This study evaluated the use of splice grafting as a propagation strategy for watermelon. In experiment 1, the treatments consisted of sucrose, antitranspirant A, antitranspirant B, auxin (indole-3-butyric acid (IBA)) at two concentrations (10 and 20 mg·L−1
), plus a water control. The survival (%) of splice-grafted watermelon plants differed due to the number of days after grafting and treatment (p
< 0.0001, for both). At 21 days after grafting, plants treated with sucrose and antitranspirant A, and sucrose and antitranspirant A with 10 mg·L−1
auxin had 90% and 88% survival, respectively, whereas the graft survival was 18% for plants treated with water. Experiment 2 included the three top performing treatments from experiment 1 and a water control treatment, applied to both root-intact and root-excised rootstocks. There was a significant difference in survival (%) of splice-grafted watermelon due to root treatments, exogenous treatments, and the number of days after grafting (p
< 0.0001, for all). At 21 days after grafting, survival for root-excised grafted plants was 11% lower compared to root-intact plants. Plants treated with sucrose and antitranspirant A, and sucrose and antitranspirant A with 10 mg·L−1
auxin had 87% and 86% survival, respectively, whereas plants treated with water had 14% survival. The external application of auxin applied to rootstock seedlings does not appear to be cost-effective; however, other products should be evaluated.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.