Nitrogen Source Affects Growth and Quality of Bougainvillea

in HortTechnology

Container-grown Bougainvillea Comm. Ex Juss. `Brasiliensis' were fertilized with ammonium sulfate, sodium nitrate, or ammonium sulfate plus sodium nitrate as N sources. Plants fertilized with sodium nitrate were stunted, extremely chlorotic, and produced few flowers compared to those receiving ammonium sulfate. In a second experiment bougainvilleas were fertilized with 12 different controlled-release or soluble ammonium, urea, or nitrate fertilizers as N sources. Plants grown with only nitrate N were chlorotic, stunted, and produced fewer flowers compared to those receiving N from urea or ammonium salts. High substrate pH, associated with nitrate fertilization, was believed to be a cause of the chlorosis, but possible toxicity symptoms (small necrotic lesions and premature leafdrop) were also observed on nitrate-treated plants. Plants receiving controlled-release urea or potassium nitrate were of higher quality than those receiving similar uncoated fertilizers.

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