Growth After Mechanical Root Pruning of Herbaceous Perennials under Increasing Levels of Water Stress

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523

Perennials grown in 5.7-cm containers received two root treatments (mechanical root-pruned and non-pruned) prior to field planting. During the 1996 season, the two root treatments and five irrigation treatments, (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) ET0 (reference crop evapotranspiration), were tested on Delosperma cooperii, Delosperma nubigenum, Polygonum affine, and Veronica liwanensis and evaluated on the basis of plant growth and visual ratings. No significant change in height occurred in any species for both root or irrigation treatments. No significant change in width or density occurred in D. cooperii, from root treatment; however irrigation treatments below 50% resulted in a significant decrease in width. Significant deceases in width also occurred in all species from irrigation treatments. Mechanically root-pruned plants resulted in a significant decrease in density of D. nubigenum, P. affine, and V. liwanensis and a decrease in width in P. affine.

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