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Quantification of Daily Water Requirements of Container-Grown Calathea and Stromanthe Produced in a Shaded Greenhouse

Department of Environmental Horticulture, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Apopka, FL 32703, USA
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Water 2018, 10(9), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091194
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling and Management of Irrigation System)
Irrigating plants based on their water requirements enhances water use efficiency and conservation; however, current irrigation practices for container-grown greenhouse plants largely relies on growers’ experiences, resulting in leaching and/or runoff of a large amount of water. To address water requirements of greenhouse-grown plants, this study adapted a canopy closure model and investigated actual evapotranspiration (ETA) of Calathea G. Mey. ‘Silhouette’ and Stromanthe sanguinea Sond. from transplanting to marketable sizes in a shaded greenhouse. The daily ETA per Calathea plant ranged from 3.55 mL to 59.39 mL with a mean cumulative ETA of 4.84 L during a 224 day growth period. The daily ETA of S. sanguinea varied from 7.87 mL to 97.27 mL per plant with a mean cumulative ETA of 6.81 L over a 231 day production period. The best fit models for predicting daily ETA of Calathea and Stromanthe were developed, which had correlation coefficients (r2) of 0.82 and 0.73, respectively. The success in modelling ETA of the two species suggested that the canopy closure model was suitable for quantifying water use of container-grown greenhouse plants. Applying the research-based ETA information in production could reduce water use and improve irrigation efficiency during Calathea and Stromanthe production. View Full-Text
Keywords: actual evapotranspiration (ETA); Calathea; container-grown plants; daily water requirements; ornamental foliage plants; Stromanthe; water need index (WNI) actual evapotranspiration (ETA); Calathea; container-grown plants; daily water requirements; ornamental foliage plants; Stromanthe; water need index (WNI)
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Beeson, R.C., Jr.; Chen, J. Quantification of Daily Water Requirements of Container-Grown Calathea and Stromanthe Produced in a Shaded Greenhouse. Water 2018, 10, 1194.

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