W.A.P. Weerakkody, K.P.S.S. Kumara, S.J.M.V.L. Samarakoon , R.A.S. Chandrasiri
Gerbera jamesonii is widely grown in drip-furtigated grow-bag culture in tropical greenhouses. Growth retardation and leaf yellowing are common problems of soilless cultivation of gerbera under ill-drained conditions. This experiment was conducted to enhance the vegetative growth of gerbera through proper water and medium management. The effect of growing medium was evaluated in the first step, by cultivating a cut gerbera variety and a pot (dwarf) variety in five different growth media treatments, having coir fiber, used/recycled media and half burnt paddy husk, mixed into different proportions. The effect of water management was evaluated in the second step using three watering regimes namely, watering at 7.5% depletion from the field capacity (tensiometer reading at 0.05 bars), at 15% depletion (at 0.15 bar) and at 45% depletion (at 0.30 bar).
The effect of growth medium was not significant but the plants grew at a high rate, without any yellowing symptoms. Different water management treatments practiced in the second step gave variable results with respect to shoot and root growth. The highest root dry weight (3.27g plant-1 at 10 weeks after planting) was found when watering at 45% depletion and was followed by watering at 15% depletion (2.9 g plant-1). Both these watering treatments formed greater root length as well as shoot dry weight (14.53-16.55 g plant-1) too. Plant nutrient compositions supported these results by indicating low shoot P and more root P under favourable watering regimes. Even though not very consistent there was an opposite tendency (more shoot and low root composition) of N and K when the water management was favourable for the vegetative growth of gerbera.
Weerakkody, W.A.P., Kumara, K.P.S.S., Samarakoon , S.J.M.V.L. and Chandrasiri, R.A.S. (2013). MEDIA AND WATER MANAGEMENT FOR IMPROVED VEGETATIVE GROWTH OF GERBERA (GERBERA JAMESONII). Acta Hortic. 1004, 129-133
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.1004.14
growth retardation, leaf yellowing, particle size, irrigation frequency, plant nutrient uptake

Acta Horticulturae