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Effect of foliar application of micronutrients on growth and flower production of gerbera under protected condition.

Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) belongs to the family compositae. This flower is native to South African and Asiatic regions. The genus Gerbera consists of about 40 species comprising half-hardy and perennial flowering plants. In India, they are distributed in the temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Nepal at altitudes of 1300 to 3200 meters.

Gerbera is one of the most imperative commercial cut flower. It ranks fourth in the international cut flower market and a popular cut flower in Holland, Germany and USA (Choudhary and Prasad, 2000 and Sujatha et al, 2002). It is an important commercial flower grown throughout the world in a wide range of climatic conditions. Gerbera are broadly and commonly used as cut flowers for flowery array, interior decoration and gifts for particular occasion, wedding ceremony bouquet. The daisy like flowers are in wide range of colours including yellow, orange, cream, white, pink, brick-red, scarlet, salmon, maroon, terracotta and various other intermediate shades.

The plant growth and development as well as flower quality significantly influenced by climatic factors as well as nutrient management. Due to unbalanced use of macro and micro nutrient, the plant growth, development and quality of flower are directly affected. Therefore the balanced nutrient application is necessary for healthy plant growth and production of quality flower.

Micronutrients play vital roles in the growth and development of plants, due to their stimulatory and catalytic effects on metabolic processes and ultimately on flower yield and quality (Khosa et al, 2011). Micronutrients are to be necessarily taken up by the plants from soil or supplemented through foliar application for good growth and yield of crops and maximizing the efficient use of applied N, P and K. In the absence of these micronutrients, the plants are known to suffer from physiological disorders which eventually lead to imbalanced growth, flower quality and low yield.

Foliar application of nutrients is gaining more importance in fertilization of various field and floricultural crops, in many countries. The advantages of foliar fertilizers were more obvious under growing conditions restricting the absorption of nutrients from the soil. Foliar fertilization technique may also be a good alternative to the conventional soil application to avoid the loss of fertilizers by leaching and thereby, minimizing the ground water pollution. Foliar nutrition is recommended by several investigators as an alternative fertilization method to improve the growth and flowering of gerbera.


The present study was carried out under protected condition at the center of excellence on protected cultivation, Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture, College of Agriculture, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur, (C.G) during the year 2015-16. The experiment was laid out in Completely Randomized Design (CRD), with spacing of 25 cm (Row to row) X 25 cm (Plant to plant). With thirteen treatment combinations, and three replication. The micronutrients are applied at 30 days interval after planting.


The maximum plant height (44.87cm) was recorded with foliar application of treatment [T.sub.10] [ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)] which was showed significant difference with treatment [T.sub.1] (40.68 cm), [T.sub.9] (40.52 cm), [T.sub.7] (39.75 cm) and [T.sub.13] (37.32 cm) however it was found non significant differences with rest of the treatments. The minimum plant height (37.32 cm) was observed with treatment [T.sub.13].

The increased plant height with application of micronutrients might be due to its role in synthesis of tryptophan which is a precursor of auxin (IAA) and it is essential in nitrogen metabolism which stimulates growth of the plants similarly iron acts as an important catalyst in the enzymatic reactions of the metabolism and would have helped in larger biosynthesis of photo assimilates thereby enhancing growth of the plants., Juhari et al. (2005), in gladiolus.
Treatment details

Treatment    Micronutrients

[T.sub.1]    ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%)
[T.sub.2]    ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.4%)
[T.sub.3]    ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.6%)
[T.sub.4]    MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%)
[T.sub.5]    MnS[O.sub.4] (0.4%)
[T.sub.6]    MnS[O.sub.4] (0.6%)
[T.sub.7]    FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)
[T.sub.8]    FeS[O.sub.4] (0.3%)
[T.sub.9]    FeS[O.sub.4] (0.5%)

[T.sub.10]   ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4]
             (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)

[T.sub.11]   ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.4%) + MnS[O.sub.4]
             (0.4%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.3%)

[T.sub.12]   ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.6%) + MnS[O.sub.4]
             (0.6%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.5%)

[T.sub.13]   Control (water spray)

The highest number of leaves per plant (16.93) was observed with foliar application of treatment [T.sub.10] [ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)] which was followed by treatment [T.sub.11] (16.60) and treatment [T.sub.10] was observed significantly different with rest of the other treatments. The minimum number of leaves per plant (12.27) was noted with the treatment [T.sub.13].

The micronutrient MnS[O.sub.4] is an enzyme activator and essential for carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism. It also helps in the assimilation of Carbon dioxide in photosynthesis and is also involve in uptake of Iron. Due to better plant growth by the application of MnS[O.sub.4] might be resulted in significant increase in number of leaves per plant. The results are conformity with findings of Khan (2000) in Dahlia cv. Swami Lokeshwaranad, Ahmad et al. (2010) in Rose.

The maximum plant spread (45.20 cm) was recorded in [T.sub.10] [(ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)] which was statistically similar with [T.sub.11] (45.07 cm), [T.sub.4] (44.23 cm), [T.sub.3] (44.09 cm), [T.sub.6] (42.27 cm), [T.sub.5] (42.01 cm), [T.sub.2] (41.50 cm) and [T.sub.8] (41.30 cm). However it was significantly difference with rest of the treatments. The minimum plant spread (36.65 cm) was recorded in [T.sub.13] (control).

Micronutrients is an essential components of several dehydrogenase, proteinase, peptidase and promotes growth hormones and closely associated with plant growth, all these factors contributed to cell multiplication, cell division and cell differentiation resulting in increased photosynthesis and translocation of food material which enhanced the plant spread and is also encouraged due to the ZnSO4 could be attributed to improved root system of plants resulting in absorption of more water and nutrients and its utilization. Moreover, micronutrients activate several enzymes (catalase, carbonic dehydrogenize, tryptophane synthates etc.) and involved various physiological activities. It might be enhanced to plant sprayed. Similar results were also obtained by Kakade et al. (2009) in china aster, Balakrishnan (2005) in marigold and Ahmad et al. (2010) in Rose

The maximum stalk length (69.59 cm) was obtained in treatment [T.sub.10] [ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)] which was statically similar with [T.sub.11] (68.22 cm), [T.sub.9] (67.92 cm), T8 (67.80cm), [T.sub.12] (66.81 cm), [T.sub.5] (66.79 cm), [T.sub.3] (65.97 cm) and [T.sub.4] (64.95 cm). Whereas it was showed significantly impact with rest of the treatments. However the minimum stalk length (59.34 cm) was obtained in [T.sub.I3] where on water spray was applied.

The maximum stalk thickness (7.16 mm) was obtained in treatment [T.sub.10] [ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)] which was statically similar with [T.sub.11] (6.97 mm), [T.sub.3] (6.89 mm), [T.sub.6] (6.76 mm), [T.sub.12] (6.94 mm), [T.sub.1] (6.69 cm), [T.sub.2] (6.68 mm) and [T.sub.5] (6.62 mm). Although it was significantly difference to rest of the treatments. The minimum stalk thickness (6.06 mm) obtained in [T.sub.I3].

The treatment effects were found to varied significantly for flower diameter the maximum flower diameter (11.09 cm) was recorded with the application of treatment [T.sub.10] [ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)] followed by treatment [T.sub.11] [ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.4%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.4%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.3%)] and treatment [T.sub.10] was showed significantly varied with rest of the other treatments. The minimum flower diameter (9.11 cm) was recorded in [T.sub.13].

The greater size of the flower diameter may be due to the association of zinc in regulating semi permeability of cell walls, thus mobilizing more water into flowers and also increase the synthesis of iron which promotes cell size in turns increase the flower size and weight of the flowers. Similar results also reported by Nag and Biswas (2003).

In case of number of flower per plant, the maximum number flower (6.27) per plant was noted in treatment [T.sub.10] [(ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)] statistically similar with treatment [T.sub.11] (6.07) and treatment [T.sub.10] was showed significantly superior than the rest of the treatments. The minimum number flower (4.07) was obtained in treatment [T.sub.13].

Zinc, iron and manganese play an important role by involving in photosynthesis, break down of IAA, auxin and protein synthesis increase the flower yield through foliar application of micronutrients. Similar results were obtained by jadhav et al. (2005).

In case of vase life the longest vase life (6.67 days) reported with Treatment [T.sub.10] [(ZnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + MnS[O.sub.4] (0.2%) + FeS[O.sub.4] (0.1%)] which was followed by treatment [T.sub.11] (6.33 days), [T.sub.9] (6.00 days), [T.sub.5] (6.00 days), [T.sub.2] (5.67 days), [T.sub.8] (5.67 days) and [T.sub.12] (5.67 days).


(1.) Ahmad, I., Khan, M.A., Qasim, M., Ahmad R. and Randhawa, M.A. Growth, yield quality of Rosa hybrida L. as influenced by various micronutrients. Pak. J. of Agric. Sci. 2010; 47: 1, 5-12.

(2.) Balakrishnan, V. Effect of micronutrients on flower yield and xanthophylls content of African marigold (Tagetus erecta L.) M. Sc, Thesis submitted to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore 2005.

(3.) Choudhary, and Prasad. Effect of potassium and calcium concentrations in the nutrient solution on growth and nutrient uptake of rose plants. Inter. J. of Sci. Res, 2000; 69(4): 606-608.

(4.) Hamdi, I., 1979. Trace element in Egyptian Agriculture, Proc. 2 Workshop. (Micronutrients and Plant Nutrition). Mariut, Egypt.

(5.) Jadhav, A, H., Dalal, S. R., Shinde, R. D. and Deshmukh, R. P Effect of micronutrients on growth and flower production of Gerbera under polyhouse conditions. Adv. in Plant Sci., 2005; 18(2): 755-758

(6.) Jauhari, S., Srivastava. R. and Srivastava P.C, Effect of zinc on growth, flowering, cormattributes, post-harvest life and leaf and corm nutrient status in Gladiolus cv. Red Beauty .Prog Hort., 2005; 37(2): 423-428.

(7.) Khan, F.U. Effect of micronutrients on Dahlia. J. Orna. Hort., 2000; 3(2): 122-123.

(8.) Khosa, S. S., Younis, A., Yameen, S. and Riaj, A. Effect of foliar application of micro nutrients on growth and flowering of gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii). American-Eurasian J. Agri. and Environ. Sci, 2011; 11(5): 736-757

(9.) Kakade, D.K., Rajput, S.G. and Joshi, K.L. Effect of foliar application of Fe and Zn on growth, flowering and Yield of China aster (Callistepus chinensis L. Nees). Asian J. Hort, 2009; 4(1): 138-140.

(10.) Nath, M.R., and Biswas J. Studies on effect of boron on vegetative and reproductive growth in tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.) cv. Single. The Orissa J Hort, 2002; 30(2): 39-42.

(11.) Sujatha, K., Gowda, J.V.N. and Khan M.M. Effects of different fertigation levels on gerbera under low cost greenhouse. J. Orn. Hort., New Series, 2002; 5(1), 54-59.

Mukesh Kumar Sahu *, T. Tirkey, G. Sharma, A. Tiwari and T. Kushram

Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture, College of Agriculture, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur--492 012 ,India.

(Received: 24 May 2016; accepted: 31 July 2016)

* To whom all correspondence should be addressed.

Table 1. Effect of foliar application of micronutrients on growth
and yield and quality of Gerbera under protected condition

Treatment           Plant         No. of         Plant       Stalk
                 height after   leaves per    spread after   length
                   120days      plant after     120 days      (cm)
                     (cm)         120days         (cm)

[T.sub.1]           40.68          12.93         40.35       63.20
[T.sub.2]           40.83          12.73         41.50       64.11
[T.sub.3]           44.42          13.13         44.09       65.97
[T.sub.4]           43.89          13.47         44.23       64.95
[T.sub.5]           42.01          14.47         42.01       66.79
[T.sub.6]           42.61          13.87         42.27       63.36
[T.sub.7]           39.75          13.87         39.75       63.30
[T.sub.8]           41.63          12.93         41.30       67.80
[T.sub.9]           40.52          13.73         39.52       67.92
[T.sub.10]          44.87          16.93         45.20       69.59
[T.sub.11]          43.07          16.60         45.07       68.22
[T.sub.12]          42.69          13.00         37.02       66.81
[T.sub.13]          37.32          12.27         36.65       60.69
S. Em [+ or -]       1.40          0.74           1.49        1.72
CDat 5%              4.08          2.17           4.33        5.01

Treatment          Stalk      Flower      No. of     Vase
                 thickness   diameter   cut flower   life
                   (mm)        (cm)     per plant    days

[T.sub.1]          6.69        9.77        5.07      5.33
[T.sub.2]          6.68        9.94        5.40      5.67
[T.sub.3]          6.89       10.09        5.33      5.33
[T.sub.4]          6.49        9.89        5.47      5.33
[T.sub.5]          6.62        9.74        5.87      6.00
[T.sub.6]          6.76        9.69        5.47      5.33
[T.sub.7]          6.60       10.07        5.47      5.33
[T.sub.8]          6.50        9.84        5.60      5.67
[T.sub.9]          6.54        9.69        5.60      6.00
[T.sub.10]         7.16       11.09        6.27      6.67
[T.sub.11]         6.97       10.53        6.07      6.33
[T.sub.12]         6.94       10.13        5.33      5.67
[T.sub.13]         6.06        9.11        4.07      4.67
S. Em [+ or -]     0.18        0.30        0.28      0.34
CDat 5%            0.54        0.88        0.82      1.00
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Article Details
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Author:Sahu, Mukesh Kumar; Tirkey, T.; Sharma, G.; Tiwari, A.; Kushram, T.
Publication:Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology
Article Type:Report
Date:Dec 1, 2016
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