Plant Growth and Root Zone Management of Greenhouse Grown Succulents
Snelson, Jonathan Bundy
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Effects of media, soil moisture, fertility rate, and plant growth regulators on plant growth were investigated for 13 taxa of succulents. Media: Liners were grown in five common greenhouse substrates: 80% peat, 60% bark + 30% peat moss, 80% pine bark/20% Permatil (v/v), 100% composted pine bark, or whole tree substrate until market ready. Overall, higher percentage bark mixes yielded smaller plants, with lower shoot dry weights, shoot heights and widths. Soil Moisture: Liners were potted into a 60% bark/30% peat soilless potting mix. In group 1 , irrigation to container capacity occurred when volumetric soil moisture content fell below 30%, 20%, or 10%,. Group two (seven species) irrigation thresholds were shifted to 35%, 25%, and 15%. Effects of irrigation rate were significant in three of the 13 species studied, and those effects were species-specific. Fertility Rate: Liners were potted into60% bark/30% peat substrate. Fertility reatments in group were 0, 50, 100, or 200 mg.L-1 nitrogen. Group 2 plants received treatments of 50, 150, 250, or 350 mg.L-1 nitrogen. Four of the 11 species studied were affected by nitrogen rate, with rates up to 200 mg.L-1 generally producing the largest plants. PGRs: Seven species were potted into a 60% bark/30% peat substrate. Group one plants were treated with a foliar application of benzyladenine (Configure) at rates of 0, 400, 800, or 1600 mg.L-1. Group 2 plants were treated either BA at 0, 250, 500, or 1000 mg.L-1, dikegulac sodium (Augeo) at 400, 800, or 1600 mg.L-1, or a tank mix of 500 mg.L-1 Configure and 800 mg.L-1 Augeo. BA caused an increase in branches leaders or offsets in two species.
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