Salvia leucantha (Mexican sage) and Verbena canadensis ‘Homestead Purple’ were treated with the plant growth retardants (PGRs), Cutless, Sumagic, B-Nine/Cycocel tank mixes, or Pistill under both greenhouse and nursery conditions. Increasing rates of all PGRs applied to both species reduced plant size in the greenhouse for 6 weeks after treatment (WAT). Growth reduction of Mexican sage with the most effective rate (providing greatest growth control) of each PGR over this period averaged 11% with Cutless, 15% with Sumagic, 23% with B-Nine/Cycocel tank mixes, and 25% with Pistill. For verbena, size control with the most effective rate of each PGR averaged 15% with Cutless, 18% with Sumagic, 27% with B-Nine/Cycocel tank mixes, and 29% with Pistill. After transplanting greenhouse-grown plants into outdoor ground beds, only Mexican sage treated with B-Nine/Cycocel were significantly smaller 4 weeks after planting (WAP). Greenhouse-grown verbena treated with Sumagic, B-Nine/Cycocel tank mixes, and Pistill and planted in the landscape were 15—23%, 18–25%, and 0–20% smaller, respectively, than control plants at 2 WAP, but by 4 WAP, all PGR-treated verbena were similar in size to control plants. Under nursery conditions, Cutless and B-Nine/Cycocel tank mix reduced Mexican sage size up to 4 WAT. None of the PGRs affected plant size at 6 WAT. The most effective rate of each PGR (averaged over the duration that a PGR was significant) suppressed shoot growth 16% for Cutless, 12% with Sumagic, 20% for B-Nine/Cycocel tank mixes, and 29% for Pistill. For verbena only, Sumagic suppressed growth up to 10% at 2 WAT, and no PGR effectively controlled growth under nursery conditions 4 WAT.

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Author notes

2Graduate student.


4Assistant Professor.