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Seedling geranium response to nitrogen deprivation and subsequent recovery in hydroponic culture
- Locke, James C., Altland, James E., Bobak, Deanna M.
- Hortscience 2011 v.46 no.12 pp. 1615
- Pelargonium hortorum, bedding plants, chlorophyll, floriculture crops, hydroponics, nitrogen, nitrogen content, nutrient deficiencies, plant response, seedling growth, seedlings, soil nutrients, soil-plant interactions
- Nitrogen (N) fertilization recommendations to achieve optimum growth are well established for many floriculture crops. Although it has been shown that plant functions can recover from N deficiency in other crops, little research has investigated the threshold beyond which a bedding plant crop is recoverable. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of N deficiency on geranium chlorophyll content and growth and then to document the degree of recovery and recovery time from N deprivation. This was determined in two experiments by monitoring chlorophyll content and growth of seedlings grown in hydroponic culture in which the N source was removed and then restored after differing lengths of time. Summarizing across both experiments, chlorophyll and foliar N levels were shown to rebound quickly after N deprivation; however, growth was reduced after just 4 days compared with plants fed constantly. Geraniums grown without N for 4 to 12 days resulted in smaller, more compact plants with lower shoot–to-root ratios. Although foliar chlorophyll and N concentration recovered from longer periods in N growth solution, geranium growth was reduced and failed to completely recover for any plant receiving more than 2 days of N-free solution.