Interiorscape conditions were used to compare plant growth and water use between a commercially produced medium with hydrophilic polymer and a traditional peat-lite medium. 15 cm pots of parlor palm and pothos were grown in either the medium with polymer or a peat-lite medium. Fertilizer treatments applied to both media included: 1.2 kg N/m3 Osmocote 14N-6.1P-11.6K and 500 ppm (mg/kg) N of Peter's 20N-8.7P-16.5K. Plant height, width, top fresh and dry weight, quality and foliage color were determined for parlor palm and top fresh and dry weight and quality were determined for pothos. Plants grown in the peat-lite medium receiving either liquid fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer were significantly greater in all parameters measured than those growing in the medium with polymer that received liquid fertilizer. Plants grown in the medium with polymer had greater growth and quality with the slow-release fertilizer than liquid fertilizer treatments. The number of days until watering was not extended in the medium with hydrophilic polymer.
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