From: ted.held at us.henkel.com (ted.held at us.henkel.com) on 2008.03.26 at 19:42:02(17228)|
For what it's worth I would be reluctant to use gibberellic acid
(available in the trade as "GA3", most commonly). I had a reluctant plant
(Cryptocoryne, of course, which means it's small plant compared with the
typical plant discussed on this list) and gave it a GA3 treatment (the
formula for which I can send if you want to know - just contact me
off-list). I just added it dropwise to the meristem, a drop or two every
day for a week. Sure enough the plant flowered about a month later, after
no flowers at all for more than a decade.
Noting how unusual the flower looked I took a number of pictures with my
dissecting microscope so I would have the flower anatomy preserved. Rather
than the normal aroid shape, this flower looked like a shepherd's crook.
The sides of the flower "kettle" were very weak, almost transparent.
The plant made another flower a few weeks later and the second flower was
also distorted-looking compared with normal Crypts, but a little stronger
than the first one. I documented that inflorescence as well.
Finally, about six months later I got another flower from the plant and
this one looked like a typical C. wendtii, the most common type of Sri
Lankan Crypts that aquarists keep. I concluded that this was just a
wendtii type that is indifferent to sexual reproduction under my
conditions. Others in the wendtii complex flower for me all the time
without any encouragement.
It has been several years now since this experience and I have gotten no
additional flowers, from the original plant or any of its clone siblings.
In short, I think GA3 can induce flowering, but I am not sure that what
you get will be representative of the species. From what I learned from
the web, there is not much certainty about formulations, strength of GA3
to use, or application. This is the same situation with several other
growth hormones (including the famous 2-4 D, used as a broad-leaf weed
killer) that you see discussed in the casual press.
For Crypts, at least, I think flowering is not obligatory and may even be
degenerate in some forms. But there is certainly a set of conditions that
kick a plant into flowering and others that make it passive. It would be
of great interest scientifically (and to horticulturists) to know what
these conditions are.
I don't use my GA3 anymore.