REGULATED DEFICIT IRRIGATION OF RHODODENDRONS GROWN IN CONTAINERS

key words: evapotranspiration, irrigation, ornamental nursery, regulated deficit irrigation (RDI), Rhododendron

Summary:

The effect of deficit irrigation imposed in July-August period on shoot growth and flower formation in container grown rhododendron in commercial nursery were assessed. Plants were exposed to three irrigation regimes based on potential evapotranspiration rates (100% ET0 - well-watered control plants, 75% ET0 - moderate drought and 50% ET0 - severe drought). The values of evapotranspiration were calculated using the Penman-Monteith model. The degree of drought had significant effect on the plant growth and water status of plants. Severe drought inhibited secondary shoot elongation compared to less stressful regime but did not affect flower formation. ‘Catawbiense Boursault', ‘Nova Zembla' and ‘Pearce's American Beauty' plants exposed to severe drought were shorter, respectively by 39, 45 and 86% than well-irrigated plants and two of the three cultivars ‘Catawbiense Boursault' and ‘Pearce's American Beauty' produced fewer secondary branches (5.9 and 0.3) compared to control plants (9.2 and 1.7, respectively). Moderate drought did not affect plant growth but resulted in flower bud formation in ‘Nova Zembla' and ‘Pearce's American Beauty's cultivars. Estimated water consumption by rhododendrons throughout the whole growing season was reduced by 15% for moderate and 25% for severe drought compared to control, well-watered plants. The results have significant implications for water conserving in commercial production of rhododendrons.

Citation:

Matysiak B., Koniarski M., Treder W. 2017. REGULATED DEFICIT IRRIGATION OF RHODODENDRONS GROWN IN CONTAINERS. Infrastruktura i Ekologia Terenów Wiejskich. Nr 2017/ II (1)

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Konstytucji 3-go Maja 1/3, 96-100 Skierniewice mail:bozena.matysiak@inhort.pl tel: 46 8345383

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Konstytucji 3-go Maja 1/3, 96-100 Skierniewice mail:Michal.Koniarski@inhort.pl tel: 46 834 54 77

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Konstytucji 3-go Maja 1/3, 96-100 Skierniewice mail:waldemar.treder@inhort.pl tel: 46 8345246