Author Topic: Possible trick for getting day-length sensitive plants to bloom?  (Read 89 times)

Ellendra

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I'm growing a variety of Shark Fin Squash this year, species C. ficifolia. Several sources say it's day-length sensitive, and that this far north it only blooms late in the season when it won't have time to ripen. Since the seller is in Michigan I assumed they had a variety that wasn't day-length sensitive. But, while my other squash varieties were covered in blooms, my shark fins had none.

On a whim, I decided to try an old orchardist's trick: stress the plant. With fruit trees that are old enough to flower but won't, you can get them to flower by beating them with a rolled-up newspaper. It sounds crazy, but the plant thinks it might be in danger and pushes to reproduce. It will flower the next spring.

I didn't have a rolled-up newspaper, so I tried a couple things. On some I snipped off the growing tips from some of the longer vines. (I had to do that anyway, they were encroaching on the walkways.) Others I stepped on the vines near the tips, not enough to destroy the stem but enough to leave a bruise. Some I did both, and others were left alone as a control.

That was 2 days ago. This is what greeted me this morning:


This was one of the plants that was both clipped and bruised. It's early enough that I'm still watching for results from the rest of the patch, and it remains to be seen if this plant will form fruit, but this was too special not to share.

I don't know if stressing the plant would work for other day-length sensitive plants, but would anyone else be willing to experiment and let us know?
Harsh winters, high winds. Temps on the edge between zones 4 and 5. Steep, north-facing slope. Soil is high in clay and rocks. Fast draining, which is a surprise for clay soil. Indicates a sandy/gravelly layer underneath.

Adrian

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Hello!

Create  a shadow could did appeared the fruits more easily.
Its a plant of court day.
You can sow a plant of long day under leaf of your squash(radish,mustard or peas.. With the cellular elongation this plant will make a shadow at the squash wich will be have a shadow.




« Last Edit: 2020-07-25, 04:55:27 PM by Adrian »

Lauren

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Interesting. I've been wondering how to get the chia to bloom--it's supposed to be day length sensitive and I've never seen one bloom.

I'll have to try these.

Ellendra

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Update: All the plants that had been bruised have flowered. This includes several female flowers, not just the male ones. I'm still watching to see if the fruits are able to ripen, but so far it looks promising.

The plants that were only clipped, and the control group, have not flowered, except for one that a deer stepped on and did the bruising for me. Since I need as many ripe fruits as I can get, I put an end to the different groups and went through giving every plant I could reach a bruise. There were still a few untouched, because they're tangled with so many thistles, nettles, and cow parsnips that it's hazardous to get close to them, so I guess they'll serve as my control group.

It's interesting that a single bruise at the end of a single vine can have that much of an effect on the whole rest of the plant. This seems like something that warrants more study. Next year I'll try a few different stress methods to see if there are others that would work.
Harsh winters, high winds. Temps on the edge between zones 4 and 5. Steep, north-facing slope. Soil is high in clay and rocks. Fast draining, which is a surprise for clay soil. Indicates a sandy/gravelly layer underneath.

Adrian

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For the squash, i have sow my seed in pot and two day before tu put the plants in full ground, i have put my plant very far of rhe windows and a few fruits are appeared.

Gene Tyle

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Hi,
Forgive me, I am channeling Cliff Clavin here...

Some plants are sensitive to the length of the darkness and can be manipulated with artificial lighting at night.

-Doug

Andrew Barney

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cool trick!

I've grown C. ficifolia once successfully here in Colorado. I do think it bloomed later than other squash, but still got fruits and seeds. I was going to grow out my old seed this year, but it was too old. It's possible my plants were stressed by drought, or i did have a variety that grows fine here. Too bad my seed was too old.

There is an article i read once about teosinte that gave a tip about covering part of a leaf and apparently it was enough to trick the whole plant into flowing earlier.

Quote
www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cDovL2l0dW5lc2NvbnRlbnQudWNkYXZpcy5lZHUvbWVkaWEvMjAwOS9XSS9QTEIxMTIvMTAwLnJzcw&episode=aHR0cDovL2l0dW5lc2NvbnRlbnQudWNkYXZpcy5lZHUvbWVkaWEvMjAwOS9XSS9QTEIxMTIvUExCMTEyLTFfMjAwOS0wMy0wNS5tcDM

This course, taught by UC Davis plant biology professor John Harada, focuses on the mechanisms and control processes that underlie plant growth, development and response to the environment, with primary attention devoted to flowering plants. Topics are selected to emphasize developmental concepts applicable to several aspects of plant growth and development. Material is presented by discussing experiments employing the approaches of morphology, physiology, genetics, and cell and molecular biology that were used to discover the biological information. (The course is targeted to upper division undergraduate students who have taken an introductory biology course and a genetics course. The audience is primarily general biology majors who do not specialize on plants.)

"Podcast" plant growth and development winter 2009, episode #4, transition to flowering.

https://alanbishop.proboards.com/thread/9206/neandercorn?page=5
« Last Edit: 2020-07-31, 10:00:35 PM by Andrew Barney »

William S.

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Interesting. I've been wondering how to get the chia to bloom--it's supposed to be day length sensitive and I've never seen one bloom.

I'll have to try these.

Salvia columbariae and Salvia carduacea have already set seed for me in Ronan MT. Those cool EFN cats sent me some Tarahumara chia Salvia tiliaefolia they grew successfully in Jersey for suresies (sorry a catch phrase of a NJ colleague). So far it's just hanging out. I dunno what gives, but a jolly good hail storm would accomplish some bruising. Was actually wondering if a monsoonal event might trigger it.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days