Nursery Production of Uniola paniculata (southern seaoats)

in HortTechnology

Demand for commercially grown Uniola paniculata L. (southern seaoats) is increasing for use in restoring beaches damaged by tropical storms. Fresh seeds harvested from the Jekyll Island, Ga area (with permission of the Jekyll Island Authority), were planted in 50 peat: 50 perlite and treated with 100 or 500 ppm GA4 for 24 h. Germination was higher for 100 compared to 500 ppm GA4. Liners grown from seed and planted with the crowns even with the surface of the pine bark-sand media, compared to deep planting to simulate burial conditions of beach planting, had the highest shoot and root weights after 100 days. Uniola paniculata liners with the crowns buried had reduced weights due to higher moisture conditions in the bottom of the containers. Uniola paniculata grown without supplemental fertilization had shoot weights similar to those of plants receiving 1.5 lb N/yd3 (0.89 kg N/m3) from both quick or slow release fertilizers. Increasing N to 3 lb/yd3 (1.78 kg N/m3) and/or supplying micronutrients only, reduced shoot weight. Nursery production of Uniola paniculata in pine bark-sand is one way to increase the supply of this important dune plant.

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