Effect of Phosphorus Fertilization on Growth and Flowering of Scaevola aemula R. Br. `New Wonder'

in HortScience
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Maine, 5722 Deering Hall, Orono, Maine 04469-5722

Scaevola aemula R.Br. (fanflower), an ornamental plant native to Australia, produces stunted growth when fertilized with high concentrations of P. To determine optimum P concentration, rooted cuttings were transplanted into 15 cm standard pots and grown with a water soluble fertilizer, where P concentrations were 0, 14.5, 29.0, 43.5, 58.0, 72.5, 87.0 mg·L-1 and all plants received 200 mg·L-1 N and 166 mg·L-1 K. Shoot growth and flowering data were taken every 21 days until the experiment was terminated after 84 days. Shoot length, number and dry weight, and leaf size were reduced significantly at P concentrations higher than 14.5 mg·L-1 with severe reduction at P levels higher than 43.5 mg·L-1. Number of flowers per plant was not affected by P concentrations in the range of 0 to 43.5 mg·L-1, but decreased significantly at P levels higher than 43.5 mg·L-1. Medium pH decreased with increase in P rate due to the acidic nature of the P fertilizer. When P was applied in every irrigation, the optimum concentration was 14.5 mg·L-1 or less. P greater than 43.5 mg·L-1 was detrimental to vegetative growth and flowering, possibly due to above optimum P or to medium acidification.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.