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Influence of Humic Acid and Vermicompost on Vegetative and Flowering Performances of African Marigold cv. Seracole in Indo-Gangetic Plains of West Bengal

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Abstract

The present investigation was performed in Horticultural Research Station, Mondouri, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Nadia, West Bengal during 2017 to 2018 to assess the best dose of humic acid and vermicompost combination for African marigold. The experiment was designed in Randomised Block Design (RBD) with three replications. There were four concentrations of humic acid extracts (0.5 g/l, 1.0 g/l, 1.5 g/l and 2 g/l) applied as a foliar spray in combination with basal doses of vermicompost (1 kg/m 2 and 2 kg/m 2). All the parameters showed significant differences regarding vegetative, flowering as well as quality parameters. The results indicated that foliar spray with 1.5 g/l of humic acid extract along with 2 kg/m 2 vermicompost significantly increased plant height (54.54 cm), number of primary branches (7.21), flower diameter (7.44 cm), fresh weight & dry weight of flower (9.06 g & 1.2 g respectively), number of flowers per plant (84.16), yield per hectare (47.01 tons/ha) as well as the quality parameters. So, among the nine treatments, T 8 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m 2) was the best combination for improving plant growth, yield and quality of African marigold in the Indo-Gangetic plains of West Bengal.
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*Corresponding author: E-mail: karishmamaherukh@gmail.com;
International Journal of Plant & Soil Science
34(17): 68-75, 2022; Article no.IJPSS.86665
ISSN: 2320-7035
Influence of Humic Acid and Vermicompost on
Vegetative and Flowering Performances of African
Marigold cv. Seracole in Indo-Gangetic Plains of
West Bengal
Tushar Ghosh a, Karishma Maherukh a*, Suraranjan Chowni a
and Arun Kumar Pal a
a Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya,
Mohanpur, Nadia, W.B. (741252), India.
Authors’ contributions
This work was carried out in collaboration among all authors. All authors read and approved the final
manuscript.
Article Information
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2022/v34i1731037
Open Peer Review History:
This journal follows the Advanced Open Peer Review policy. Identity of the Reviewers, Editor(s) and additional Reviewers,
peer review comments, different versions of the manuscript, comments of the editors, etc are available here:
https://www.sdiarticle5.com/review-history/86665
Received 12 February 2022
Accepted 26 April 2022
Published 29 April 2022
ABSTRACT
The present investigation was performed in Horticultural Research Station, Mondouri, Bidhan
Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Nadia, West Bengal during 2017 to 2018 to assess the best dose
of humic acid and vermicompost combination for African marigold. The experiment was designed in
Randomised Block Design (RBD) with three replications. There were four concentrations of humic
acid extracts (0.5 g/l, 1.0 g/l, 1.5 g/l and 2 g/l) applied as a foliar spray in combination with basal
doses of vermicompost (1 kg/m2 and 2 kg/m2). All the parameters showed significant differences
regarding vegetative, flowering as well as quality parameters. The results indicated that foliar spray
with 1.5 g/l of humic acid extract along with 2 kg/m2 vermicompost significantly increased plant
height (54.54 cm), number of primary branches (7.21), flower diameter (7.44 cm), fresh weight &
dry weight of flower (9.06 g & 1.2 g respectively), number of flowers per plant (84.16), yield per
hectare (47.01 tons/ha) as well as the quality parameters. So, among the nine treatments, T8
(Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) was the best combination for improving plant growth,
yield and quality of African marigold in the Indo-Gangetic plains of West Bengal.
Original Research Article
Ghosh et al.; IJPSS, 34(17): 68-75, 2022; Article no.IJPSS.86665
69
Keywords: Humic acid; vermicompost; African marigold; West Bengal; Bio-stimulant.
1. INTRODUCTION
Floriculture has quite a long tradition in India.
The rising demand and low-cost technology for
the production and marketing of flower crops
make it a stable substitute for the diverse
cultivation of traditional field crops as well as able
to provide a viable source of income for a large
number of people [1, 2]. Among the various
floricultural crops, African marigold (Tagetes
erecta) is one of the most valuable commercially
cultivated loose flower crops of India as well as
other countries because of its high tolerance
level, easy to grow nature and high yield [3, 4, 5].
Based on the 2015-16 report, the gross area of
marigold cultivation in India is approximately
66.13 thousand hectares and the production is
603.18 thousand metric tons [6]. Marigold is
produced commercially in Maharashtra, West
Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Gujarat,
Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh states in India. It
is an erect, herbaceous plant having pinnately
divided leaves with orange or golden yellow to
lemon yellow colour flowers [7]. The leaves and
flowers of marigold have immense medicinal
value as well as market demand. There are
several necessary practices, which are
responsible for better growth and yield and
among them nutrient management is a vital
factor that needs careful attention [4, 8].
Day by day, the importance of resilient and
secure products is increasing to the people and
even the consumers prefer to buy
environmentally safe products at a higher price
[1, 9]. The cultivation practices with organic
manure can provide qualitatively safe products
because of its eco-friendly nature as well as it
can sustain a considerable level of yield [10, 11].
Humic acid is a good source of carbon,
hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen which can be
derived from decomposed organic materials [12,
13]. It increases the mineral-nutrient absorption
[14], photosynthetic activity [15], plant growth
[16, 17, 18], yield and quality of flowers [19, 20];
helps the plant to thrive excessive heat, saline
soil and drought condition [21]; check soil-borne
diseases as well as maintain soil fertility [22, 23].
Vermicompost is a bio-organic peat-like manure,
which can be derived from the organic waste of
earthworms and has a good water-holding and
cation exchange capacity, high porosity and
microbial activity as well as an exceptional soil
conditioner [5]. It contains a considerable amount
of carbon, nitrogen and minerals [24, 25] which
led to better germination [26], plant development,
crop yield and quality [27, 28]. Though marigold
is an important commercial flower crop of India,
very few experiments have enlightened the
growth and quality of valuable ornamental
flowers. So, the present investigation was
undertaken to find out the optimum application
dose of the combination of humic acid and
vermicompost for better marketable quality and
yield of African marigold.
2. MATERIALS AND METHODS
The present field experiment was carried out at
Horticultural Research Station, Mondouri, Bidhan
Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Nadia, West
Bengal during the winter season of 2017-18. The
experimental site is located at 23.50 N latitude
and 89oE longitude and an elevation of 9.75 m
above the mean sea level. The average
temperature, relative humidity and total rainfall of
the site were 27.5-13.70C, 97-59% and 8.62 mm
respectively during the crop growth period. All
the treatments (Table 1) of the experiment were
designed in Randomised Block Design (RBD)
with three replications. Healthy and uniform
rooted cuttings of cv. Seracole were planted
during 1st week of October in plots of 1.3m x
1.2m size with the spacing of 30cm x 45cm (P-P
x R-R). The rooted seedlings were pinched 30
days after planting. The vermicompost was
applied during soil preparation and foliar spray of
humic acid was done just 2 days after pinching
as per the treatment doses (Table 1). Similar
cultural practices were followed for all the
treatments. There were 12 plants in every plot,
among them 4 plants were marked randomly
from each plot for data recording. All the
vegetative parameters (plant height, number of
primary branches per plant and plant spread)
were taken at the first flower bud appearance
stage whereas the data of flowering and quality
parameters (number of days taken to full bloom,
flower diameter, number of flowers per plant,
average fresh and dry weight of individual flower,
flower yield, carotenoids and lycopene content in
flower) were collected throughout the flowering
period except chlorophyll content of leaves was
recorded at peak vegetative stage. The
vegetative characters were measured with a
meter scale and flower diameter with Vernier
calliper. The photosynthetic pigments
(chlorophyll, carotenoids and lycopene content)
were estimated using a spectrophotometer
device in the Lichtentaller method [29]. All the
data were analysed statistically at 5% level of
significance using OPSTAT according to
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70
Table 1. The treatment details
Treatments
Treatment details
T1
Control (without Humic acid and vermicompost)
T2
HA 0.5g/l+ 1kg vermicompost/m2
T3
HA 1.0g/l+ 1kg vermicompost/m2
T4
HA 1.5g/l+ 1kg vermicompost/m2
T5
HA 2g/l + 1kg vermicompost/m2
T6
HA 0.5g/l + 2kg vermicompost/m2
T7
HA 1.0g/l + 2kg vermicompost/m2
T8
HA 1.5g/l+ 2kg vermicompost/m2
T9
HA 2g/l + 2kg vermicompost/m2
Fischer’s analysis of variance techniques as
suggested by Panse and Sukhamte [30].
3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
3.1 Vegetative Parmeters
The observations in Table 2 reflected that the
treatments significantly differed on vegetative
parameters. The highest plant height (54.54 cm)
was obtained in T8 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2), followed by T4 (Humic acid
1.5 g/l+ 1 kg vermicompost/m2) (52.79 cm)
whereas the lowest plant height (40.45 cm) was
observed in T1 (control) over other treatments.
The humic acid may have influenced beneficial
microorganisms due to its colloidal properties or
presence of heavy metals, which may increase
plant growth by producing growth promotors,
vitamins and antibiotics [31]. Sangwan et al. [5]
found a similar type of response with
vermicompost application in marigold. According
to them, the amount of growth influencing
substances may be enhanced with an increasing
dose of vermicompost and affected plant height
positively.
Regarding primary branch production, T8 (Humic
acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) produced
the most number of primary branches/plant
(7.21) closely followed by T7 (Humic acid 1 g/l+ 2
kg vermicompost/m2) (7.00). The least number of
primary branches per plant (4.20) was recorded
in control. The foliar application of humic acid
produced a greater number of branches, it may
be attributed as humic acid contains the ideal
C:N ratio, which excretes nitrogen as nitrate and
ammonium ions after decomposition. This
enrichment of the mineral components might
have influenced a greater number of primary
branches. Jawaharlal et al. [32] also observed a
positive response with humic acid doses
regarding the number of primary branches of
African marigold.
The maximum horizontal plant spread in the
North-South direction (49.41 cm) was recorded in
T8 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2),
followed by T7 (Humic acid 1 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2) (47.25 cm) while T1 showed a
minimum response (39.33 cm) in this aspect over
other treatments. In the case of the plant spread
towards East-West directions highest data was
noted in T8 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2) (46.46 cm) closely followed by
T5 (Humic acid 2 g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2)
(44.25 cm), T7 (Humic acid 1 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2) (42.58cm) and T4 (Humic acid
1.5 g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2) (42.25cm). The
lowest plant spread (E-W) was observed in the
control (38.83 cm). The presence of cytokinin of
microbial origin in vermicompost [33] helps to
manage the plant cell cycle as well as enhance
the growth and development of plant parts, which
may be influenced the plant spread positively
[34].
3.2 Flowering Parameters
The application of humic acid and vermicompost
combination significantly affected the flowering
parameters (Table 3). In the case of flower bud
appearance, when the plants were supplied with
humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2 (T8),
showed the earliest flower bud appearance
(40.30 DAT), closely followed by T7 (Humic acid
1 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) (41.69 DAT). The
most delayed flower bud appearance was found
in T1 (Control) i.e. 49.22 DAT. The minimum
number of days from the day of first flower bud
emergence to full bloom (12.67 days) was
observed in treatment T8, closely followed by T7
(Humic acid 1 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2)
(13.96 days) and T3 (Humic acid 1 g/l + 1 kg
vermicompost/m2) (14.24 days), while the
maximum number of days taken to full bloom
(17.52 days) was noted in Control. This result
showed that days taken to flower bud emergence
and full bloom were significantly decreased with
Ghosh et al.; IJPSS, 34(17): 68-75, 2022; Article no.IJPSS.86665
71
increasing concentration of humic acid level, it
could be because the fact that humic acid
promotes photosynthesis, chlorophyll content
and nutrient uptake. A similar type of result was
found with an increased dose of vermicompost in
French marigold [2]. The result is in accordance
with the findings of Memon et al. [35] who
observed earlier flower bud emergence in Zinnia
with an increased dose of humic acid.
Concerning the diameter of the flower, the
highest flower diameter (7.44 cm) at the peak
period of flowering was obtained in T8 (Humic
acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2), whereas
among all the treatments T1 (control) was
recorded as the minimum flower diameter (4.95
cm). The enlargement of flower diameter might
be due to simultaneous transport of growth
hormones present in vermicompost which
causes early breakage of apical dominance,
allowing for improved nutrient transfer to the
flowers. Nikbakht et al. [20] also noted a positive
effect with an increased dose of humic acid in
gerbera regarding the flower size.
The data in Table 3 is showing that T8 (Humic
acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) had the
most number of flowers per plant (84.16),
whereas T1 (Control) produced the least (49.83)
number of flowers per plant among all the
treatments. The increased dose of humic acid
improved the number of primary branches that
eventually increased the number of flowers per
plant. The result is in accordance with Idan et al.
[36], who observed a similar type of response
with an increased dose of vermicompost in
African marigold cv. Pusa Narangi.
The average fresh weight of an individual flower
was maximum in T8 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2) (9.06 g) followed by T4 (Humic
acid 1.5 g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2) (8.51 g) and
the minimum fresh weight of an individual flower
was found in control (7.15 g). The average dry
weight of individual flowers was noted highest in
T8 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2)
(1.2 g) followed by T4 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 1 kg
vermicompost/m2) (1.04 g) and the lowest fresh
weight of individual flower was recorded in
control (0.75 g). The application of humic acid
increased the nutrient uptake which may be the
reason for the more dry weight of the flower. A
similar finding was obtained with the application
of humic acid in chrysanthemum [15].
It is evident from the data (Table 3) that T8
(Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2)
produced maximum flower yield per plant
(763.95 g) followed by T7 (Humic acid 1 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2) (651.79 g). The minimum
flower yield per plant (355.25 g) was obtained in
T1 (Control) in comparison to other treatments.
Similarly, the highest flower yield per hectare
(47.01 tons) was in T8 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2) followed by T7 (Humic acid 1
g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) (40.11 tons) and the
lowest in control (21.86 tons). The better
performance of vegetative and flowering
parameters with the increased dose of humic
acid and vermicompost combination may have
enhanced the yield of flowers. This result is by
the findings of Idan et al. [36]. Chander et al. [37]
also found a similar response with vermicompost
application in French marigold.
Table 2. Vegetative growth performance under different doses of humic acid and
vermicompost combination
Treatments
Plant height
(cm)
Plant spread (cm)
N-S directions
E-W directions
T1
40.45
39.33
38.83
T2
46.83
41.91
39.91
T3
51.70
43.41
41.25
T4
52.79
44.83
42.25
T5
47.79
45.58
44.25
T6
49.99
44.75
41.16
T7
50.16
47.25
42.58
T8
54.54
49.41
46.46
T9
47.58
43.50
42.00
S.Em.(±)
1.29
1.32
0.74
CD at 0.05
3.91
3.99
2.25
T1: (Control no humic acid & Vermicompost), T2: Humic acid 0.5 g /l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T3: Humic acid 1.0
g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T4: Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T5: Humic acid 2.0 g/l + 1 kg
vermicompost/m2, T6: Humic acid 0.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2, T7: Humic acid 1.0 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2
, T8: Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2, T9: Humic acid 2.0 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2
Ghosh et al.; IJPSS, 34(17): 68-75, 2022; Article no.IJPSS.86665
72
Table 3. Performance of flowering parameters under different doses of humic acid and vermicompost combination
Treatments
Time taken to
first flower bud
appearance (days)
Time taken to
full bloom
(days)
Diameter of
Flower
(cm)
Number of
flowers per
Plant
Individual flower weight
(g)
Flower yield
Fresh
weight
Dry
weight
Per plant
(g)
Per hector
(tonnes)
T1
49.22
17.52
4.95
49.83
7.15
0.75
355.25
21.86
T2
47.67
15.75
5.90
60.30
7.50
0.85
451.18
27.76
T3
45.01
14.24
6.08
74.47
8.41
0.82
626.64
38.56
T4
44.23
14.78
6.20
67.76
8.51
1.04
576.95
35.50
T5
46.56
16.02
5.63
58.12
7.98
0.76
464.91
28.61
T6
43.31
15.75
6.21
76.56
8.13
0.92
622.56
38.31
T7
41.69
13.96
6.50
79.57
8.20
0.98
651.79
40.11
T8
40.30
12.67
7.44
84.16
9.06
1.20
763.95
47.01
T9
46.93
15.49
6.04
74.98
8.28
0.96
621.38
38.23
S.Em.(±)
0.86
0.58
0.33
2.49
0.18
0.05
21.88
1.35
CD at 0.05
2.59
1.75
0.99
7.56
0.53
0.16
66.17
4.07
T1: (Control no humic acid & Vermicompost), T2: Humic acid 0.5 g /l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T3: Humic acid 1.0 g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T4: Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 1 kg
vermicompost/m2, T5: Humic acid 2.0 g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T6: Humic acid 0.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2, T7: Humic acid 1.0 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2 , T8: Humic
acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2, T9: Humic acid 2.0 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2
Ghosh et al.; IJPSS, 34(17): 68-75, 2022; Article no.IJPSS.86665
73
Table 4. Performance of bio-chemical parameters under different doses of humic acid and
vermicompost combination
Treatments
Total Chlorophyll
(mg/g)
Total carotenoids
(mg/100g)
Lycopene
(mg/100g)
T1
0.82
23.11
2.21
T2
1.26
27.17
3.00
T3
1.69
34.46
3.18
T4
1.75
35.26
3.16
T5
1.20
29.29
2.82
T6
1.73
35.20
3.16
T7
1.86
41.54
3.55
T8
2.19
44.77
3.83
T9
1.06
36.78
3.05
S.Em.(±)
0.04
1.03
0.19
CD at 0.05
0.12
3.10
0.59
T1: (Control no humic acid & Vermicompost), T2: Humic acid 0.5 g /l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T3: Humic acid 1.0
g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T4: Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 1 kg vermicompost/m2, T5: Humic acid 2.0 g/l + 1 kg
vermicompost/m2, T6: Humic acid 0.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2, T7: Humic acid 1.0 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2
, T8: Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2, T9: Humic acid 2.0 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2
3.3 Biochemical Parameters
The biochemical parameters (Table 4) were
affected significantly with the combined
application of humic acid and vermicompost. The
biochemical analysis revealed that the leaf
sample of T8 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2) contained the highest
chlorophyll (2.19 mg/g), closely followed by T7
(Humic acid 1 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) (1.86
mg/g) and T4 (Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 1 kg
vermicompost/m2) (1.75 mg/g); the lowest
chlorophyll content was exhibited by T1 (0.82
mg/g) i.e. control. The foliar application of humic
acid in chrysanthemum enhanced the shape of
thylakoids, which triggered photon absorption
and transportation into the chloroplast [15]. The
vermicompost application also improved
chlorophyll and carotenoid content in Calendula
cv. Candyman Orange [38].
The carotenoids content in leaf petal extract was
recorded highest (44.77 mg/100g) in T8 (Humic
acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) followed by
T7 (Humic acid 1 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2)
(41.54mg/100g) while treatment T1 (control)
exhibited the lowest carotenoids content (23.11
mg/100 g). Regarding the lycopene estimation of
the dried flower petals, maximum lycopene
concentration was obtained in T8 (Humic acid 1.5
g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) (3.83 mg/100g)
closely followed by T7 (Humic acid 1 g/l + 2 kg
vermicompost/m2) (3.55 mg/100g) and the
minimum lycopene content (2.21 mg/100g) was
noted in control. Pant et al. [39] observed a
higher amount of total carotenoids with
vermicompost application in pakchoi. The
application of humic acid also influenced beta
carotene and lycopene content in pepper [40].
4. CONCLUSION
The aforementioned study indicated that foliar
application of humic acid @ 1.5 g/l with
vermicompost of 2 kg/m2 as basal dose
significantly influenced all the vegetative,
flowering as well as quality parameters as
compared to other treatments. So, treatment T8
(Humic acid 1.5 g/l + 2 kg vermicompost/m2) may
be recommended to achieve desirable vegetative
growth, yield and quality of African marigold cv.
Seracole in West Bengal condition. However,
further investigations are required to determine
the commercial application of vermicompost and
humic acid based on cost-effectiveness.
COMPETING INTERESTS
Authors have declared that no competing
interests exist.
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