Leaf Petiole NO3-N and K Analysis for Greenhouse-grown Flowering Potted and Bedding Plants

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824-1325.

Unlike vegetable and fruit crops, where petiole analysis has been used for many years, root media analysis is the primary method of checking fertility status of container-grown flowering greenhouse crops. With the emphasis on lower constant water-soluble fertilizer rates to prevent nutrient runoff, petiole analysis may be a better indicator of N and K status. During Fall 1993, samples were collected from 10 flowering pot plant species subirrigated with either 50, 100, or 200 mg·liter–1 N and K concentrations. During Spring 1995, samples were collected from major bedding plant species and Easter lilies. Sap was extracted using a hydraulic press and nitrate and potassium were measured with the Cardy flat electrode ion meters. Sampling methods and protocols will be presented with results of sampling technique experiments. Floriculture plant nutrition researchers were contacted to identify other research in progress, potential applications, and possible concerns with using this technique. Further research needed will be identified.

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