548 Repeated Applications of Growing Medium Surfactants Affect Dianthus barbatus Growth and Development

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  • 1 Department of Plant Sciences, P.O. Box 3354, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071-3354
  • 2 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173.

Three application rates of two new growing medium surfactants were tested under two different irrigation systems on Dianthus barbatus plants. The objectives of the study were to determine if either of the surfactants influenced plant growth and development and to determine if surfactant applications decreased irrigation frequencies. The three levels of surfactant tested were 0 mg·L–1 (control), 10 mg·L–1 applied at each watering, and 100 mg·L–1 applied once a week. Each surfactant and rate was tested on hand-watered and ebb-and-flood irrigated plants. D. barbatus plants were grown for 8 weeks in 875-ml (12.7 cm) pots. Plants were watered when at least one plant per treatment showed visible wilt. Results showed that phytotoxicity symptoms occurred with repeated applications of both surfactants tested, especially at the 10 mg·L–1 rate at each watering. Application of either surfactant at 10 mg·L–1 at each watering decreased plant heights, dry weights, and plant widths, and increased phytotoxicity symptoms over the controls and the 100 mg·L–1 weekly treatments. Fewer waterings were required in surfactant-treated containers.

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