EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT IRRIGATION REGIMES ON GROWTH, YIELD AND QUALITY OF CARNATION (DIANTHUS CARYOPHYLLUS L.) CUT FLOWERS

Paul Ngubeni, Paul K. Wahome

Abstract


Carnations need only low amounts of water but it is important to avoid water stress during the vegetative stage of growth. The objective of the experiment was to determine the effects of different irrigation regimes on growth, yield and quality of carnations. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to determine the optimal water management scheme for growing of carnations in order to contribute to increased water use efficiency and reduce cost of production. The different irrigation levels used were 25, 50, 75 and 100% of field capacity (FC). Tensiometers were used to schedule irrigation. Two tensiometers were installed in each treatment. The treatments were laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). The results showed that carnations irrigated at 75% FC had the highest plant height (53.0 cm) followed by plants irrigated at 50% FC measured 8 weeks after transplanting (WAT). However, highest leaf area (7.6 cm2) was obtained from plants irrigated at 50% FC. The highest yield in terms of number of cut flower stems/plant (9.3) was obtained from carnations irrigated at 100% FC. Plants irrigated at 75% FC had the highest diameter of flowers (6.1 cm) and length of cut flowers (45.0 cm). It is recommended that farmers who are interested in growing carnation using same media should irrigate their plants at 75% FC for optimal vegetative growth and quality of cut flowers.

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