Regulated deficit irrigation in different phenological stages of potted geranium plants: Water consumption, water relations and ornamental quality

Journal ar
Acta Physiologiae Plantarum
  • Volumen: 35
  • Número: 4
  • Fecha: 01 January 2013
  • Páginas: 1257-1267
  • ISSN: 01375881
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11738-012-1165-x
  • Document Type: Article
The irrigation water requirements and sensitivity to water deficits of ornamental plants is of great interest to horticultural producers for planning irrigation strategies. The effect of different deficit irrigation strategies on physiological and morphological parameters in geranium plants was studied in different growth phases to evaluate how such strategies can be safely used and to ascertain whether the flowering phase is sensitive to deficit irrigation. Pelargonium × hortorum L. H. Bailey plants, grown in a controlled growth chamber, were subjected to four irrigation treatments: control (100 % water field capacity throughout the experiment), sustainable deficit irrigation (75 % water field capacity throughout the experiment), and two regulated deficit irrigation treatments that included water stress during the vegetative growth phase or during the flowering development phase. Although the total amount of irrigation water was similar in the three deficit irrigation treatments (around 80 % of the control value), the lowest values for both height and flowering were found when deficit irrigation was applied during flowering. This indicates that plant quality does not only depend on the amount of water applied but also on the time when the reduction is applied, and that flowering is the most sensitive phase to water stress. Evapotranspiration was related to the formation of inflorescences and to increased plant height. When the irrigation strategy was changed, plants increased or decreased their water consumption and stomatal conductance to adjust to the new conditions by regulating stomatal opening, although, in general, the values of both parameters remained below those observed in the control plants. © 2012 Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków.

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