Previous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of calcium (Ca) spray applications derived from Ca chloride for reducing botrytis (Botrytis cinerea) infection severity on petunia (Petunia ×hybrida) flowers. This study examines the effects of six Ca sources for their efficacy in reducing Botrytis blight on petunia flowers and their potential to cause spray damage or phytotoxicity. In the first experiment, the six Ca sources evaluated were laboratory-grade and commercial-grade Ca chloride, Ca nitrate, Ca ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid chelate, Ca amino acid chelate, and Ca silicate.

In the second experiment, petunia flowers that were 0, 1, 3, 5, or 7 days old at the time of the Ca spray applications were evaluated for spray damage severity. For both experiments, treatments were applied to flowering plants. For the evaluation of Botrytis blight efficacy, flowers were excised and inoculated with botrytis spores 24 hours after the Ca spray application and were evaluated every 12 hours for 72 hours. Laboratory-grade and commercial-grade Ca chloride at 1250 mg⋅L–1 Ca were the most effective Ca sources evaluated for decreasing Botrytis blight severity while not causing spray damage at any flower age.

Spray damage to the flowers from the Ca chloride application increased when Ca concentrations increased to 2000 mg⋅L–1, but no additional benefit was observed for reducing Botrytis blight severity compared with the 1250-mg⋅L–1 Ca application. The results demonstrate that several Ca sources reduce Botrytis blight severity significantly; however, the selection of the Ca source is important for minimizing the risk of spray damage.

Bennett, K., Schnabel, G., & Faust, J. E. (2023). Evaluation of Calcium Sources for the Management of Botrytis Blight on Petunia Flowers. HortTechnology, 33(3), 262-267. Retrieved Jan 26, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH05097-22

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