HortScience 47: in press 2012.

2012. Soaking Temperature of Dried Tuberous Roots Influences Hydration Kinetics and Growth of Ranunculus asiaticus (L).

Cerveny, C.B.*, W.B. Miller*, T. Björkman**, and N.S. Mattson*.

*Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
**Department of Horticulture, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456

Present address for Dr. Christopher Cerveny: Global Gardens R&D, The ScottsMiracle-Gro Company 14111 Scottslawn Rd., Marysville, OH 43041Chris.Cerveny@scotts.com

ABSTRACT  The published literature is inconsistent with recommendations for hydrating Ranunculus asiaticus (L.) dried tuberous roots, a common practice in commercial production systems for this ornamental geophyte. Imbibition rate increased with hydration temperature, but to lower equilibrium moisture content than when hydrated at cooler temperatures. In the greenhouse, survival was predicted to be greatest when tubers were hydrated at 20°C. Plant height, visual quality, and foliar dry weight followed a similar trend 4 weeks after planting. These results demonstrate that a hydration temperature between 15 and 25°C is required to obtain good quality when growing R. asiaticus from its dried tuberous roots.

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