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Timothy K. Broschat

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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Timothy K. Broschat

Release rates at 21 °C were determined in sand columns for 12 commercially available soluble and controlled-release Mg fertilizers. Lutz Mg spikes, K2SO4, MgSO4, MgSO4·H2O, and MgSO4·7H2O released their Mg within 2 to 3 weeks. Within the first 6 weeks, MgO·MgSO4 released its soluble Mg fraction, but little release occurred thereafter. Dolomite and MgO released <5% of their Mg over 2 years while MagAmp released <20% of its Mg. Florikan 1N-0P-26K-4Mg types 100 and 180 exhibited typical controlled-release fertilizer characteristics, with most of their Mg release occurring during the first 15 weeks.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Release rates for 13 commercially available soluble and controlled-release K fertilizers were determined in sand columns at 21C. Potassium chloride, KMgSO4, and K2CO3 were leached completely from the columns within 3 or 4 weeks. Osmocote 0N-0P-38.3K, Multicote 9N-0P-26.7K, the two S-coated K2SO4 products, and Nutricote 2N-0P-30.8K Ty 180 all had similar release curves, with fairly rapid release during the first 20 to 24 weeks, slower release for the next 10 to 12 weeks, and virtually no K release thereafter.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Broadleaf ornamental trees are known to vary widely in their responses to fertilization, depending on the species and soil and other environmental factors. Thus, it is important to study the responses of a wide range of tree species to fertilization, especially on nutrient-poor soils. Four species of temperate to tropical trees, live oak (Quercus virginiana), west indian mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni), black olive (Bucida buceras ‘Shady Lady’), and beautyleaf (Calophyllum brasiliense), planted into a sandy native soil in south Florida were fertilized with a 24N–0P–9.3K turf fertilizer or an 8N–0P–10K–4Mg plus micronutrients palm fertilizer at rates of 10 or 20 g of nitrogen per tree four times per year. Tree height, width, caliper, and nutrient deficiency rating scores for nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium were determined at 1 year after planting (establishment period) and at 3 years after planting (maintenance phase). Data from these measured variables were subjected to principal component analysis to obtain a single measure of overall quality, namely, the scores for each tree on the first principal component. West Indian mahogany showed no response to fertilization during or following establishment. Either fertilizer type or rate improved live oak, black olive, and beautyleaf quality over that of unfertilized controls during both establishment and maintenance phases, but the high rate of the palm fertilizer was superior to either rate of the turf fertilizer for beautyleaf both during establishment and afterward. Leaf nutrient concentrations generally were poorly correlated with overall tree quality, but manganese concentrations differed significantly among treatments for all four species. Based on these results, fertilization of West Indian mahogany is not recommended, but live oak, black olive, and beautyleaf will benefit from fertilizer applied at the time of planting and after establishment.

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Timothy K. Broschat

`Petite Yellow' dwarf ixoras (Ixora spp.) were grown in an alkaline substrate (3 limestone gravel: 2 coir dust) or a poorly aerated composted seaweed substrate to induce iron (Fe) chlorosis. Chlorotic plants were fertilized every 2 months with soil applications of 0.1 g (0.0035 oz) Fe per 2.4-L (0.63-gal) pot using ferrous sulfate, ferric diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (FeDTPA), ferric ethylenediaminedi-o-hydroxyphenylacetic acid (FeEDDHA), Hampshire Iron (FeHEDTA plus FeEDTA), ferric citrate, iron glucoheptonate, or DisperSul Iron (sulfur plus ferrous sulfate). Additional chlorotic ixoras growing in a substrate of 3 sedge peat: 2 cypress sawdust: 1 sand were treated every 2 months with foliar sprays of Fe at 0.8 g·L-1 (0.11 oz/gal) from ferrous sulfate, FeDTPA, FeEDDHA, ferric citrate, or iron glucoheptonate. Only chelated Fe sources significantly improved ixora chlorosis when applied to the soil, regardless of whether the chlorosis was induced by an alkaline substrate or a poorly aerated one. As a foliar spray, only FeDTPA was effective in improving chlorosis in dwarf ixora. Leaf Fe content either showed no relationship to plant color or was negatively correlated with plant chlorosis ratings.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Five species of tropical ornamental plants—artillery fern (Pilea serpyllacea), pleomele (Dracaena reflexa), fishtail palm (Caryota mitis), areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), and sunshine palm (Veitchia mcdanielsii)—were grown in containers under full sun, 55% shade, or 73% shade. They were fertilized every 6 months with Osmocote Plus 15-9-12 (15N-4P-10K) at rates of 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 g/pot (0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.1, and 1.3 oz/pot). For pleomele and the three palm species, optimum shoot dry weights and color ratings were similar among the three light intensities tested. However, artillery fern grown in full sun required fertilizer rates at least 50% higher for optimum shoot dry weight and color than under 55% or 73% shade. Light intensit × fertilizer rate interactions were highly significant for pilea and fishtail palm color and dry weight and sunshine palm and pleomele color.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-chinensis), shooting star (Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum), downy jasmine (Jasminum multiflorum), areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), and `Jetty' spathiphyllum (Spathiphyllum) were grown in containers using Osmocote Plus 15-9-12 (15N-3.9P-10K), which provided phosphorus (two experiments), or resin-coated urea plus sulfur-coated potassium sulfate, which provided no phosphorus (one experiment). Plants were treated with water drenches (controls), drenches with metalaxyl fungicide only, drenches with phosphoric acid (PO4-P), drenches with metalaxyl plus phosphorus from phosphoric acid, drenches with PhytoFos 4-28-10 [4N-12.2P-8.3K, a fertilizer containing phosphorous acid (PO3-P), a known fungicidal compound], or a foliar spray with PhytoFos 4-28-10. Plants receiving soil drenches with equivalent amounts of P from PhytoFos 4-28-10, PO4-P, or PO4-P+metalaxyl generally had the greatest shoot and root dry weights and foliar PO4-P concentrations. There were no differences between the control and metalaxyl-treated plants, indicating that root rot diseases were not a factor. Therefore, responses from PhytoFos 4-28-10 were believed to be due to its nutrient content, rather than its fungicidal properties. Foliar-applied PhytoFos 4-29-10 produced plants that were generally similar in size to control plants or those receiving metalaxyl only drenches. Fertilizers containing PO3-P appear to be about as effective as PO4-P sources when applied to the soil, but are relatively ineffective as a P source when applied as a foliar spray. A distinct positive synergistic response for shoot and root dry weights and foliar PO4-P concentrations was observed for the PO4-P+metalaxyl treatment when no P was applied except as a treatment.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Five-gram (0.18 oz) samples of two controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs), Osmocote 15N–3.9P–10K (8–9 month) (OSM) and Nutricote 18N–2.6P–6.7K (type 180) (NUTR), were sealed into polypropylene mesh packets that were placed on the surface of a 5 pine bark: 4 sedge peat: 1 sand (by volume) potting substrate (PS), buried 10 cm (3.9 inches) deep below the surface of PS, buried 10 cm below the surface of saturated silica sand (SS), or in a container of deionized water only. Containers with PS received 120 mL (4.1 floz) of deionized water three times per week, but the containers with SS or water only had no drainage and were sealed to prevent evaporation. Samples were removed after 2, 5, or 7 months of incubation at 23 °C (73.4 °F) and fertilizer prills were crushed, extracted with water, and analyzed for ammonium-nitrogen (NH4-N), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Release rates of NO3-N were slightly faster than those of NH4-N and both N ions were released from both products much more rapidly than P or K. After 7 months, OSM prills retained only 8% of their NO3-N, 11% of their NH4-N, 25% of their K, and 46% of their P when averaged across all treatments. Nutricote prills retained 21% of their NO3-N, 28% of their NH4-N, 51% of their K, and 65% of their P. Release of all nutrients from both fertilizers was slowest when applied to the surface of PS, while both products released most rapidly in water only. Release rates in water only exceeded those in SS, presumably due to lower rates of mass flow in SS.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Three species of tropical shrubs, bush allamanda (Allamanda schottii), ixora (Ixora ‘Nora Grant’), and surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora), were planted into a native sand soil and a calcareous fill soil in south Florida and were fertilized with a 24N–0P–9.2K (24–0–11) turf fertilizer or an 8N–0P–10K–6Mg plus micronutrients (8–0–12) palm fertilizer at rates of 10 or 20 g of nitrogen (N) per shrub four times per year. Two additional treatments using a 0–0–13.3K–6Mg plus micronutrients (0–0–16) palm fertilizer were applied at equivalent rates of potassium (K) (12.5 or 25 g/shrub of K) to that applied in the two 8–0–12 palm fertilizer treatments. Shrub size measurements, nutrient deficiency severity ratings, number of flowers, and shrub density ratings were determined at 6 months after planting (establishment period) and at 3 years after planting (maintenance phase). Data from these measured variables were subjected to principal component analysis to obtain a single measure of overall quality, namely, the scores for each plant on the first principal component. During the establishment period, ixora fertilized with the high rate of 8–0–12 had the highest quality on the sand soil, but there were no differences among treatments on the fill soil for this species or on either soil type for allamanda and surinam cherry. After 3 years of growth, ixora showed no differences in quality on either soil in response to the fertilizer treatments. On the sand soil, allamanda receiving the high rate of 24–0–11 or the low rate of 8–0–12 had significantly higher quality than unfertilized control plants, and the low rate of 8–0–12 produced the highest quality plants on the fill soil. Surinam cherry grown on sand soil had the highest qualities when fertilized with the high rates of either 24–0–11 or 8–0–12. In general, leaf nutrient concentrations were inversely correlated with overall shrub quality, with largest, highest quality plants having the lowest nutrient concentrations because of dilution effects. However, leaf manganese (Mn) concentrations were consistently within deficiency ranges for all species under most treatments, suggesting that Mn deficiency was stunting shrub growth on both soil types.

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Timothy K. Broschat

Four different organic mulches were applied to 1-m2 plots of Margate fine sand soil that were irrigated three times per week. A 8N–0.9P–10K–4Mg controlled-release fertilizer was applied above or below these mulches to determine the effects of fertilizer placement on weed growth and soil pH, nitrate–nitrogen, ammonium–nitrogen, potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations. Unfertilized plots were used to determine mulch effects on soil pH and nutrient content. Fertilizer placement generally had no effect on any of these soil fertility parameters nor did it affect weed numbers. Cypress mulch increased soil K concentrations, and pine bark and eucalyptus mulch increased soil Mg over that of unmulched plots when no fertilizer was applied. The presence of any mulch type greatly reduced weed numbers over that of unmulched plots.