Folia Horticulturae

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The effect of different potting media on growth and mineral nutrient content of leaves of Ficus benjamina cultivated on ebb-and-flow benches

Jadwiga Treder, Bożena Matysiak, Jacek S. Nowak, Joanna Nowak

Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture
Waryńskiego 14, 96-100 Skierniewice, Poland

The effects of potting media and concentration of nutrient solution on growth and nutrient content in leaves and potting media of F. benjamina ‘Golden King’ and ‘Natasja’ cultivated on ebb-and-flow benches were investigated. Two potting media: peat and peat + rockwool Grodan BU (2:1, v/v) and two concentrations of nutrient solution (EC 1.4 and 2.1 mS cm-1) were compared. The ‘Golden King’ plants grown in peat were higher, and had more leaves and higher nutrient content in leaf tissue than those grown in peat + rockwool. A lower concentration of nutrient solution increased the N, Ca, and Mg content of leaf tissue but did not affect ‘Golden King’ growth. The growth of ‘Natasja’ was unaffected by the potting media and EC level. The addition of rockwool granulate to peat increased the P and K content of ‘Natasja’ leaves.

After 18 weeks of plant culture the medium consisting of peat + rockwool accumulated more nutrients and had a higher total soluble salt concentration than peat. All the tested nutrient content of media, except Ca, were affected by the concentration of the nutrient solution. The highest total soluble salt values were found in the upper layers of both media. Those layers accumulated more N-NO3, K, and Ca. The highest pH was found in the bottom layers of both media.

Treder J., Matysiak B., Nowak J.S., Nowak J., 1998. The effect of different potting media on growth and mineral nutrient content of leaves of Ficus benjamina cultivated on ebb-and-flow benches. Folia Horticulturae 10/1: 85-93.