Vermicompost, pig manure grow healthy hibiscus

NCSU researchers report greater plant growth, improved water-use efficiency.

  • December 16, 2009
  • Kelli Rodda

Michelle S. McGinnis, adjunct professor of horticultural science at North Carolina State University, reviewed whether conventional nursery crop inputs could be replaced by commercially available vermicompost for hibiscus production. Her findings were published in HortScience.
The team grew Hibiscus moscheutos 'Luna Blush' in containers containing pine bark amended with sand, dolomitic limestone and micronutrient package (PBS), or pine bark amended with 20% VC. Plants were topdressed with one of three controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs): only nitrogen; nitrogen and potassium; or nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK).
All three 20% VC treatments averaged 58% and 40% greater plant dry weight than PBS + NPK, respectively, and 93% more flowers than PBS + NPK at 56 days after potting.