. ( August 13, 2004). Ornamental Horticulture Research. Retrieved September 7, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://floriculture.ro11.dost.gov.ph/index2.php?option=content&task=view&id=37&pop =1&page=0