A study of the cultivation of medicinal plants in hydroponic and aeroponic technologies in a protected environment
Interest in the cultivation of medicinal plants has increased tremendously in the last decade. The unpredictability of weather events and rapid climate change, results in the high variability of bioactive substances. Nevertheless protected horticulture can represent a sustainable solution for medicinal plant cultivation. Abiotic and biotic stress inducers can be analysed in hydroponic and aeroponic cultivation and their influence on the accumulation of bioactive substances in plants can be determined. There is little knowledge about the cultivation of medicinal plants with this technology. This project tested three species of medicinal plants in four hydroponic systems and one aeroponic system and compared the results with plants cultivated in soil, in the same environmental conditions. Temperature, humidity and irrigation intervals were manipulated gradually, until the parameters were considered stress factors for the plants, as stated in scientific literature. From the three plants studied, St. John's Wort showed the best results, with a significant growth at p‹0.001 and a shorter time, 30 days to the harvest peak, compared to plants cultivated in soil. The study proves that medicinal plants can be cultivated in hydroponics and aeroponics and further stress inducers can be isolated and the way they influence the accumulation of bioactive substances can be studied.
Giurgiu, R.M., Morar, G., Dumitraș, A., Vlăsceanu, G., Dune, A. and Schroeder, F.-G. 2017. A study of the cultivation of medicinal plants in hydroponic and aeroponic technologies in a protected environment. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1170:671-678
bioactive substances, stress, dissolved oxygen, lavender, St. John's wort, thyme, greenhouse management