Plant Growth and Root Zone Management of Greenhouse Grown Succulents
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.