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Comparison of growth of rhododendrons propagated by grafting, tissue culture, and from cuttings

Piotr Muras

Institute of Vegetables and Ornamental Plants
Faculty of Horticulture, Agricultural University
29 Listopada 54, 31-425 Kraków, Poland

A field experiment on the growth of rhododendrons was set up in Przebieczany in May, 1988. The aim of the study was to compare the plants of two cultivars namely Lee's Dark Purple and Baden Baden propagated from cuttings, by grafting on Cunningham's White, and by tissue culture.

To establish the experiment two one-year plants were used per treatment. Each treatment was replicated 5 times. After the second and third years of field cultivation the number of generative buds as well as the number and length of one-year shoots were recorded. In addition, the number and the length of the secondary growths of shoots were noted. In the case of Lee's Dark Purple plants no statistically significant differences between the tested methods were found. All the shrubs exhibited very good growth and development. The mean number of flower buds set by four-year-old plants was 28 per shrub irrespective of the treatment. In the case of Baden Baden no differences between plants obtained by grafting or from cuttings were recorded as far as the growth and the number of flower buds set were concerned. Plants of this cultivar propagated in vitro aquired market values (25 cm in height, 35 cm in width) in the fourth year of their growth but proved to produce fewer one-year shoots and flower buds than the shhrubs of the other two treatments.

Muras P., 1992. Comparison of growth of rhododendrons propagated by grafting, tissue culture, and from cuttings. Folia Horticulturae IV/1: 49-58.