Growth Profile of Chamaedorea cataractarum (Cascade Palm) Seedlings with Different Colored Plastic Mulch

  •  Ginu George    
  •  Stewart Reed    
  •  Berrin Tansel    
  •  Garry Gordon    


Cascade palms (Chamaedorea cataractarum Mart.) are slow growing, ornamental plants suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The purpose of this study was to determine effects of colored plastic mulch on the growth of Chamaedorea cataractarum Mart. Seedlings grown in soil were compared with those grown using red and blue plastic much cover. The study was conducted in triplicate settings at two different green houses and at two different locations in one of the green houses. Plant growth was monitored for plant height, stem thickness at the base, number of leaves and leaflets, chlorophyll a and b, root density, root length and shoot dry weight. Data were analyzed in a randomized complete block design. Light reflected from both mulch colors and the bare substrate had low radiance values in the blue, red and far-red wavelengths. Mulch color had a relatively small significant effect on plant height (P = 0.0728). Plants grown on red mulch had smaller height than those grown on bare substrate and on blue mulch. Although the differences were not significant, plants grown on blue mulch had higher growth rates (height, stem diameter), as well as higher number of leaves and leaflets.

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