Growth and Flowering Response of Tagetes erecta L. (Asteraceae) Grown in Different Nursery Media Mixtures
Marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) is an annual ornamental bedding and pot plant of the family Asteraceae. This study on growth and flowering response of T. erecta grown on different locally sourced nursery media was conducted at the floriculture nursery of the Teaching and Research Farm, Federal College of Agriculture, Ishaigu Ebonyi State Nigeria. Six treatments comprised of mixtures of different growth media, namely topsoil + cured poultry manure + river sand, at varied ratios: T1 (M3:2:1), T2 (M2:3:1), T3(M1:3:2), T4 (M1:2:3), T5 (M0:3:3), and T6 – control (M6:0:0), respectively, were used. The screen house pot experiment was laid out in completely randomised design six replicates. Data on Plant Height-PH (cm), Number of Leaves (NL), Number of Branches (NB), Stem Diameter-SD (mm), Days to 50% Flowering (DF), Number of Flower (NF); including Root Length-RL (cm) and Dry Matter-DM (g) at 12 weeks after planting (WAP) were collected. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA . Results showed that the PH, NL, NF and DM of T. erecta at 12 WAP ranged 95.2 (T1) to 71.1 (T5), 85.0 (T1) to 61.0 (T6-control), 6.0 (T1) to 5.0 (T6-control), and 16.2 (T1) to 8.4 (T6-control), respectively; while NB, SD, RL and DF ranged from 21.0 (T2) to 11.0 (T6-control), 6.2 (T4) to 3.5 (T5), 12.8 (T4) to 10.4 (T6-control), and 58.2 (T4) to 65.6 (T5), respectively. The T1 showed significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher values in PH, NL and DM than other growth media combinations; in addition to NF, although differences were non-signoficant among the treatments. Results from nursery medium T1 (M3:2:1) conbination showed remarkably improved growth and yield of Tagetes erecta than the control growth medium (M6:0:0; topsoil only) and other growth media evaluated.
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