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Strict control of morphogenesis is essential in production of potted poinsettia. Commonly, this is obtained by the use of plant growth retardants (PGRs), often in combination with early morning temperature drops. Due to negative effects on human health and the environment, the use of PGRs is becoming restricted. Also, energy-saving growth regimes and periods of high temperatures limit effective use of temperature drops. In the present study the use of a high proportion of blue (B) light provided by light emitting diodes [LEDs, 20% blue (B), 80% red (R)] was compared with traditional high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps (5% B) providing similar phytochrome photostationary state to produce compact poinsettia plants. Both in the greenhouse and growth chamber, all cultivars were 20–34% shorter for LED compared to HPS grown plants. Also, leaf and bract area as well as chlorophyll content and total dry matter accumulation were lower under LED. The LED did not delay bract color formation, visible cyathia and flowering compared to HPS, and no difference in post production performance (cyathia/bract abscission or necrosis) between the two light treatments was found. The effect of end of day-red (EOD-R) lighting combination with LED and HPS supplemental lamps during the photoperiod in the greenhouse was also investigated. Reduced stem extension (13%) was observed under HPS only and for one of the two cultivars tested, whereas under the LED regime, there was no effect of EOD-R lighting.
► A 20–34% reduction in plant height of poinsettia was achieved by the use of LED with 20% blue and 80% red compared with high pressure sodium lamps.
► No difference was found in production time or post production performance between the two light treatments.
► EOD-R light was not as effective in suppressing stem extension growth as increased blue light portion.
Journal: Scientia Horticulturae - Volume 147, 12 November 2012, Pages 136–143