Effects of a gibberellin inhibitor on flowering, vegetative propagation, and production of rapid generation cycling gladiolus for potted plant production

Jaser A. Aljaser, Neil O. Anderson

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Gladiolus (Gladiolus 3hybridus) is an asexually propagated, herbaceous perennial and an economically important cut flower crop. In commercial production, gladioli have tall flower stalks, which limit their use to cut flowers and annual garden plants. The gladiolus breeding program at the University of Minnesota has bred and selected rapid generation cycling (RGC) cycle 1 gladiolus, which can flower in <1 year from seed instead of the norm of 3 to 5 years (which are vegetatively propagated as corms). Gibberellin inhibitors, such as ancymidol, are used as plant growth retardants to control height in potted plants. Higher concentrations can inhibit flowering along with other negative side effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the growth, flowering, and corm/cormel production response of cycle 1 gladiolus to the gibberellin inhibitor, ancymidol (0, 100, and 400 mg·LL1 soak) in comparison with noncycle 1 genotypes and commercial cultivars for potted gladiolus production. Cycle 1 genotypes flowered with all ancymidol concentrations while noncycle 1 genotypes had significantly fewer flowers or were completely nonflowering under higher concentrations. All tested genotypes had increased leaf width as ancymidol concentration increased. Conversely, flower stalk heights were shorter as the ancymidol concentration increased while the number of stalks was nonsignificant. Corms, cormel number, and fresh weights decreased in all genotypes except for one cycle 1 genotype, which had an increase in both corm number and fresh weight when treated with 100 mg·LL1 ancymidol. Cycle 1 gladiolus are more resilient to this gibberellin inhibitor even at high concentrations and can potentially be used for gladiolus potted plant production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-362
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received for publication 28 Oct. 2020. Accepted for publication 8 Jan. 2021. Published online 4 February 2021. This research has been supported by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, grants from the Minnesota Gladiolus Society, and a scholarship from the Kuwaiti Government. J.A.A. is an Assistant Professor. N.O.A. is a Professor. N.O.A. is the corresponding author. E-mail: ander044@umn.edu. This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


  • Cormels
  • Corms
  • Cycle 1 flowering
  • Geophyte
  • Gladiolus 3hybridus
  • Growth retardants


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