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Different Potting Substrates for Ravenea Plants

Ravenea is a genus of 20 known species of palms, all native to Madagascar and the Comoros. They are small to large ornamental palms, with solitary, robust grey stems, swollen at base and gradually tapering upward1.

The selection of suitable growing substrate is one of the most important factors in growth and production of quality ornamental plant production2. For optimal quality growth of potted palms, growing substrates must have characteristics such as: Capable of water retention, provide nutrients, porous for gaseous exchange and offer mechanical support for root anchorage3.

Many studies about various potting substrates and nutrients were conducted worldwide to quality potted ornamental plants4. Most of organic growing substrates contained peat moss, pine-bark, wood shaves, sludge, agricultural wastes or by-products, farmyard manure (FYM), poultry manure and composts while, the inorganic media components contained styrofoam, perlite, rock wool, sand and vermiculite depending on plant requirements.

Local existing materials compost, kitchen waste compost, sludge, coconut coir/fiber, rice hull, spent mushroom compost and cotton gin trash aren’t evaluated as potential potting substrate for potted plant production in Pakistan. Therefore, a new study was planned to evaluate various potential substrates such as peat moss, leaf compost, farmyard manure, garden soil, silt and coconut compost alone and in combination for quality growth of Ravenea palm5.

The results related with plant growth characteristics revealed that the maximum plant height, leaf area, leaf number, side shoots, fresh dry weight of plant and root length were observed in substrate having farmyard manure, leaf compost, peat moss, coconut compost and silt followed by substrate having silt and peat moss in equal proportion.

Moreover the maximum N, P, K, saturation percentage and organic matter contents were recorded in substrate having farmyard manure, leaf compost, peat moss, coconut compost and silt. This substrate proved to be the best under present experimental conditions and could be use as potential substrate for growing of Ravenea palm.

Seeing the significant increase in growth of Ravenea palm it is recommended to use combination of farmyard manure, silt, coconut compost, peat moss and leaf compost as it has the ability to improve the substrate’s physical and chemical properties greatly.

Furthermore, from results it was observed that mixture of potting substrates offers necessary plant nutrients, improves its porosity, increase water holding capacity and makes the media lighter and with lesser bulk density.


Bulk density, leaf compost, organic matter, peat moss, potting mix, palms, chemical properties, potting substrates, water holding capacity, horticulture, ornamental plants, farmyard manure, silt, coconut compost, peat moss and leaf compost.


  1. Govaerts, R. and J. Dransfield, 2005. World Checklist of Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, ISBN: 9781842460849, Pages: 223.
  2. Burnett, S.E., N.S. Mattson and K.A. Williams, 2016. Substrates and fertilizers for organic container production of herbs, vegetables and herbaceous ornamental plants grown in greenhouses in the United States. Scient. Hortic., 208: 111-119.
  3. Younis, A., A. Riaz, F. Javaid, M. Ahsan, U. Tariq, S. Aslam and N. Majeed, 2015. Influence of various growing substrates on growth and flowering of potted miniature rose cultivar Baby Boomer. Specialty J. Agric. Sci., 1: 28-33.
  4. Riaz, A., A. Younis, I. Ghani, U. Tariq and M. Ahsan, 2015. Agricultural waste as growing media component for the growth and flowering of Gerbera jamesonii cv. hybrid mix. Int. J. Recycl. Org. Waste Agric., 4: 197-204.
  5. Nazir, S., Younis, A., Riaz, A., Akram, A., Khan, N.A., Tariq, U., M. Nadeem, M. Kaleem N. andAhsan, M., 2017. Nutritional Efficacy of Various Growing Substrates for Potted Ravenea rivularis Palm Production. Pak. J. Nutr., 16: 331-340.

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