Response of buffalograss to plant growth regulator applications
Dodson, Kevin Shawn
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Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.) is a native grass of the North American Great Plains. Its drought tolerance and low fertility requirement make it useful as a lawn grass for the semi-arid southern plains region. One feature of this grass that often detracts from its appearance is the growth of male florets above the canopy of the turf. Plant growth regulators have been used on other species of turfgrass to both retard growth and suppress seed head or flower production. The application of plant growth regulators has also been reported to result in darker grass color in some species. In this study, buffalograss was treated with Primo (trinexapac-ethyl) plant growth regulator to assess its effects on subsequent growth and flower production in both 1992 and 1993 at Abernathy, Texas. Four levels and two application frequencies were tested. Color ratings from the study indicated that there was no measurable change in turf color during most evaluations. There was also no consistent change in the number of male florets in treated turf during the two years of the study. There was, however, a more evident reduction in both grass height and clipping weights taken from plots when they were treated twice with Primo. Primo may have uses on buffalograss for suppression of growth, but its apparent inability to suppress flowering or to improve grass color will likely limit its applications. A second application of Primo would probably be required in order to maintain growth suppression throughout the season.