Gladiolus production and nutritional status as a function of silicon application to the substrate1
ABSTRACT Gladiolus is among the most traditional and important cut flowers in Brazil. Silicon (Si) is an element that has increased the production and quality of some ornamental plants. This study aimed at evaluating the production and nutritional status of gladiolus cultivars under greenhouse conditions, according to the Si doses applied to the substrate. The experimental design was randomized blocks, in a 3 x 4 factorial scheme, being three gladiolus cultivars ('White Friendship', 'Rose Friendship' and 'Red Beauty') and four Si doses (0 mg dm-3, 150 mg dm-3, 300 mg dm-3 and 600 mg dm-3), with five replicates. Morphological traits and leaf Si, macro and micronutrients were evaluated. 'White Friendship' and 'Red Beauty' developed taller plants, with a higher diameter and spikes heavier and longer than 'Rose Friendship'. The order of leaf nutrient concentrations for all the cultivars evaluated was the same (K > N > Ca > Mg > S > P > Fe > Mn > B > Zn > Cu), with all of them being classified as Si non-accumulators. Neither the evaluated morphological variables, nor the uptake of the nutrients N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, B, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn, were affected by the Si supplementation, suggesting that the addition of Si to the substrate does not enhance the gladiolus production.