Ramona Rhodes

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

James Martin, Rebecca Gilfillen, Todd Willian


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Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


This research project was conducted from March 25 to September 5, 2001 at Western Kentucky University’s Agricultural Research and Education Complex in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The purpose was to evaluate effectiveness of plant growth regulators and pruning on shape and height of containerized herbaceous perennials. A completely random design was utilized with four treatments: Cycocel®, A-Rest®, pruned, and control. Six species of plants were utilized within each treatment, and 10 replications of each species within treatments. Plants used for this experiment were Anemone hupehensis, Baptisia australis, Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Summer Sun,’ Lysimachia clethroides, Phlox paniculate ‘Franz Schubert,’ and Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm.’

Cycocel® and A-Rest® were applied on April 28 and May 26 of 2001 as foliar applications. Cycocel® was applied at 3000 ppm and A-Rest® was applied at 25 ppm as recommended by the manufacturers. Plants were pruned on June 2 following guidelines of Tracy DiSabato-Aust. Data were collected from each plant and recorded on September 5, 2001. Each plant was measured for the following: plant height, stem angle, number of stems, and flowering. Data were analyzed to determine the effects of treatment on plants as a whole as well as to determine effects on individual species.

Pruning produced plants with the most upright habit as measured by stem angle. It was the only treatment that had any significant effect on overall stem angle. Pruning also produced the fullest plants overall as measured by number of stems. Overall flowering and plant height were not affected by pruning. Lysimachia responded best to pruning. Pruning increased number of stems and decreased height of Lysimachia without diminishing flowering.

Cycocel® was the only treatment that decreased plant height. Cycocel® significantly decreased height of Heliopsis. Cycocel® also increased overall fullness of plants, but was not as effective as pruning. Over all Cycocel® diminished flowering. Only 50% of the Cycocel®-treated plants flowered. Anemone was the only species in which flowering was diminished by Cycocel®. Cycocel® had no overall effect on how upright plants stood.

A-Rest® had no effect on plants in any of the overall measurements. Within species, A-Rest® actually increased the height of Anemone.


Agriculture | Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Botany | Horticulture | Life Sciences | Plant Sciences