Propagation and seedling growth of some species used as ornamental hedges in landscape design
Palavras-chave:Stem cutting, nursery, hedge plants, rooting.
Propagation and seedling growth characteristics of five plant species: Duranta repens (Yellow bush), Hamelia patens (Fire bush), Ficus retusa (Yellow ficus), Buxus sempervirens (Boxwood / West indies) and Acalypha wilkesiana (Copper leaf), were examined in the nursery as indices of suitability for use as hedge plants in the landscape. The experiment was laid out in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with four replicates where the treatments were the plant species. Cuttings were cultivated in polyethylene pots filled with top soil medium. Data collected included: time to rooting, rooting percentage, number of leaves/plant, seedling height and stem girth. They were subjected to analysis of variance and means separated using Least Significant Difference (LSD) at 5% probability level. It took Acalypha wilkesiana, Duranta repens and Hamelia patens species shortest time (21 days) to root while Buxus sempervirens and Ficus retusa took the longest time (28 days) for rooting. Duranta repens species produced the highest rooting percentage (80.5%) at 28 days after planting and the highest number of leaves/plant (15leaves). This study revealed Duranta repens as the easiest to propagate among these species. All plant species evaluated except Ficus retusa are easily propagated in the nursery thus indicating their potential suitability for commercial production in the nursery and use as hedge plants. Duranta repens and Buxus sempervirens are recommended as hedge plant choices based on their ease of propagation and early establishment.