Response of Six Lamiaceae Ornamental Plants to Saline Water Irrigation

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Journal ofEnvironmental Horticulture






Horticultural Research Institute

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Salt tolerance of six Lamiaceae ornamental species was evaluated in a greenhouse experiment. Rooted cuttings were transplanted into 3.8 L (1 gal) pots and grown for three weeks in the greenhouse before treatment. Plants were then irrigated six times with a nutrient solution at an electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.2 dS·m−1 (control) or a saline solution at EC of 5.0 or 10.0 dS·m−1 (EC 5 or EC 10). Stachys coccinea (Texas betony) was the most salt tolerant among the six species tested, with less than 50% foliar damage and 56% reduction of dry weight (DW), and less than 10% reductions in gas exchange in EC 10 compared with nontreated plants. Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage) and Lamium maculatum ‘Pink Pewter’ (spotted dead nettle) were moderately tolerant with slight salt damage and low mortality rates in EC 10. With visual scores of 3.1 and 3.9 (0 dead; 5 excellent), and DW reduction of 36 and 43% in EC 5, Russian sage and spotted dead nettle could grow well when irrigated with low quality water with EC less than 5.0 dS·m−1. Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’ (bugleweed), Poliomintha longiflora (Mexican oregano), and Scutellaria suffrutescens ‘Pink Skullcap’ (cherry skullcap) were the most sensitive to salinity stress with a survival rate of 80% and 0 in EC 5 and EC 10, respectively.

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