DETERMINATION OF THE WATER AND AIR CAPACITY OF 25 SUBSTRATES EMPLOYED FOR THE CULTIVATION OF DIEFFENBACHIA AMOENA AND EUPHORBIA PULCHERRIMA

G. D'Angelo, P. Titone
In 1986, meanwhile a cultivation test on Dieffenbachia amoena cv. "Tropic Snow" and Euphorbia pulcherrima cv. "Diamond" was taking place, the air and the water capacity of 25 substrates has been determined according to the method of De Boodt et al. (1974).

Two instruments were employed for the physical analysis of the substrates: the first consists of 2 superimposed cylinders containing the substrate; the second is a funnel with a porous septum in which the substrate saturated with water is placed at suctions corresponding to water columns of 10, 50 and 100 cm.

Nine mould components were mixed together at different ratios: sphagnum peat moss, uncomposted bark, composted bark, argex, perlite, polystyrene, leaf mould, sand and hydrogel.

Peat, sand and leaf mould have a higher water buffering capacity than other substrates.

Peat and hydrogel increase water retention capacity of the substrate while components helping drainage (argex, perlite, polystyrene, sand) decrease it, raising porosity.

Composted and uncomposted bark have a middle behaviour; the first one has a higher water retention and a lower air capacity than the second one.

D'Angelo, G. and Titone, P. (1988). DETERMINATION OF THE WATER AND AIR CAPACITY OF 25 SUBSTRATES EMPLOYED FOR THE CULTIVATION OF DIEFFENBACHIA AMOENA AND EUPHORBIA PULCHERRIMA. Acta Hortic. 221, 175-182
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.221.15
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.221.15

Acta Horticulturae