Research has shown that reduced irrigation and fertilizer rates can still produce good plant growth when irrigation is applied efficiently to reduce leaching. The impact of reduced irrigation and fertilizer rate on flowering and plant growth would provide additional information on the potential for reduced production inputs. The objective of this research was to quantify the impact of reduced irrigation and fertilizer rate on growth and flowering of Ruby Candle beardtongue (Penstemon
× ‘Ruby Candle’). A soil moisture sensor automated irrigation system was used to maintain plants at 40% volumetric water content [VWC; well-watered (WW)] or 18% VWC (reduced irrigation, RI). A controlled release fertilizer was applied at 100%, 50%, and 25% of the bag rate (12 g/plant). There was not a significant treatment effect on any flower parameter. Average plant height was greatest for plants receiving the 50% fertilizer rate (75.9 cm) and was lowest for the 100% fertilizer rate (64.5 cm). Internode length was greater for WW plants (36.9 mm) than RI plants (32.4 mm). Well-watered plants had greater fresh weight (99.1 g) than RI plants (79.2 g) and 100% fertilizer rate (97.1 g) was greater than the 25% fertilizer rate (82.7 g).
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