High nitrogen fertilizers tested on post-transplant ornamentals

December 28, 2010

DAVIE, FL - The nutrition and fertilization needs of container-grown ornamental plants during production are well-documented, but there is limited research about the plants' fertilizer requirements following transplantation into landscapes. A study from scientists at the University of Florida published in HortTechnology provides growers with new information and guidelines for post-transplant fertilization. Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly Anne Moore reported on a study designed to determine if increasing the nitrogen content of fertilizers applied to transplanted container-grown areca palm and chinese hibiscus plants could accelerate the rate of establishment without exacerbating potassium and and/or magnesium deficiencies.

Explaining the impetus for the research, Broschat noted that because landscape soils differ greatly in physical and chemical properties from the substrates used in container production, the nutritional requirements are also quite different. "While landscape soils in many parts of the United States are sufficiently fertile that routine fertilization of established woody ornamental plants is not required, in other areas, such as the highly leached sandy soils of the southern Atlantic coastal plain, nutrient deficiencies are common." Broschat and Moore transplanted container-grown areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) and chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'President') into a landscape soil and performed experiments using different fertilizer treatments.

According to the researchers, although plants of both species had the darkest green color and largest size when continuously fertilized with high-nitrogen fertilizer, this treatment induced magnesium deficiency in both species. Plant size and color for both species were highly correlated with cumulative nitrogen application rates, but also with initial nitrogen application rates, suggesting that high-nitrogen fertilization during the first 6 months affected plant quality at 12 and 24 months after planting, even if high-nitrogen fertilization was discontinued. "Continued use of a moderate nitrogen landscape palm maintenance fertilizer ultimately produced areca palm plants as good as those receiving high nitrogen during the establishment period", added Broschat.

Chinese hibiscus appeared to grow best with a sustained medium to high rate of nitrogen regardless of the analysis, but only when high-nitrogen fertilizer was used for 24 months did the treatment result in an increase in severity of magnesium deficiency symptoms in one of the experiments. Fertilization with high-nitrogen fertilizer for the first 12 months, followed by 12 months of moderate nitrogen landscape palm maintenance fertilizer resulted in the best overall quality in both experiments.
-end-
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortTechnology electronic journal web site: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/20/2/389

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org

American Society for Horticultural Science

Related Nitrogen Articles from Brightsurf:

Chemistry: How nitrogen is transferred by a catalyst
Catalysts with a metal-nitrogen bond can transfer nitrogen to organic molecules.

Illinois research links soil nitrogen levels to corn yield and nitrogen losses
What exactly is the relationship between soil nitrogen, corn yield, and nitrogen loss?

Reducing nitrogen with boron and beer
The industrial conversion of nitrogen to ammonium provides fertiliser for agriculture.

New nitrogen products are in the air
A nifty move with nitrogen has brought the world one step closer to creating a range of useful products -- from dyes to pharmaceuticals -- out of thin air.

'Black nitrogen'
In the periodic table of elements there is one golden rule for carbon, oxygen, and other light elements.

A deep dive into better understanding nitrogen impacts
This special issue presents a selection of 13 papers that advance our understanding of cascading consequences of reactive nitrogen species along their emission, transport, deposition, and the impacts in the atmosphere.

How does an increase in nitrogen application affect grasslands?
The 'PaNDiv' experiment, established by researchers of the University of Bern on a 3000 m2 field site, is the largest biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment in Switzerland and aims to better understand how increases in nitrogen affect grasslands.

Reducing reliance on nitrogen fertilizers with biological nitrogen fixation
Crop yields have increased substantially over the past decades, occurring alongside the increasing use of nitrogen fertilizer.

Flushing nitrogen from seawater-based toilets
With about half the world's population living close to the coast, using seawater to flush toilets could be possible with a salt-tolerant bacterium.

We must wake up to devastating impact of nitrogen, say scientists
More than 150 top international scientists are calling on the world to take urgent action on nitrogen pollution, to tackle the widespread harm it is causing to humans, wildlife and the planet.

Read More: Nitrogen News and Nitrogen Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.