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  • Author or Editor: Michael G. Zuck x
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To grow and sell fully charged hanging baskets to the customers is the future trend of retail markets. Impatiens ×hawkeri Bull. `Guadeloupe' (New Guinea Impatiens, Paradise KNG Series) was grown under liquid fertilizer culture until it reached marketable size on 4 June 1999. Then three different fertilizers (two slow-release and one organic) were applied at concentrations of 1.2, 2.4, and 3.6 g pure nitrogen and all hanging baskets were placed in four different family-owned nurseries. Overall performance, media pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and nutrients were measured every 3 weeks and tissue nutrients were analyzed every 6 weeks. New Guinea Impatiens requires low-fertility. Mature plants survived 3 months without extra fertilizer. The best performance was observed under the 3.6 g pure nitrogen treatment. Medium pH ranged from 6.0 to 7.5. No significant effect was observed among the different fertilizers and concentrations. EC increased in the first 6 weeks, then decreased to the beginning level at about 0.5 dS/m after 12 weeks under all fertilizer treatments. Compared with organic fertilizer, slow-release fertilizers had significantly lower EC, especially during the first 9 weeks. Macronutrients in media followed the same trend as EC, as did N and P levels in leaf tissues. K levels in leaf tissues decreased under all treatments and Ca and Mg levels showed an opposite trend compared with medium ones. The results indicate that both slow-release and organic fertilizers can be applied to charge New Guinea Impatiens hanging baskets for 3 months.

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