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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321855

Research Project: Integrated Water and Nutrient Management Systems for Sustainable and High-Quality Production of Temperate Fruit and Nursery Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Research Unit

Title: Effect of fertilization and irrigation on nursery production of hydrangea using alternative containers

Author
item LI, T - Mississippi State University
item BI, G - Mississippi State University
item Scagel, Carolyn
item HARKESS, R - Mississippi State University

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2015
Publication Date: 8/4/2015
Citation: Li, T., Bi, G., Scagel, C.F., Harkess, R.L. 2015. Effect of fertilization and irrigation on nursery production of hydrangea using alternative containers. HortScience. 50(9):S27.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Container production of nursery plants using biodegradable containers has been studied in recent years as a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic containers. Plant growth and photosynthetic performance of Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Merritt’s Supreme’ were investigated in this study when they were grown in two types of containers (a conventional black plastic container and a paper biocontainer) under 5 nitrogen (N) rates (0, 5, 10, 15, 20 mM N from ammonium nitrate) and 2 irrigation frequency (once or twice per day with the same total amount of water) treatments. Results showed that plant growth index (PGI), plant dry weights, and leaf area generally increased with increasing N rate with no difference between those grown in plastic or paper containers. Irrigation frequency didn’t have significant influence on PGI, SPAD, plant dry weight, leaf area, root surface area, total root length, or stomatal conductance. Plants under 20 mM N treatment had the highest SPAD readings. There was no difference in photosynthetic rates among plants fertilized with 5 to 15 mM N in either plastic or paper container. Plants grown in plastic containers had higher stomatal conductance than those in biocontainers. When grown in biocontainer and fertilized with higher N rates, hydrangea plants tend to use more water during a day.