Hibiscus leaf tissue nutrient sufficiency ranges by chronological age

William Garrett Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Perennial hibiscus (Hibiscus sp.) are popular summer-flowering plants that are grown in greenhouses or nurseries, where growers must optimize production inputs such as fertility to maximize plant growth and produce high-quality flowering crops. The objective of this study was to determine the optimum fertilizer concentrations, identify leaf tissue nutrient sufficiency ranges by chronological age, and to expand leaf tissue nutrient standards of Hibiscus hybrid L. (hibiscus) grown in soilless substrates during container production. Two cultivars of hibiscus (H. hybrid L. ‘Mocha Moon’ and ‘Starry Starry Night’) were grown under one of six constant liquid fertilizer concentrations [50, 75, 100, 200, 300, or 400 mg·L-1 nitrogen (N)] with a constant level of water-soluble micronutrient blend in a greenhouse. The fertilizer concentrations sufficient for optimal plant growth and development were determined by analyzing plant height, diameter, growth index (GI), primary shoot caliper (PSC), and total dry mass, and they were found to be 100-300 mg·L-1 N after an 8-week crop cycle. Recently, mature leaf tissue samples were collected and analyzed for elemental content of 12 nutrients at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after transplant (WAT) from plants fertilized with 100-300 mg·L-1 N. An overall trend of increasing sufficient tissue concentration over time was observed for total N, phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and boron (B), whereas a decreasing trend was observed for potassium (K), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and aluminum (Al). For instance, at 2 WAT, total N ranged from 3.1% to 5.1% N and increased to a range of 4.2% to 4.7% N at 8 WAT. At 2 WAT, Fe and Mn ranged from 79.2 to 103.6 mg·L-1 Fe and 66.3-82.8 mg·L-1 Mn and decreased to ranges of 75.6-82.9 mg·L-1 Fe and 18.1-99.7 mg·L-1 Mn at 8 WAT, respectively. Optimal leaf tissue concentration sufficiency ranges determined in this scientifically-based study were narrower than previously reported survey values for the genera Hibiscus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-469
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


Dive into the research topics of 'Hibiscus leaf tissue nutrient sufficiency ranges by chronological age'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this