Effect of Foliar Application of NPK on Some Growth Characters of Two Cultivars of Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.)
Majeed K. Abbas
Ali Sabah Ali
Roselle is a promising crop which has a number of uses and prospects for industrial potential. This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of foliar application of NPK fertilizer (Pro. Sol. USA) at 0, 1 and 2 g L-1 of this fertilizer on some growth characters, yield component and chemical constituents of calyces of two cultivars of Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.); red and lined. The results show that plant height, number of branches per plant, total number of fruits and dry calyces yield were increased due to foliar application of NPK. Also, all chemical constituents were positively affected by NPK application. The higher rate of NPK, 2 g L-1, was more effective than the lower rate. In addition, red cultivar was superior in response to treatments. Interaction between NPK rates and cultivar show that the combination treatment of red cultivar and 2 g L-1 gave the best results in all plant characters measured.
Received: May 19, 2011;
Accepted: July 12, 2011;
Published: August 01, 2011
Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) is an annual shrub belongs to malvaceae
family. It is cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions for its popular
edible calyces, stem fibers, leaves and seeds (Babajide
et al., 2004; Mahadevan et al., 2009).
It is a popular plant in Middle Eastern countries and it is known with different
names such as roselle, sorrel, mesta and karkade (Abu-Tarboush
and Ahmed, 1996). However, it is native to India where it is commonly cultivated,
but was introduced to other parts of the world such as Central America, West
Indies and Africa (Babajide et al., 2004; Fasoyiro
et al., 2005).
Roselle has a lot of potential as an industrial crop. It is now considered
one of the competitive beverages in the world (Schippers,
2000). Red calyces are utilized as coloring reagent for jelly, jam, beverages,
sauces and food preserves (Mahadevan et al., 2009;
Tsai et al., 2002; Abo-Baker
and Mostafa, 2011). It contains higher amount of ascorbic acid and it is
rich in riboflavin, niacin, calcium and iron (Babalola et
al., 2000; Wong et al., 2002; Fasoyiro
et al., 2005; Qi et al., 2005). Calyx
presents antimicrobial as well as antioxidant activities due to its phenolic
compounds (Fasoyiro et al., 2005; Anokwuru
et al., 2011). Seeds of this plant have been found to be a good source
of protein (Halimatul et al., 2007; Mukhtar,
2007). Roselle is one of the most important and popular medicinal plants
and it has several properties such as; antiseptic, aphrodisiac, cholagogue,
digestive and stomachic (Akindahunsi and Olaleye, 2003;
Azooz, 2009). Fertilization is a major factor affecting
crops production. Foliar fertilizer is being used widely as an alternative to
soil nutrition supply or as a complementary practice (George,
2003). It is preferred over other methods of application due to the use
of less amount of the fertilizer, avoid soil problems, less ground water pollution
in addition to the profound effect on plant growth and components (Sabir
et al., 2002a,b; Hamayun
et al., 2011). Foliar application of NPK has been found to increase
grain yield of wheat (Jamal et al., 2006; Shaaban
et al., 2009), yield components of lentil (Hamayun
et al., 2011), vegetative characters of maize (Liang
and Silberbush, 2002). NPK application alone or in combination with microbial
inoculums or humic substances improves cow pea plant growth and nodulation (Abdelhamid
et al., 2011). For roselle, high productive potentials has been reported
when plant grown under adequate nitrogenous fertilizer (Babatunde
et al., 2002). Also, it was found that a mixture of biofertilizer
combined with chemical fertilizer improved growth characters and increased sepal
yield in addition to other chemical constituents of sepals (Hassan,
2009; Abo-Baker and Mostafa, 2011). Oyewole
and Mera (2010) mentioned that plant height responded significantly to both
nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization and calyx and seed yields increased with
increasing rates of N and P fertilizers. The aim of this study was to investigate
the effect of NPK foliar application on the growth characters, yield component
and some calyx chemical constituents of two cultivars of Hibiscus sabdariffa
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Field trial was carried out in the season of 2010 at the Diwaniya Station for Roselle Cultivation and Development, Qadisiya Province, Iraq, to investigate the response of two roselle cultivars to foliar application of NPK fertilizer (Pro. Sol. USA). Certified seeds of the two cultivars were obtained from the above mentioned station. Treatments consisted of three rates of the fertilizer; 0, 1 and 2 g L-1 distilled water and two cultivars; red and lined, in addition to the interaction between the fertilizer levels and the cultivars. Soil samples were collected for analysis for chemical and physical properties before planting (Table 1). Treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design as a split plot experiment with three replications.
The land was ploughed twice; harrowed and leveled of. Land was divided into blocks and each block has subplot measuring 3x3 m. Each subplot consists of four rows, 0.75 cm in between. Three to five seeds were planted per hill on a depth of 3-4 cm on April 1, 2010 and the distance between the hills was 50 cm. The crop was thinned to one plant per hill bringing the plant population to four plant per square meter. Weed control was carried out manually and all other practices were done as needed.
Foliar fertilizer was applied twice; the first one after thirty days of planting
and the second one after sixty days of planting. Measurements were done on ten
plants which were taken from each experimental unit at harvest time on October
13. Plant height, number of branches per plant, number of fruits per plant and
dry calyces yield per plant were determined. The calyces were air dried and
the dry powder of sepals was taken for determination of total anthocyanin as
percentage according to Du and Francis (1973). Total
carbohydrate percentages were determined in the dried leaves as previously described
by Herbert et al. (1971). Vitamin C and titratable
acidity was done according to AOAC (1990).
Statistical analysis: Statistical analysis of experimental data was accomplished by standard analysis of variance (ANOVA) in randomized complete block design. The treatment means were separated using LSD at 5%.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
It is evident from data in Table 2 that both plant height
and number of branches per plant were significantly increased as a result of
foliar application of NPK fertilizer in comparison to untreated control. Plant
height reached 55.00 and 67.33 cm of lined and red cultivar, respectively at
the higher rate of foliar fertilizer compare to 38.67 and 39.67 cm for the control
treatment. For number of branches the highest number was obtained at the higher
rate of the fertilizer (9.67 and 13.67 for the lined and red cultivar, respectively).
However, there were no significant differences between the two rates of fertilizer
in their effect on number of branches per plant in lined cultivar. Also, the
results show that the red cultivar was superior in plant height rather than
number of branches which show no significant differences between the two cultivars.
It is well known that chemical fertilizers could enhance plant growth due to
the role of nitrogen in nucleic acids and protein synthesis, and phosphorus
as an essential component of the energy compounds (ATP and ADP) and phosphoprotein,
in addition to the role of potassium as an activator of many enzymes (Helgi
and Rolfe, 2005). The present results come in agreement with the results
reported earlier when roselle plants treated with NPK fertilizers (Harridy
and Amara, 1998) or biofertilizers alone or combined with chemical fertilizers
(Hassan, 2009). Also, it was found that plant height
and stem diameter of guava plant grown under nursery conditions were positively
affected by the foliar application of NPK (Al-Qurashi, 2005).
Other investigators showed that inoculation of seeds with Azotobacter
and Azospirillum in the presence of chemical fertilizers resulted in
improving both growth and yield of anise (Gomaa and Abou-Aly,
2001) Foeniculum vulgare (Mahfouz and Sharaf-Eldin,
2007) and Nigella sativa (Shaalan, 2005).
With regard to the interaction, it was clear that the combination treatment
of red cultivar with 2 g L-1 of NPK gave taller plants and higher
number of branches per plant (67.33 and 13.67 cm, respectively) whilst the combination
treatment of lined cultivar with 0 g L-1 fertilizer gave the lowest
values of plant height and the combination treatment of red cultivar with 0
g L-1 fertilizer gave the lowest values of number of branches per
plant. It was found earlier that foliar application of benzyladenine, NPK fertilizer
or their combinations influenced the vegetative growth of croton plants (Abd
|| Effect of cultivar, NPK fertilizer and their interaction
on plant height and number of branches of roselle
||Effect of cultivar, NPK fertilizer and their interaction on
fruit number and total yield of dry calyces (g) of roselle
The general significant positive response of plant height and number of branches
of roselle to nitrogen is an indicative of not only its importance but also
to its association with vegetative growth (Sabir et al.,
2002a,b; Okosun et al.,
2006a; Sanoussi et al., 2010).
Data analysis show significant (p<0.05) influence of NPK foliar application
on both fruit number and calyces dry weight (Table 3). Number
of fruits at the higher concentration of foliar fertilizer increased by 137
and 200% over the control in the lined and red cultivar, respectively. Calyces
dry weight recorded its highest value at a fertilizer rate of 1 gL-1
(17.40 g) for the lined cultivar, while for the red cultivar the highest value
for the calyces dry weight was recorded at the fertilizer rate of 2 g L-1
(20.50 g). The least fruit number and calyces dry weight were observed in control
treatment. These results come in agreement with the findings of Okosun
(2000), Babatunde (2001), Babatunde
et al. (2002) and Okosun et al. (2006a)
who reported an increase in calyces yield as a result of manure or nitrogen
fertilization. They attributed that to increase in crop photosynthetic ability,
as a result of good vegetative growth induced by these treatments. Also, several
other workers have found that a combination of chemical fertilizers and biofertilizers
improved the plant growth and increased sepal yield due to the direct effect
of chemical fertilizers or indirect through the microbial propagation activation,
Shaalan et al. (2001) on roselle, Shaalan
(2005) on Nigella sativa and Hassan (2009)
The two rates of NPK fertilizer were significantly differed in their effect
on fruit number but not for calyces dry weight. The increase in fruit number
due to the use of fertilizer may be a reflection of the greater vigor in vegetative
growth and higher growth rates. Oyewole and Mera (2010)
found that calyx yield, pods/plant and seeds/pod responded significantly to
nitrogen application. In contrast, it was found that nitrogen treatment had
no effect on calyx yield in three ecotypes of roselle (Sanoussi
et al., 2010). Fruit number of roselle, as in the case of plant height,
also showed a positive response to cultivar. It was mentioned earlier that the
differences in the response of two cultivars of roselle, Sokoto red Sokoto white
cultivar, was probably due to the differences in their vegetative growth (Okosun
et al., 2006b). Combination treatments show pronounced differences.
Treatment of red cultivar along with 2 g L-1 of NPK gave the higher
fruit number and calyces dry weight.
Foliar application of NPK increased the percentage of total carbohydrates and
fiber in roselle calyces compares to control (Table 4). The
effect of 2 g L-1 of NPK was more appeared on total carbohydrates
than 1 g L-1. In comparison between the two cultivars, the higher
carbohydrate percentage (29.88%) was obtained in red cultivar compare to lined
cultivar (22.06%). Increasing the total carbohydrate may be due to the promotion
effects of NPK fertilizer on the photosynthetic pigments. Similar findings were
obtained by Harridy and Amara (1998), Shaalan
et al. (2001) and Hassan (2009). For fiber,
the two rates of fertilizer increased the fiber percentage significantly compare
to control, although, they were not differ from each other.
|| Effect of cultivar, NPK fertilizer and their interaction
on total carbohydrate and fiber percent in calyces of roselle
||Effect of cultivar, NPK fertilizer and their interaction on
vitamin C, titratable acidity and anthocyanin content in calyces of roselle
The positive effect of fertilizer on fiber may be due to the overall promotion
effect on general metabolic activities. However, Changdee
et al. (2009) have shown that stress treatment such as waterlogging
significantly decreased fiber yield of three fiber crops by 51.2% compared to
control. Lined cultivar shows higher fiber content (4.97%) than red cultivar
(3.63%). These differences may due to cultivar difference. In accordance of
these results, it was found that crude fiber and ascorbic acid of green colored
calyx were significantly higher than red and dark red roselle (Babalola
et al., 2000).
Also, combination treatment of red cultivar and 2 g L-1 NPK gave
the highest value of carbohydrate (33.00%), whilst the combination treatment
of lined cultivar and 2 g L-1 NPK gave the highest value of fiber
content (5.74%). It was found that foliar application of benzyladenine, NPK
fertilizer or their combinations influenced the vegetative growth, chlorophyll,
carotenoids content and total carbohydrate percentage of croton plants, especially
when plants were sprayed with BA combined with NPK (Abd
Data in Table 5 revealed that Vitamin C, titratable acidity
and total anthocyanin all increased as a result of NPK foliar application. The
highest values of these parameters were obtained at the higher rate of foliar
fertilizer. For lined cultivar, they were; 47.00 mg 100 g fw, 4.5 and 7.33%
for vitamin C, titratable acidity and total anthocyanin, respectively. For the
red cultivar, these values were 61.00, 5.80 and 10.13, respectively. The growth
promotion caused by adding the NPK fertilizer could be reflected in increasing
the chemical constitutes of plant sepals. This result comes in agreement with
Hassan (2009) results who was found that applying biofertilizers
alone or combined with chemical fertilizers significantly improved growth characters
and as a result, total anthocyanin content, total carbohydrates, and chlorophyll
content were increased also. It was mentioned earlier that the synthesis of
anthocyanins and other constituents in the fruit calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa
was significantly stimulated by the proper treatments such as adequate irrigation
water (Mandour et al., 1979).
Also, as shown with the other characters, red cultivar calyces were richer
than the lined cultivar in vitamin C and anthocyanin in addition to having higher
acidity. The increase in the values of these three characters were 32.6, 30.6
and 40.5% in red cultivar over the lined cultivar. In accordance with these
results, it was found that crude fiber and ascorbic acid of green coloured calyx
were significantly higher than red and dark red roselle (Babalola
et al., 2000).
With regard to the interaction between cultivars and NPK rates it was evident that the combination of higher rate of NPK and red cultivar always gives the higher values of Vitamin C, titratable acidity and anthocyanin. In contrast, combination of lined cultivar with 0 g L-1 of NPK gives the least values.
The present study shows clearly that NPK foliar application has positive effect on vegetative characters and calyces chemical constituents. The 2 g L-1 rate of fertilizer was more effective in obtaining better plant characteristics. Red cultivar was superior in most characters measured in compare to lined cultivar.
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