Growth and flowering of miltonia flavescens lindl. var. stellata regel orchid under different doses of a slow release fertilizer
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The Orchidaceae is one of the most numerous and diversified families in the Plant Kingdom. Miltonia flavescens Lindl. is a native orchid to the southern region of Brazil. Studies related to the nutrition and fertilization of orchids are scarce, specific and existent only for few species. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of different doses of a slow release fertilizer (Osmocote® 9/15/12 + micro) on the development of M. flavescens var. stellata Regel cultivated in pots with pine bark and coconut fiber (1:1, v:v) as the substrate. The treatments consisted of: no fertilizer application (control), application of 2.5 g, 5 g and 10 g of fertilizer per liter of substrate. The experimental design was set in randomized blocks, with five replications and three plants per plot. The experiment was carried out along 25 months and the fertilizer was applied every five months. The evaluated plant parameters were: length of the longest pseudobulb, number of pseudobulbs, diameter of pseudobulbs, number of shoots, number of leaves and flowering. There was a significant increment on all evaluated characteristics with the increase of the fertilizer dose. The highest dose provided a more profuse flowering, with a larger number of flower stems and flowers, in addition to bigger flower stems and flowers. These results show that the supply of nutrients in an appropriate amount is of a great importance for the development and flowering of M. flavescens.