Nitrogen Fertilization as Ammonium or Nitrate-N on Hippeastrum hybridum Bulb Growth


Hippeastrum (Hippeastrum hybridum), a native of Central and South America, is a bulbous ornamental flowering plant in the Amaryllidaceae family. However, the correct balance of NH4 to NO3-nitrogen in a fertilizer mix for Hippeastrum plants is largely unknown. Nitrogen was applied 2x weekly following irrigation at either 0.6 g (high), 0.3 g (medium) or 0.15 g (low) total N every four months. Nitrogen was supplied in different combinations of NO3 and/or NH4. Nitrate:NH4-N ratios were either 100% NO3:0% NH4 (100NO3), 70% NO3:30% NH4 (70NO3), 50% NO3:50% NH4 (50NO3) (second group only), 30%NO3:70%NH4 (30NO3), or 0% NO3/100% NH4 (100NH4). Growth in bulb diameter after one year of fertilizer treatments not only increased from 0.15 to 0.6 g N (low to high level), but also differed with the form of N supplied to the plant. The largest diameter bulbs were produced in the 70NO3 and 50NO3 high N treatments. Within any NO3/NH4-N ratio grouping, fertilization at the high N rate resulted in larger diameter bulbs. No significant differences existed between treatments in the number of bulbs produced. Bulb growth was greater with a portion of N supplied as NO3 than with NH4-N alone. These results indicate that application of N as a mixture of NH4 and NO3 at 0.6 g per 4 months produces the largest increase in bulb diameter.

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Vazquez, C. , T. Reed, S. and Dunn, C. (2015) Nitrogen Fertilization as Ammonium or Nitrate-N on Hippeastrum hybridum Bulb Growth. Agricultural Sciences, 6, 1547-1554. doi: 10.4236/as.2015.612148.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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