Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Knight, Patricia R.

Committee Member

Coker, Christine E.H.

Committee Member

Broderick, Shaun R.

Committee Member

Blythe, Eugene K.

Committee Member

Sakhanokho, Hamidou F.

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Babiker, Ebrahiem M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


The nursery/greenhouse industry is innovative. There have been several reports in the popular literature of non-traditional adjuvants used in plant propagation; however, these claims have never been evaluated in a scientific setting. Five studies, conducted at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville in 2019 and 2021 determined the impact that adding honey to water-soluble auxin solutions and surfactants to foliar applied auxin solutions on physiological responses associated with adventitious root formation. Treatments in studies presented in chapters two and three included three honey sources (multiflora, local, and Manuka). Honey-infused water-soluble auxin solutions affected plant species but not in the measured physiological responses. Studies presented in chapters four and five examined the impact of water-soluble auxin solutions containing non-ionic surfactants on physiological responses compared to the industry standard basal quick-dip. Like our results for honey, adding surfactants to foliar-applied auxin solutions was species-specific. However, for difficult-to-root species, a foliar auxin application led to similar rooting compared to the current industry standard. For this reason, we recommend a foliar application for rooting Magnolia grandiflora ‘Southern Charm’. Finally, the study presented in chapter six examined the auxin application method, surfactant concentration, and seasonal impacts in rooting challenging to propagate species. The season that cuttings were taken had a significant impact on several of our tested responses. In addition, the auxin application method was also significant. To this end, we can recommend treating fall cuttings with a foliar auxin application for the best results.

Included in

Horticulture Commons