Cultivation of cut flower and bulb species with saline water

Ruth Shillo, Mu Ding, Dov Pasternak, Michèle Zaccai

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    54 Scopus citations


    The long-term effect of saline water irrigation on flower yield and quality was investigated in three herbaceous cut flower crops of commercial importance, the Emily cultivars of Japanese limonium, Trachelium caeruleum and Eustoma grandiflorum (lisianthus), and in two bulb species, Hippeastrum hybridum and Ornithogalum arabicum. Among the tested crops, limonium showed the highest resistance to salinity. Irrigation water with an electrical conductivity of up to 11.5 dS m-1 had little or no effect on stem yield and length of limonium flowering stems. In Trachelium, salinity had no effect on the yield of flowering stems or the size of the inflorescence, but it markedly reduced stem weight and length. The concomitant reduction in the number of nodes to flowering was reflected in earlier flower initiation. Since delayed flower differentiation and over-elongation of Trachelium stems is a serious problem during the winter months, application of mildly saline irrigation for winter production could be used to induce earlier flower initiation and to control stem height. In lisianthus subjected to salinity from bud appearance onwards, a salinity level of 6.0 dS m-1 increased stem weight and the number of flowers per stem without affecting other quality parameters. The work carried out with Trachelium and lisianthus, although limited, indicates that salinity may be used for improving the quality of some cut flowers. In contrast to its beneficial effect on the herbaceous species, salinity led to a significant reduction of bulb, leaf, and root weight of the two bulbous species, H. hybridum and O. arabicum.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-54
    Number of pages14
    JournalScientia Horticulturae
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 4 Jan 2002


    • Cut flowers
    • Eustoma grandiflorum
    • Hippeastrum hybridum
    • Limonium
    • Ornamentals
    • Ornithogalum arabicum
    • Salinity
    • Trachelium caeruleum

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Horticulture


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