EFFECT OF UNDERGROUND HEATING AND COMPOST ON GROWTH OF FOLIAGE PLANTS

J.C.R. Seager
Ten contrasting foliage crops were grown from January to June, 1980 on insulated ground beds with and without the use of underground heating. The basal heat was provided by hot water circulating in loops of 1.25 cm dia. alkathane piping set in damp sand. Sand temperature was maintained at 25°C and gave the plants in 13 cm dia. pots on capillary matting a mean root-zone temperature of 20°C. Glasshouse ambient temperature was 15°C minimum.

Mean measurements in mid-April showed that underground heating increased leaf number of plants in 100% peat compost by 25% and of plants in 80% peat: 20% polystyrene by 19%. At maturity in mid-June the increase with underground heating was respectively 27 and 25%. Leaf number of Dieffenbachia, Nephrolepis, Peperomia and Rhoicissus increased as much as 45% with underground heating, but that of Codiaeum, Dracaena, Hedera and Maranta increased by less than 10%. Ficus and Aphelandra increased 13 and 30% with base heat.

There was no growth advantage in amending the peat compost with polystyrene.

Seager, J.C.R. (1981). EFFECT OF UNDERGROUND HEATING AND COMPOST ON GROWTH OF FOLIAGE PLANTS. Acta Hortic. 115, 293-300
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1981.115.31
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1981.115.31

Acta Horticulturae