Container Size and Planting Zone Influence on Transplant Survival and Growth of Two Coastal Plants

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, West Florida Research and Education Center, 5988 Highway 90, Bldg. 4900, Milton, FL 32583.

Survival and subsequent growth of two beach species produced in containers of differing volume and depth were evaluated following transplant on Eglin Air Force Base, Santa Rosa Island, Fla. Rooted cuttings of gulf bluestem (Schizachyrium maritimum) were produced in four container types: 1-gal (gallon), 0.75-gal treepot, 1-qt (quart), or 164-mL Ray leach tube (RLT) containers. Root and shoot biomass of gulf bluestem harvested after 12 weeks in container production were greatest for plants grown in treepot containers and root: shoot ratio decreased as container size increased. Regardless of container size, survival of beach-planted gulf bluestem was 100%. Basal area of plants from standard gallon and treepot containers was similar 11 months after transplant and basal area for plants from treepot containers remained greater than plants from quart or RLT containers. Effect of planting zone [92, 124, 170, and 200 m landward of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf)] on transplant survival was also evaluated for inkberry (Ilex glabra). Seedling liners of inkberry were produced in 3-gal treepot or gallon containers. Inkberry was taller when grown in 3-gal treepot containers than when grown in gallon containers. Regardless of container size, all inkberry planted 92 m from the Gulf died. Inkberry survival (>75%) when grown in 3-gal treepot containers was two to six times greater than plants grown in gallon containers (15%, 50%, 40%; 124, 170, and 200 m from Gulf, respectively). After 15 months, inkberry grown in 3-gal treepot containers remained larger with 1.5 times the mean maximum height and twice the mean canopy area compared to those grown in gallon containers.

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To whom reprint requests should be addressed. E-mail: Thetford@ufl.edu
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