Title: TropicLine
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Title: TropicLine
Series Title: TropicLine
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Publication Date: January/February 1992
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089450
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
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TropicLine 5(1)


T-ropi cLine Volume 5, Number 1, January-February, 1992


Editor: Alan W. Meerow
Christine T. Stephens, Dean, Cooperative Extension


Effect of Manganese Source on Manganese

Uptake by Pygmy Date Palms

Timothy K. Broschat

Research Horticulturist

Manganese deficiency is a serious and widespread problem on
many species of palms (Broschat, 1991). Recommended
treatments for correction or prevention of the problem
usually include soil or foliar applications of manganese
sulfate (Dickey, 1977), but Broschat and Donselman (1985a)
found that in a peat-based potting medium, other Mn sources
provided equivalent levels of Mn.

Several additions to foliar Mn sprays have been been
recommended for use on some plants, but this has never been
shown to be effective for palms. These include urea
(Labanauskas and Puffer, 1964; Yamada et al., 1965) and
calcium hydroxide (Dickey 1977). Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) is
a widely used penetrant-solvent that could potentially
enhance foliar absorption of Mn from foliar sprays, but has
never been tested. Similarly, soil acidification has been
suggested as a means of alleviating deficiencies of
micronutrients such as Mn, Fe, and Zn (Kidder et al., 1990;
Messenger and Hruby, 1990), but this has not been tested on
palms. The purpose of this study was to determine which of
the commercially available soil and foliar applied Mn
fertilizer materials are effective in supplying Mn to palms
in both a field soil situation and a pine bark, peat and
sand medium, and to determine if the addition of calcium
hydroxide, urea, or DMSO enhanced the foliar absorption of
Mn from foliar sprays.

Materials and Methods

Pygmy date palms (Phoenix roebelenii) 25 to 30 cm tall were planted into 10
liter plastic containers using a 4 pine bark: 2 Canadian peat: 1 sand (by


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vol.) medium amended with dolomite at 6 kg.m-3. Eight replicate pots were
each treated with single media surface applications of the materials listed
in Table 1 at rates equivalent to 3.2 g of Mn per container on 14 Oct. 1987
(= first year). Seven replicate plants were also sprayed to runoff with
single foliar sprays of the materials shown in Table 1 at concentrations
equivalent to 1.3 g Mn per liter. The experiment was repeated starting 4
Jan. 1989 using 10 replicate palms per treatment (= second year). All
plants were grown under 63% shadecloth and received about 1 cm of water
daily from overhead irrigation. All pots received surface applications of
Osmocote 17N-3P-15K (Grace-Sierra Hort. Prod., Milpitas, CA) at 56 g per
pot and a single micronutrient drench containing .6 mg Fe, .2 mg B, .06 mg
Zn, .06 mg Cu, and .01 mg Mo and were arranged in a completely randomized
design. Samples of central leaflets of recently matured leaves were
collected from each plant at 1, 2, 4, and 6 months after fertilization the
first year and at 2, 4, and 6 months after fertilization for the second
year. All leaves sampled for analysis had emerged subsequent to any foliar
spray treatment and therefore were not washed prior to analysis. Dried and
ground leaf samples were digested in sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide
(Allen, 1974) and were analyzed for total Mn content by atomic absorption
spectrophotometry. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance with mean
separations by the Waller-Duncan k-ratio method.

In order to determine if results from the container experiments would be
valid for field-grown palms, a 2-year old field planting of 50 to 60 cm
tall pygmy date palms was treated with single soil applications of the same
materials used in the first container media experiment on 4 Jan. 1989.
These palms were growing in a Margate fine sand soil and were planted 3 m
apart in rows 4 m apart. Treatments were assigned on a completely
randomized basis with 9 replicate palms per treatment. Rates were increased
to 32 g Mn and 550 g of Osmocote 17N-3P-15K per plant. Sampling and
analysis were carried out as in the first container experiment.

Results and Discussion

Media application-- first year. Only Mn sulfate plus
ammonium sulfate significantly increased leaf Mn one month
after media treatment, but both Mn sulfate plus ammonium
sulfate and Mn citrate-treated palms had higher leaf Mn
concentrations than control palms at 2, 4, and 6 months
after treatment. Mn sulfate plus ammonium sulfate also
increased leaf Mn concentrations significantly more than Mn
citrate after 2 and 4 months, but the differences were
insignificant 6 months after treatment.

Media application--second year. All materials except Mn
oxide increased leaf Mn concentrations after 2, 4, and 6
months, but Mn sulfate, Mn sulfate plus ammonium sulfate,
and Mn citrate-treated palms had much higher Mn
concentrations. Manganese concentrations of palms treated
with most materials began decreasing at 6 months, but
continued to increase for sulfur plus Mn sulfate-treated
palms. All of the materials except Mn oxide are water


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soluble and some decrease in availability is expected over
time due to microbial binding or precipitation. Elemental
sulfur constitutes 80% of the sulfur plus Mn sulfate
material and thus would be expected to gradually decrease
media pH and increase Mn solubility (Kidder et al., 1990).
The large differences in Mn uptake between years for similar
materials can only be accounted for by the lower average
ambient temperatures during the first year (x = 22.4 vs.
24.2C). Manganese uptake in palms is strongly temperature
dependent (Broschat and Donselman, 1985b).

Soil application-- field grown palms. No significant
differences were observed among treatments after 1 month.
However, Mn concentrations of palms treated with Mn sulfate
plus ammonium sulfate were significantly greater than that of
all other treatments 2 to 6 months following treatment.
Thus, results under field conditions confirm the superior
effectiveness of Mn sulfate in providing Mn to palms
compared to other commercially available Mn sources. Similar
results were obtained for field crops on other soil types
(Fiskel and Mourkides, 1955; Randall et al., 1975; Shuman et
al., 1979; Wilcox and Cantliffe, 1969). The pH of the field
soil was higher than that of the container medium (7.25 vs.
6.45), and this should decrease Mn availability (Lindsay,
1972). However, acidifying materials such as sulfur plus Mn
sulfate did not improve palm Mn uptake under alkaline field
soil conditions as predicted from Messenger and Hruby's
(1990) work on Mn deficiency in red maple (Acer rubrum L.).

Foliar application--first year. Only Mn sulfate
significantly increased leaf Mn concentrations over that of
control plants after 1 month, but Mn citrate also did 2
months after application. Foliar Mn concentrations in palms
sprayed with Mn sulfate treatments gradually decreased or
stayed the same during the period between the first and
sixth months, but no differences existed among treatments
after 6 months. Plant uptake from foliar sprays was not
enhanced by addition of calcium hydroxide or urea for any Mn
source throughout the experiment.

Foliar application-- second year. Leaf Mn concentration
after 2 months was not significantly increased by foliar
application of any Mn source, but all treatments except Mn
glucoheptanate plus urea, Mn EDTA, and Mn citrate plus urea
had higher leaf Mn concentrations after 4 months than the
control palms. All treatments had higher foliar Mn


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concentrations than the controls after 6 months. The
addition of urea enhanced Mn uptake only from Mn EDTA after
4 months and addition of both calcium hydroxide and urea or
DMSO did not improve plant uptake of foliar-applied Mn
sulfate at any time.

These results appear contrary to those reported by Yamada et
al. (1965) and Labanauskas and Puffer (1964), but in those
studies urea increased Mn uptake in leaves that had been
sprayed. However, the latter study also examined the effects
of urea on Mn concentrations in leaves produced subsequent
to spraying and reported no significant increases in Mn
concentration of the new leaves due to urea. This is
consistent with the results from the current study in which
only new leaves were sampled. Although foliar fertilization
is generally considered to be a quicker, though short-term
method of getting micronutrients into plants, this study
suggests that uptake from soil applications is just as fast,
even under slightly alkaline field soil conditions.

In conclusion, of the various commercially available Mn
fertilizer sources, Mn sulfate plus ammonium sulfate
(Tecmangam) was the most effective material for soil or
foliar fertilization of pygmy date palms, both in container
media and in slightly alkaline sandy field soils. Mn citrate
is moderately effective for both container media and foliar
applications, but all other materials tested were relatively
ineffective as soil-applied fertilizers and produced
inconsistent responses when applied to the foliage of palms.
Also, there appears to be no advantage to adding calcium
hydroxide, urea, or DMSO to Mn foliar sprays on palms.

Literature Cited

Allen, S.E. (ed.) 1974. Chemical analysis of ecological materials.
Blackwell Scientific Publ., Oxford, England.

Broschat, T.K. 1991. Physiological disorders. In Chase, A.R. and T.K.
Broschat (eds.) Diseases and disorders of ornamental palms. Amer.
Phytopath. Soc. Press, St. Paul, MN.

Broschat, T.K. and H.M. Donselman. 1985a. Extractable Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, and
Cu from a peat-based container medium amended with various micronutrient
fertilizers. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 110:196-200.

Broschat, T.K. and H. Donselman. 1985b. Causes of palm nutritional
disorders. Proc. Fla. St. Hort. Soc. 98:101-102.


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Dickey, R.D. 1977. Nutritional deficiencies of woody ornamental plants used

in Florida landscapes. Univ. Fla. Agric. Res. Bull. no. 791.

Fiskel, J.G. and G.A. Mourkides. 1955. A comparison of manganese sources
using tomato plants grown on marl, peat, and sand soils. Plant and Soil
6:313-331.

Kidder, G., M.J. Holsinger, and T.H. Yeager. 1990. Lowering of calcareous

soil pH in field-grow containers. J. Environ. Hort. 8:1-4.

Labanauskas, C.K. and R.E. Puffer. 1964. Effects of foliar applications of
manganese, zinc, and urea on Valencia orange yield and foliar composition.
Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 84:158-164.

Lindsay, W.L. 1972. Inorganic phase equilibria of micronutrients in soils.
pp 41-57, In Mortvedt, J.J., P.M. Giordano, and W.L. Lindsay (eds.).

Micronutrients in agriculture. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer., Madison, WI.

Messenger, A.S. and B.A. Hruby. 1990. Response of interveinally chlorotic
red maple trees treated with Medicaps or by soil acidification. J. Environ.

Hort. 8:5-9.

Randall, G.W., E.E. Schulte, and R.B. Corey. 1975. Effect of soil and
foliar-applied manganese on the micronutrient content and yield of

soybeans. Agron. J. 67:502-507.

Shuman, L.M., F.C. Boswell,, K. Ohki, M.B. Parker, and D.O. Wilson. 1979.
Soybean yield, leaf manganese, and soil manganese as affected by sources

and rates of manganese and soil pH. Agron. J. 71:989-991.

Wilcox, G.E. and D.J. Cantliffe. 1969. Plant response to manganese source,

rate and method of application. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 94:354-356.

Yamada, Y., W.H. Jyung, S.H. Wittwer, and M.J. Bukovac. 1965. The effects
of urea on ion penetration through isolated cuticular membranes and ion

uptake by leaf cells. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 87:429-432.

Table 1. Manganese fertilizer materials used for soil or foliar applications on pygmy date palms


Trade Name


N Manufacturer


Ameiicain Mineralm


allinckiodt


Mn sl llte + amimmonilllmi
%imTecflaIeall
s.il f, e


Mn EDTA.


SeqLuestiene Mn


Earstman Chem Co

Clba-GeiU\


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NiMaerial
SI// ///in/ // ide
Mn ovcle


Mn suilflte'


Girantusol


". MNil


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Sulfur + Mn1
Mn citrate
l/ /h 1tt l//Y'/h/L//
Mn sulfate

Mn sulalte + Lurea\

NMn sulfate + Lurea +
calcium h idro\idex
Nn siultate + calcium
l i. S\-e\

Mn siultate + DISO")
Mn citrate

NMn citrate + uIlea'
Mn EDTA

Mn EDTA + urea.
Nln Vlucoheptlanate
SIn ullucoheltanate +
LuIrea


Disper-Sul+Mn
NMicro-Green


SequLiestrene Mn

SeqLiestrene Mn

Ke\ ple\ 250

Ke\ ple\ 25'


Chemical Enterprises
LiqLui Au S\ stems


Mlallinckrodt

Mlallinckrodt

NIallinckrodt


Mlallinckrodt

Mlallinckrodt

Mlallinckrodt

Mlallinckrodt

Ciba-GeOi \

Ciba-Gei U\


Nlo~r:e Enerpri~~e%5~


ZUsed in second year container media experiment only.

Rate = 6 g per liter

Xrate = .22 g per liter

Wrate = 1 ml per liter; used only in second year experiment.


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