Katherine Bennett and James E. Faust's research focused on the positive impact of calcium on plant health, particularly its ability to enhance leaf strength. Their experiments on poinsettias and geraniums indicated that spraying calcium, derived mainly from calcium chloride with rates as high as 800 ppm, increased the robustness of the leaves.
There are two primary methods of calcium supply to plants: fertigation, where calcium is added to the growing medium, and spray application onto the plant itself. Fertigation effectively supplies calcium to leaves, but common fertigation programs often lack sufficient calcium, necessitating additional sources like calcium chloride.
However, high calcium concentrations can make the solution too conductive, potentially harming plants. Thus, spraying might be a preferred method, especially for flowers. The researchers found that increasing spray calcium concentrations led to a corresponding increase in calcium in petunia flower petals, making them less susceptible to Botrytis infection.
Calcium helps strengthen plant tissues, reducing susceptibility to physical stresses and Botrytis. The presence of calcium in plants plays a crucial role during their entire life cycle, from stock plant production to flowering, ensuring robust health and reduced disease susceptibility.
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