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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 2 Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Isolite is a ceramic-like, porous soil amendment purported to sustain plant growth under reduced irrigation and increase plant survival during drought. The purpose of this greenhouse experiment was to determine the effect of an Isotite-amended soilless container medium on: (1) growth under reduced irrigation frequency and (2) water stress during drought of Impatiens × hybrids `Accent Red'. On 2 June 1993, seedlings were transplanted into 13.2 liter black plastic pots containing a 4:1 composted pine bark:coarse sand (vol.) medium amended with Isolite CG-1 granules at rates of 0%, 10%, 15%, and 20% (vol.). Study I. Seedlings were. irrigated with 500 ml tap water every two days for two weeks followed by a 4 week schedule of 500 ml tap water every 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 days. In general, growth parameters were explained by irrigation treatment effects and did not differ with Isolite rate. Growth indices ranged from +54% to + 143%, while final visual quality grades ranged from 2.4 to 5.0 (5-point scale), shoot dry weight from 8.7 to 30.7 g, root dry weight from 2.0 to 7.9 g, and leaf area from 0.14 to 0.48 m2. Study II. Seedlings were irrigated with 500 ml tap water every 2 days for rive weeks followed by a two week drought. Plant water status parameters were similar at all rates of Isolite. Leaf expansion rates ranged from + 89% to +98%, white a final mid-day xylem pressure potential of -0.4 MPa and a final visual quality grade of 2.0 were uniform across all treatments. Under these conditions, Isolite did not limit water stress of container-grown Impatiens `Accent Red'.

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