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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Production and Genetic Improvement Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #375157

Research Project: Water and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Production of Small Fruit and Nursery Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Production and Genetic Improvement Research Unit

Title: Nitrogen fertilization, container type, and irrigation frequency affect mineral nutrient uptake of hydrangea

Author
item LI, TONGYIN - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
item BI, GUIHONG - AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY OF HEBEI
item ZHAO, XIAOJIE - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
item HARKNESS, RICHARD - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
item Scagel, Carolyn

Submitted to: Water
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2020
Publication Date: 7/14/2020
Citation: Li, T., Bi, G., Zhao, X., Harkness, R.L., Scagel, C.F. 2020. Nitrogen fertilization, container type, and irrigation frequency affect mineral nutrient uptake of hydrangea. Water. 12(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071987.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071987

Interpretive Summary: Efficient and economic fertilization management is closely related to irrigation management. Use of biodegradable containers (biocontainers) as sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic containers may alter optimal water and nutrition management in nursery production. This study assessed how nitrogen (N) fertilization rate and irrigation frequency influenced nutrient uptake of Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Merritt’s Supreme’ grown in traditional plastic containers or biocontainers made from recycled paper. Increased N rate generally increased nutrient uptake. Compared to biocontainers, nutrient uptake was generally greater in plants grown in plastic containers, but only at the higher N rates. The influence of irrigation frequency on nutrient uptake was similar between container types and N rates. Irrigation once per day improved uptake of certain nutrients compared to more frequent irrigation. These results indicate hydrangea plants are not as efficient at nutrient uptake in biocontainers compared to plastic containers and that fertilizer application rates may need to be adjusted when using biocontainers to produce hydrangea plants. In addition, less frequent irrigation can be used to improve uptake in container-grown hydrangea plants.

Technical Abstract: Efficient and economic fertilization management is closely related to irrigation management. Use of biodegradable containers (biocontainers) as sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic containers may alter optimal water and nutrition management in nursery production. This study assessed how nitrogen (N) fertilization rate and irrigation frequency influenced nutrient uptake of Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Merritt’s Supreme’ grown in traditional plastic containers or biocontainers made from recycled paper. Rooted liners grown in either plastic containers or biocontainers were fertilized twice weekly with a N-free fertilizer plus either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 mM N from ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), and irrigated once or twice per day with the same total irrigation volume. Increased N rate generally increased nutrient uptake. Compared to biocontainers, nutrient uptake was generally greater in plants grown in plastic containers, but only at the higher N rates. The influence of irrigation frequency on nutrient uptake was similar between container types and N rates. Irrigation once per day improved P, Ca, and Zn uptake compared to more frequent irrigation. Our results indicate hydrangea plants are not as efficient at nutrient uptake in biocontainers compared to plastic containers and that fertilizer application rates may need to be adjusted when using biocontainers to produce hydrangea plants. Less frequent irrigation can be used to improve uptake of certain nutrients in container-grown hydrangea plants.