Growth response of Juvenile Passion Fruit (Passiflora Edulis, F. Falvicarpa) to organic and inorganic fertilizer in South Western Nigeria
The effects of organic fertilizer (amended composted city refuse) and inorganic fertilizer (NPK + Mg 12-12-17+2) on the growth of juvenile passion fruit seedlings were investigated at Abeokuta, southwestern Nigeria between 2003 and 2005. In the 2003/2004 season, organic fertilizer was applied at 1.5 and 3.0 t ha-1. In the 2004/2005 season, it was applied at 5 – 20 t ha-1. In both seasons, no fertilizer plots or those which received 500 kg N ha-1 sourced from inorganic fertilizer served as controls. In both cropping seasons, the effects of the different rates of organic fertilizer on the vine length, number of leaves, leaf area, number of branches and number of tendrils of passion fruit did not differ significantly from one another or no fertilizer application. Dry matter production followed similar trends. However, except for dry weight of stem and root, inorganic fertilizer produced significantly larger growth attributes than organic fertilizer and no fertilizer application. This indicates that 20 t ha-1 of organic fertilizer is sub-optimal for vigorous growth of passion fruit.
Keywords: fertilizer, passion fruit, vegetative growth.
Nigerian Journal of Horticultural Science Vol. 10 2005: pp. 18-22