Group Title: CFREC-Apopka research report - Central Florida Research and Education Center-Apopka ; RH-89-5
Title: Effects of sulfur application to media containing foliage plants
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065878/00001
 Material Information
Title: Effects of sulfur application to media containing foliage plants
Series Title: CFREC-Apopka research report
Physical Description: 5 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Poole, R. T ( Richard Turk )
Conover, Charles Albert, 1934-
Chase, A. R ( Ann Renee )
Central Florida Research and Education Center--Apopka
Publisher: University of Florida, IFAS, Central Florida Research and Education Center-Apopka
Place of Publication: Apopka FL
Publication Date: 1989
 Subjects
Subject: Foliage plants -- Effect of sulphur on -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: R.T. Poole, C.A. Conover, and A.R. Chase.
General Note: Caption title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065878
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 70552925

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o^ Effects of Sulfur Application to Media
ss-s CContaining Foliage Plants ,,,
R. T. Poole, C. A. Conover and A. R. Chase1

University of Florida, IFAS
Central Florida Research and Education'Center Apopka
CFREC-Apopka Research Report, RH-89-5

Although most media used for the production of foliage plants have the
correct pH, about 5.5 6.5, sometimes, with the over use of lime or
continued use of irrigation water with a pH above 7.0, the pH needs to be
lowered. Sulfur (S) is a strong, but slow reacting, acidifying agent which
has a long lasting effect on pH. Root injury will occur if too much S is
applied. Finely ground dusting (325 mesh) or wettable S is most commonly
recommended at a rate of 1/2 pound per cubic yard or 1 pound per 100 square
feet. If smaller applications are needed, add a teaspoon to a gallon of
water and apply 1/4 cup to a 6" pot.

Sulfur is required for plant growth. Deficiency is infrequent, since
S in soil and water is common and it is also found in most fertilizers used
for foliage plants. Sulfur deficiency symptoms are characterized by
yellowing of younger leaves in the early stages. Severe deficiency also
causes older leaves to become chlorotic.

An experiment was initiated 3 June 1985 to test effects of single
superphosphate on plant grade. Plants were grown in Florida sedge peat:
* pine bark (1:1 by volume) with 7 pounds per yard of dolomite and a
micronutrient blend with no sulfur. Plants received a maximum of 1500 ft-c
and temperatures between 20-350C. There were 3 treatments and 10
replications. Treatment one had 5 pounds per yard of single
superphosphate, treatment two contained no P, but had 0.5 pounds per yard S
incorporated, treatment 3 received no supplemental S, but did receive 5 mg
P per pot every 2 weeks. All pots received 55 milligrams K and 62
milligrams N every 2 weeks. All plants receiving no P had poor plant
grades, but only Nephrolepis 'Compacta' was affected by lack of S
(Table 1).

A second experiment was initiated 19 February 1988. Ten varieties of
plants were tested (Table 2). Plants were potted in 6" pots containing
Vergro Container Mix, composed of Canadian peat, vermiculite and perlite,
with a starter nutrient charge specially prepared without superphosphate
but with a small amount of FeSO4. Millers' fertilizer, which contains no
S, was used as a source of N, P, K and micronutrients. CaCO, and MgCO3, 1
and 2 g/pot, were incorporated into the medium to supply Ca and Mg.
Wettable S was surface applied to treatments 2, 3, and 4 at a rate of 0.1
g/6" pot 23 February 1988, treatment 3 and 4 received 0.1 g S 24 March 1988
and treatment 4 received 0.1 g S 12 April 1988. Because of the slow
reaction of initial applications, additional S was applied 19 April 1988

Professor of Plant Physiology, Professor and Center Director, and
Professor of Plant Pathology, respectively. Central Florida Research and
SEducation Center, 2807 Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703.









as follows: treatment 2 received 1 g S/6" pot, treatment 3, 2 g S and
treatment 4, 3 g S. Plants were graded (1 = poor, 5 = excellent) or vine
weight determined (Table 2). Electrical conductivity (EC) and pH of the
soil containing D. massangeana were determined (Table 3). There were 5
replications.

Applications of S initiated 23 February and 19 April 1988 did not
affect pH or EC until 8 July 1988 (Table 3). The pH of the tap water at
CFREC-Apopka is about 7.2 with a S content of approximately 7 ppm. Lack of
supplemental S had no effect on plant grade, nor did additions of S improve
plant grade (Table 2). A list of some good quality foliage plants and
their S content obtained from previous research is shown in Table 4.

Summary: Wettable S, at rates used, is extremely slow reacting, and does.
not appear to affect pH for several months. Additions of S to promote
plant growth does not appear to be necessary, and S deficiency of foliage
plants would only be found in unusual circumstances.


Table 1. Effect of P and S on plant grade
foliage plants. 1985.


(1= poor, 5 = excellent) of


Epipremnum Brassaia Nephrolepis Syngonium
Treatments aureum actinophylla 'Compacta' 'White Butterfly'


Complete 4.8 4.7 4.6 4.4
-P 2.1 2.0 3.9 2.0
-S 4.5 4.8 3.7 4.4








Table 2. Effect of Sulfur (S) on plant grade (1 = poor, 5 = excellent) or vine weight of foliage plants. 1988.


28 June plant grade 17 June vine wt (grams) 7 Sept plant grade
Epipremnum 'Neanthe Aglaonema
g Dracaena Codiaeum Dieffenbachia Nephrolepis Philodendron aureum Neoregelia Bella' 'Silver Spathiphyllun
S/6" pot 'Mass' 'Banana' 'Camille' 'Compacta' s. oxycardium (pothos) 'Tricolor' Palm Queen' 'Bennett'


0 4.1 4.5 4.3 4.8 126 246 3.9 3.0 3.5 4.2
1.1 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.8 106 275 4.3 3.3 4.0 4.6
2.2 4.4 4.6 4.3 4.8 110 245 4.0 3.8 3.5 4.2
3.3 4.2 4.6 4.0 4.5 122 237 3.7 3.5 3.7 4.0


Feb. and
Feb., 24
Feb., 24


1 g 19 Apr. 1988.
Mar. and 2 g 19 Apr. 1988.
Mar., 12 Apr. and 3 g 19 Apr. 1988.




















3


1i.i g
2.2 g
3.3 g


applied
applied
applied


0.1 g
0.1 g
0.1 g


-









Table 3. Effect of Sulfur on pH and EC (micromhos/cm) of Vergro Container Mix containing D. massangeana.


g Sulfurz/ pH Micromhos/cm
6" pot 27 Feb 1 Mar 7 Apr 28 Apr 8 Jul 27 Feb 1 Mar 7 Apr 28 Apr 8 Jul

0 7.6 7.3 7.4 7.5 6.5 670 1526 2620 2008 256
1.1 7.2 7.2 7.4 7.5 6.3 2296 1419 2521 2128 520
2.2 6.6 7.2 7.4 7.3 5.0 3700 1460 2345 2716 1607
3.3 6.7 7.4 6.9 7.5 4.8 3618 1328 3232 2346 2284


"l.1 g applied
2.2 g applied
3.3 g applied


as 0.1
as 0.1
as 0.1


23 Feb. and 1 g 19 Apr. 1988.
23 Feb., 24 Mar. and 2 g 19 Apr. 1988.
23 Feb., 24 Mar., 12 Apr. and 3 g 19 Apr. 1988.










Table 4. Sulfur contents of good quality foliage plants.

Plant % dry weight

Brassaia actinophylla 0.18 0.30
Codiaeum variegatum 0.16 0.40
Ficus benjamin 0.11 0.13
Hedera heix 0.14 0.18
Piea spruceana 1.03 1.24
Schefflera arboricola 0.13 0.15
Syngonium podophyllum 0.27 0.34

zAppreciation is extended to A & L Southern Agricultural
Laboratories for donating tissue analyses.




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