Transpiration capacity in poinsettia cuttings at different rooting stages and the development of a cutting coefficient for scheduling mist

Erin G. Wilkerson, Richard S. Gates, Sérgio Zolnier, Sharon T. Kester, Robert L. Geneve

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16 Scopus citations


Rooting stage, transpiration capacity, and relative water content were measured in cuttings every 5 days for 25 days. Cell divisions in phloem parenchyma were evident between 5 and 10 days after sticking, organized subcuticular root primordia were present between 10 and 12 days, and roots emerged between 12 and 15 days. Transpiration was measured in poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch 'Freedom Dark Red') cuttings under light or dark conditions at increasing vapor pressure deficit (VPDair) levels during different stages of rooting. Transpiration capacity did not increase until roots emerged on the cuttings. Light had a significant impact on transpiration rates only after roots emerged. Light was more significant than VPDair for determining actual transpiration. Between visible rooting (15 days) and 25 days, increase in total root length was linear (r2 = 0.92) and significantly correlated with transpiration (r2 = 0.98). Transpiration capacity increased after visible rooting, but did not significantly increase under non-misted conditions until cuttings were well-rooted and had a total root length >50 cm (18 days after sticking). Relative water content measured before and after entering the transpiration chamber confirmed that cuttings were only able to take enough water from the medium to continue sustained transpiration after 18 days. A cutting coefficient was developed from transpiration data to modify the misting interval for dynamic controlled misting. Greenhouse studies showed a 55 % or greater reduction in water use with dynamic control compared to constant static or stepped down static control. Rooting performance was unaffected by misting interval. Foliar nutrition was significantly reduced in all cuttings after 7 days in the mist bench, but changes in foliar elemental content were not correlated with misting interval.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Adventitious root formation
  • Cutting coefficient
  • Euphorbia pulcherrima
  • Relative water content
  • Vapor pressure deficit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Horticulture


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