Promotion of sustainable horticulture via wider use of peat substrate substitutes makes wood fiber an increasingly popular substrate component. Interspecific geraniums are plants of huge potential in the floriculture market, but there are not enough specific guidelines on their cultivation. This study investigated the effectiveness of enriching peat substrate with 10%, 20%, 30%, or 40% (by volume) waste wood fiber in the pot cultivation of interspecific geraniums cv. ‘Calliope Dark Red’. It also examined plant response to additional fertilization with nitrogen in the form of Ca(NO3)2.
Plants grown in the substrate with 10% and 20% of wood fiber did not differ in the leaf greening index, flower weight, and visual score from the plants grown in control (100% peat substrate). Wood fiber content of 40% negatively affected all growth parameters and leaf content of macro- and micronutrients. The plants growing in the peat substrate enriched with 20% of waste wood fiber and fertilized with nitrogen had the highest leaf greenness index, the greatest number of flowers, and the highest content of N, P, Ca, Na, Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn. In summary, the study demonstrated that high quality ornamental plants can be successfully grown in peat substrate containing 20% of waste wood fiber and additionally fertilized with nitrogen.
Zawadzińska, Agnieszka & Salachna, Piotr & Nowak, Jacek & Kowalczyk, Waldemar. (2021). Response of Interspecific Geraniums to Waste Wood Fiber Substrates and Additional Fertilization. Agriculture. 11. 119. 10.3390/agriculture11020119.