Effect of vermiwash on the productivity of Gerbera jamesonii L. compared to chemical fertilizer

S.A.A.U. Subasinghe, R.H.A.W. Ruvini, A.N. Nanayakkara, M.C. Wickramasinghe, S.A. Krishnarajah
Gerbera jamesonii L. belongs to the family Asteraceae and is native to South Africa. It is mostly grown for production of cut flowers and pot plants for ornamental purposes. Frequent application of agro-chemicals is practiced by gerbera growers in Sri Lanka to fulfill the nutrient requirement of the plant thereby to achieve high yield of quality gerbera flowers while overcoming the pest and disease problems. This study was carried out to investigate the effect of vermiwash organic liquid on vegetative growth and flowering of Gerbera jamesonii ‘Great Smoky Mountain’ (a pot gerbera cultivar) compared to chemical fertilizer and on resistance to one of the major pests and diseases of gerbera. Three treatments, namely, T1 (vermiwash – 100 mL plant‑1; once a week), T2 (vermiwash – 100 mL plant‑1; once a week + Albert solution – 0.1 g plant‑1; once a week), T3 (Albert solution – 0.2 g plant‑1; once a week) and the control (T4) –without fertilizer were arranged randomly under greenhouse conditions. Plant height (cm), number of leaves plant‑1, leaf area (cm2), number of tillers plant‑1, leaf glossiness and color, time taken to flowering, flower head diameter (cm), number of flowers, flower glossiness and color and development of leaf spot disease as well as infestation of mites were recorded to analyze the productivity and pest and disease resistance of gerbera plants. Data were statistically analyzed using a SAS computer package. Treatments had no significant effect on number of leaves plant‑1. However, plants treated with T3 resulted in significantly highest plant height, leaf area and highest number of tillers plant‑1. Early flowering and highest number of flowers were also observed in plants treated with T3 however, there was no significant difference for flower head diameter among the three fertilizer treatments. When considering quality parameters, the best quality leaves and flowers were observed in plants treated with T2 consisting of vermiwash – 100 mL plant‑1; once a week + Albert solution – 0.1 g plant‑1; once a week and least development of leaf spot disease and infestation of mites were observed in plants treated with T1 (i.e., vermiwash – 100 mL plant‑1; once a week). Therefore it may be concluded that vermiwash can be used to increase the productivity of Gerbera jamesonii L. and to reduce damage caused by pests and diseases. This will also lead to a reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers for gerbera cultivation.
Subasinghe, S.A.A.U., Ruvini, R.H.A.W., Nanayakkara, A.N., Wickramasinghe, M.C. and Krishnarajah, S.A. (2020). Effect of vermiwash on the productivity of Gerbera jamesonii L. compared to chemical fertilizer. Acta Hortic. 1278, 103-110
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1278.16
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1278.16
Gerbera jamesonii 'Great Smoky Mountain', vermiwash, chemical fertilizer, productivity
English

Acta Horticulturae