ALKALINE WATER ACIDIFICATION INFLUENCES SODIUM UPTAKE BY AZALEA

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Sodium bicarbonate type irrigation water is detrimental to the growth of Azalea indica `Formosa'. Alkaline irrigation water reduced both top and root growth of `Formosa' azalea. Leaf tissue sodium was significantly greater in azalea plant tissue irrigated with alkaline water. Concentrated sulfuric acid was used to acidify the alkaline water source. Acidification significantly reduced the uptake of sodium into the leaf tissue by 45%. Leaf tissue Ca and Mg levels were significantly greater from plants irrigated wtih deionized water. Azalea plants irrigated with acidified water produced significantly better quality plants. Leaf and root tissue samples were taken after 8 months.