Vol. 5, Issue 1 (2020)
Growth and quality Reponses of Polycias (Polyscias balfouriana L. var. ‘Marginata’) to different levels of shade
Author(s): Rajendran Thanusha, Shanmugalingam Srikrishnah, Somasundaram Sutharsan
Abstract: Polyscias balfouriana L. var. ‘Marginata’ is an ornamental foliage shrub with glossy green coloured leaves with white margins. Export quality of polycias is influenced by the morphology of the leaves. Light intensity has great influence on the leaf morphology and variegation in polycias plants. An experiment was conducted in the Crop farm, Eastern University, Sri Lanka with the objective of assessing the resposes of the Polyscias balfouriana L. var. ‘Marginata’ to different shade levels. Five treatments were defined in the experiment as T1: open field cultivation, T2: 50%, T3: 60%, T4: 70% and T5: 80% shade levels. The experimental design was a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. Uniform agronomic practices were followed for all plants in different treatments. Growth measurements viz. plant height, leaf area per plant and plant biomass were measured at monthly intervals. Quality standards of cuttings were assessed at the final stage of the experiment. Analysis of variance was carried out to determine the effect of treatments on measured parameters and treatment means were separated by Tukey test (p< 0.05). Results revealed that, plants grown at 50% shade level showed significantly (p<0.05) highest performance in measured growth parameters. However, lowest performance was recorded in plants grown at 80% shade level and open field condition. In quality evaluation, plants grown at 50% shade level received significantly highest score as well. Therefore, it could be concluded that 50% shade is optimum for growing Polyscias balfouriana L. var. ‘Marginata’ in the Batticaloa district of Sri Lanka.