Root and Shoot Growth Responses to Phosphate Fertilization in Container-grown Plants

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 University of Florida, FLREC, 3205 College Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314.

Areca palms [Dypsis lutescens (H. Wendl.) Beentje & J. Dransf.], spathiphyllums (Spathiphyllum Schott. `Figaro'), ixoras (Ixora L. `Nora Grant'), tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. `Floramerica'), marigolds (Tagetes erecta L. `Inca Gold'), bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. `Better Bell'), and pentas [Pentas lanceolata (Forssk.) Deflers. `Cranberry'] were grown in a pine bark-based potting substrate and were fertilized weekly with 0, 8, 16, 32, or 64 mg (1.0 oz = 28,350 mg) of P per pot. Shoot, and to a much lesser extent, root dry weight, increased for all species as weekly P fertilization rate was increased from 0 to 8 mg/pot. As P fertilization was increased from 8 to 64 mg/pot, neither roots nor shoots of most species showed any additional growth in response to increased P. Root to shoot ratio decreased sharply as P fertilization rate was increased from 0 to 8 mg/pot, but remained relatively constant in response to further increases in P fertilization rate.

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