Lin, Y.L.P.; Holcomb, E.J.; Lynch, J.P.


HortScience, Volume 31, Issue 1, p.94-98 (1996)

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Alumina granules charged with P were used as an amendment to improve the ability of a soilless medium to retain P and provide it to plants. Commercially available alumina was acidified, saturated with P and evenly distributed in a medium of peat, vermiculite and sand to grow potted marigolds ( Tagetes erecta cultivars Discovery and Inca, T. patula cv. Sophia and T. erecta x T. patula cv. Nugget Supreme) to a commercially saleable stage. Marigolds grown in medium amended with P-charged alumina had adequate nutrition and similar or superior shoot growth (as measured by height, number of branches and flower production), FW and DW to those grown using commercial fertilizer. Phosphorus-charged alumina at 1 or 2% of total medium volume was sufficient to grow marigolds for at least 8 weeks and substantially reduced P leaching compared with conventionally fertilized controls. Alumina amendments in this range did not cause Al toxicity, as evidenced by root growth and leaf Al content.