Long term degradation of water quality from natural resources has led to the use of alternative water resources for irrigation that are saline. Saline water irrigation in floriculture for the production of nursery crops requires an understanding of plant response.
The pot growth of four lavender species (Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula dentata var. dentata, Lavandula dentata var. candicans and Lavandula stoechas) irrigated with water containing different concentrations of NaCl (0, 25, 50, 100 and 200 mM) was investigated under greenhouse conditions.
Overall results of different plant growth variables were consistent, showing a significant decrease at 100 and 200 mM NaCl. All lavender species showed signs of salinity stress that included chlorosis, followed by leaf and stem necrosis at NaCl concentrations greater than 50 mM. L. dentata var. dentata showed the greatest plant growth followed in descending order by L. dentata var. candicans, L. stoechas and L. angustifolia. Despite greater growth of L. dentata var. dentata, the appearance of L. dentata var. candicans was “healthier”. In areas with saline irrigation water, L. dentata var. dentata and L. dentata var. candicans are proposed for the production of lavender nursery crops.