Growth of selected bedding plants as affected by different compost percentages

Wagner Vendrame, Ian Maguire, Kimberly K. Moore


Growth of Dahlberg daisy 'Golden Fleece' (Dyssodia tenuiloba B.L. Rob.), impatiens 'Super Elfin Blue Pearl' ( Impatiens walleriana Hook. f.), marigold 'Little Hero Orange' (Tagetes patula L.), and petunia 'Ultra Rose' (Petunia hybrida Hook.) was compared in commercial substrates and substrates containing different compost percentages, as follows: 1) Fafard Growing Mix #2; 2) Metro-Mix 350; 3) 60% Sphagnum peat, 25% vermiculite, 15% perlite (0% compost); 4) 30% compost, 30% Sphagnum peat, 25% vermiculite, 15% perlite; 5) 60% compost, 25% vermiculite, 15% perlite; 6) 100% compost. There were no significant differences in root dry weight for all bedding plants among the six growing substrates. Although no particular trend was observed among treatments, all plants showed some increase in shoot dry weight when using substrates containing one or more levels of compost. Plant quality also varied among the substrates and species evaluated, with no particular effect related to the compost percentage in the substrate. All plants in Fafard #2 showed lowest rates for quality, indicating poor salability. Physical and chemical properties varied for the substrates examined, but were mostly within the suggested standards for growth of bedding plants and did not appear to affect directly shoot dry weight and quality ratings. Results indicate that compost can be of value for growers as a component to substrates for growing ornamental bedding plants.


dyssodia tenuiloba; petunia hybrida; tagetes patula; petunia; daisy; marigold; impatiens

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283