The effect of different nutrient solutions on quality of cut tulips forced hydroponically

D. Sochacki, I. Miłosz
Tulips is one of the most popular plant species grown for cut flowers. Cut tulips are available on the market all year round, due to the development of forcing techniques of which the hydroponic method has recently been gaining popularity. The objective of the work was to evaluate the effect of different nutrient solutions on the cut flowers’ quality of two tulip cultivars – ‘Strong Gold’ and ‘Renegade’ forced on three dates, in February and March 2017. Three types of nutrient solutions were used (with calcium nitrate plus Universol Orange; with calcium nitrate alone; with calcium nitrate plus calcium chloride) while water was a control treatment. The length of stems and flower buds (cm) as well as the stem mass (g) were evaluated. When forced by the hydroponic method both cultivars gave a high commercial yield ranging from 93.5 to 100% and from 98.5 to 100% for ‘Strong Gold’ and ‘Renegade’, respectively. Visual evaluation showed that - regardless of the forcing date - both tulip cultivars forced in water (control) had leaves less coloured compared to those forced in the tested solutions. The tulips of both cultivars forced in water produced flower buds and stems of length and mass not inferior to or greater than those forced in the nutrient solutions, regardless of the forcing date. Stems of tulips variety ‘Renegade’ forced in water, as well as in the nutrient solution composed of calcium nitrate plus calcium chloride, were heavier than in tulips forced in the other nutrient combinations. As for the forcing dates, in the case of ‘Strong Gold’ the longer flower stems with longer flower buds and partly bigger mass were obtained on the last forcing in March 2017. In the case of ‘Renegade’, the above parameters were not related to a forcing date. As the extra supplementation with calcium and other nutrient compounds little affected tulip quality the studies of its effect on keeping qualities of cut flowers should be done before any recommendations concerning nutrient dosage increase are directed to the growers.
Sochacki, D. and Miłosz, I. (2019). The effect of different nutrient solutions on quality of cut tulips forced hydroponically. Acta Hortic. 1237, 193-198
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1237.25
calcium, flower bud, flower stem, stem mass

Acta Horticulturae