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  • Author or Editor: Jéssika Angelotti-Mendonça x
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Fertilizer management is an essential step in the production process, as it allows the plant to use its productive capacity to the fullest extent possible. Researchers have tested maximum nutrient use with reduced losses to the environment aiming to increase productivity with fewer environmental impacts. This study compared the effects of controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) with water-soluble fertilizer (WSF) and clear water (control) on the growth and nutrient uptake of croton (Codiaeum variegatum L.) and nitrogen leaching. The experiment was conducted with three replications and six treatments: two rates (1.5 g and 3.0 g per liter of substrate) of two CRFs [Osmocote Plus (15% N, 3.93% P, and 9.96% K) and Basacote (15% N, 3.49% P, and 9.96% K)], WSF, and clean water as control. All CRFs were applied before planting and WSF was supplied as nutrient solution through automated moisture sensor activated irrigation system. Plant growth (number of leaves, leaf area, stem height, root volume, and shoot and root dry weights) and total nutrient contents in the leaf tissue were evaluated every 30 days. Electrical conductivity (EC), pH, nitrate, ammonium, and total nitrogen contents were measured in the leached solution. Indeed, results showed that CRFs at a low rate provided similar development and quality of croton plants compared with WSF. Plant growth indicators were similar until 90 days after transplanting (DAT). After that, at 150 DAT, the highest values to number of leaves and leaf area occurred with WSF and with the lowest CRF rate as compared with the other treatments and control. The highest root volume was found with the WSF, which resulted in larger roots compared with the other treatments. These results showed WSF can be replaced by CRFs at low rates on croton growth. Moreover, according to the visual scale, the best treatments were WSF and Basacote at the low rate, where plants were bright, with multicolored leaves with prominent orange shades. However, CRFs maintained pH and EC within the recommended range for the growth of croton and reduced the nitrogen leaching from the pots.

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The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of the application of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) at concentrations of 0, 30, 60, and 90 mg·L−1, for 24 hours, on rooting of softwood and semihardwood cuttings of tea (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis ‘Yabukita’ and C. sinensis var. assamica ‘IAC-259’) collected in winter and summer. In the summer, IBA increased root percentage of softwood cuttings from ‘Yabukita’ compared with the control. However, the rooting of semihardwood cuttings was unaffected by this growth regulator. In winter, application of 90 mg·L−1 IBA increased the rooting regardless of the type of ‘Yabukita’ cuttings. In addition, in ‘IAC-259’, there was an increase in dry weight, number of roots (NOR), and rooting percentage of softwood cuttings collected in summer with application of 90 mg·L−1 IBA compared with control. In contrast, during the same period of the year, the semihardwood cuttings of ‘IAC-259’ were unaffected by the IBA. In winter, the percentage of cutting survival, rooting, the number, and length of roots were unaffected by IBA in ‘IAC-259’. Overall, we would recommend the use of exogenous IBA for rooting of cuttings collected in the summer or winter.

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