HELICONIA PSITTACORUM RESPONDS TO VARIATIONS OF NITRATE/AMMONIUM RATIOS UNDER HYDROPONIC CONDITIONS
Heliconia psittacorum is a perennial herb native to the Caribbean and South America. It is cultivated as a tropical ornamental plant and flowers are well appreciated in the international market. However, little is known on its nutritional needs. Therefore, we conducted an experiment with hydroponics to evaluate the influence of NO3-/NH4+ ratios (100/00, 85/15, 80/20 and 68/32%, respectively) on growth and leaf nutrient concentration of H. psittacorum plants. Young plants (17 cm height) cultivated in soil were transplanted into 5 L plastic pots containing the Steiners nutrient solution. Thirty days after transplanting treatments were applied. Eighty days after treatments, results showed that plant height was higher in plants treated with 85/15% NO3-/NH4+. Although the number of leaves per plant (6), foliar area (876 cm2 per plant), stem diameter (1.45 cm) and root length (37 cm) were higher with the same treatment (85/15% NO3-/NH4+), no significant differences were found among treatments. Nutrient concentrations in pseudostems were not affected by treatments, except B, as it was higher in plants treated with 68/32% NO3-/NH4+ (200 mg/kg DM). Treatments also affected Ca, Mg, B and Mn concentrations in leaves. The highest concentrations of such nutrients were found in plants under 100/00% NO3-/NH4+ treatment. Accumulations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn and B in pseudostems were higher in plants treated with 68/32% NO3-/NH4+, whereas in roots the higher accumulations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe and Mn were observed in plants under the treatment 85/15% NO3-/NH4+. We conclude that H. psittacorum responds to different N ratios in the nutrient solution and that the 85/15% NO3-/NH4+ ratio could be used to produce heliconias under hydroponic conditions.
Gómez-Merino, F.C., Trejo-Téllez , L.I. and Vidal-Morales, B. (2012). HELICONIA PSITTACORUM RESPONDS TO VARIATIONS OF NITRATE/AMMONIUM RATIOS UNDER HYDROPONIC CONDITIONS. Acta Hortic. 947, 261-268
Heliconia, tropical flowers, N nutrition, Steiner's solution, nutrient concentration, pseudostem