Melaleuca as an alternative to pine bark in the potting medium

Stepnen H. Brown, Edwin R. Duke

Abstract


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (L.) and Pittosporum tobira (Thunb.) were grown in potting media containing 0,15, 25 and 35% Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) by volume. During the evaluation period, the plants were grown without pruning and received standard nursery fertilization, water and pest-control regimes. Analyses of pH were performed on all treatments on the initial day of planting and again at day 69. On day 69, and for both plant species, pH increased in all treatments. Plant tissues were analyzed for P, K, Ca and Mg on the 43 and 144 days of trial. On day 144, P, K and Ca levels generally decreased in Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, whereas, P and K levels increased and decreased, respectively, in Pittosporum tobira. Height and area of both species were recorded on day 0, 7,14, 21, 28, 36, 49,63,77 and 91. On day 91, plant height of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis was significantly less at the 35% treatment than at the 15% treatment. After 91 days, over all treatments, there were
no significant differences in heights of Pittosporum tobira. During the same period, foliage areas of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Pittosporum tobira were not affected by treatments.

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