Initial growth of Costus longebracteolatus and Costus spiralis 'French Kiss' under different light conditions
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The Brazilian native Costus longebracteolatus and Costus spiralis 'French Kiss', in the family Costaceae, have been used as both cut flowers and cut foliage. It is known that Costus species grow better under partial shade, but studies on the influence of shading or light on plant growth, development, and flower production are still incipient. As this kind of information is essential on planning of planting, production, and agribusiness activities, the objective of this research was to evaluate the influence of different colored shade nets and light conditions on the initial growth of both C. longebracteolatus and C. spiralis 'French Kiss'. Plants, obtained from cuttings of pseudostems, were cultivated under six light conditions, which comprised six treatments, along 270 days: red net with 50% shading, blue net with 50% shading, black net with 70% shading, black net with 50% shading, black net with 30% shading, and full sun. The initial growth of C. longebracteolatus (up to 270 days) is more successful under the blue net with 50% shading, which promoted highest values of pseudostem length and dry matter of aerial part. For C. spiralis 'French Kiss' plants, both the red and blue nets with 50% shading implied best results and differed for the other treatments with greater pseudostem length. Plant exposure to full sun inhibited growth and development, and favored early leaf necrosis.