Illinois State Florists' Association
THE PRINCIPLE OBJECTIVES of this experiment were (1) to determine the value of perlite as a soil ingredient in pot chrysanthemum culture, and (2) to examine the possibility of using two so-called "slowly available" fertilizers—urea-form (Uramite, 38 per cent N) and fritted potash (32 percent K)—to either replace or supplement normal liquid fertilization practices. REASONS FOR TESTS Perlite has been used for several years by some of the larger chrysanthemum propagators as a rooting medium, largely with excellent results. Perlite lends itself to use as a potting material because it is light, sterile, inert, and has a high water-holding capacity. Using this material instead of sand in the potting mix reduces the actual weight of the finished pot plant. Thus, long-distance shipping is more economical and the plants are easier to handle in the greenhouse. Plant growth should also be better because of improved aeration in the medium. A recent cultural innovation in the fertilization of field and nursery crops is the widespread use of ureaform and fritted potash as sources of slowly available nitrogen and potassium. It was seen that using these materials as constituents of potting mixes would greatly reduce the need for making weekly applications of liquid fertilizers to florist crops.
Keywords: Nitrogen Potting material rooting medium Ureaform and fritted potash potassium