Water use estimation and growth of container grown tatarian dogwood (Cornus alba L. ‘Sibirica’) and cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus L. ‘Novita’)

  • Éva ÓNODY Szent István University, Faculty of Horticultural Science, Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Villányi 29-43, H-1118 Budapest
  • Károly HROTKÓ Szent István University, Faculty of Horticultural Science, Department of Floriculture and Dendrology, Villányi 29-43, H-1118 Budapest
  • Magdolna SÜTÖRINÉ DIÓSZEGI Szent István University, Faculty of Horticultural Science, Department of Floriculture and Dendrology, Villányi 29-43, H-1118 Budapest
Keywords: container production; daily water use; leaf area; pot in pot; transpiration


The pot in pot (PIP) system is a new alternative to container above ground (CAG) cultivation in nurseries. Our study estimates plant water usage of plants in CAG and PIP. Main variables as plant species, nursery container type and year effect on morphological parameters (plant size, leaf area, fresh and dry weight), on daily water use (weighed DWU), transpiration of leaves (DT) supplemented with species effect were analysed. Twenty plants grown in 5 L plastic pots of each combination were investigated. For leaf area measurement by AM350 we sampled 30 leaves from each plant. Fourty plants were weighed by a digital scale (Dyras, KSCL-300), morning and evening on each sampling day. Leaf gas exchange was measured on the same days by using leaf gas exchange analyzer (LCi, ADC Scientific Ltd.). From the two investigated deciduous (tatarian dogwood) and evergreen species (cherry laurel), only the tatarian dogwood showed improved quality in the PIP system (enhanced canopy increment, fresh and dry weight).  Significant difference showed the two species in DWU, and in DT. The tatarian dogwood used 626 g day-1 water (194 %) compared to the cherry laurel’s 341 g day-1 water use in 2015, while in 2016 this ratio was 144% in favor of tatarian dogwood. We measured higher initial morning weight (IWC) in PIP system. The transpiration measurements on single selected leaves overestimated the real transpiration compared to DWU. The DT of the deciduous tatarian dogwood responses more sensitive to environmental conditions than the evergreen cherry laurel.


Metrics Loading ...


Beeson RC (2004). Modelling actual evapotranspiration of Ligustrum japonicum from rooted cuttings to commercially marketable plants in 12 liter black polyethylene containers. Acta Horticulturae 664:71-77. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2004.664.6

Beeson RC (2005). Modelling irrigation requirements for landscape ornamentals. HortTechnology 15:18-22. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH.15.1.0018

Beeson RC (2006). Relationship of plant growth and actual evapotranspiration to irrigation frequency based on management allowed deficits for container nursery stock. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 131:140-148. https://doi.org/10.21273/JASHS.131.1.140

Beeson R, Chen J (2018). Quantification of daily water requirements of container-grown calathea and stromanthe produced in a shaded greenhouse. Water 10:1194. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091194

Chabin J (2015). Personal communication (Jaroslaw Chabin Tree Nursery owner)

Climate retrospective (2015). 2015 summer weather (in Hungarian). https://www.met.hu/omsz/OMSZ_hirek/index.php?id=1453

Climate retrospective (2016). 2016 summer weather (in Hungarian). https://www.met.hu/omsz/OMSZ_hirek/index.php?id=173

Garcı́a-Navarro MC, Evans RY, Savé R, (2004). Estimation of relative water use among ornamental landscape species. Scientia Horticulturae 99(2):163-174.

Grant OM, Davies MJ, Longbottom H, Harrison-Murray R (2010). Evapotranspiration of container ornamental shrubs: modelling crop-specific factors for a diverse range of crops. Irrigation Science 30(1):1-12.

Hagena ES, Nambuthiri, Fulcher A, Geneve R (2014). Comparing substrate moisture-based daily water use and on-demand irrigation regimes for oakleaf hydrangea grown in two container sizes. Scientia Horticulturae 179:132-139.

Ingram DL, Ruter JM, Martin CA (2015). Review: characterization and impact of supraoptimal root-zone temperatures in container-grown plants. HortScience 50:530-539.

Kirsch T, Kaffarnik F, Riederer M, Schreiber L (1997). Cuticular permeability of the three tree species Prunus laurocerasus L., Ginkgo biloba L. and Juglans regia L.: comparative investigation of the transport properties of intact leaves, isolated cuticles and reconstituted cuticular waxes. Journal of Experimental Botany 48(310):1035-1045.

MDSZ (2014). A Magyar Díszkertészet Ágazati Stratégiája [Sectoral strategy of the Hungarian ornamental horticulture].


Majsztrik JC, Ristvey AG, Lea-Cox JD (2011). Water and nutrient management in the production of container-grown ornamentals. Horticultural Reviews 38:253-297.

Majsztrik JC, Fernandez RT, Fisher PR, Hitchcock DR, Lea-Cox J, Owen JS, … White SA (2017). Water use and treatment in container-grown specialty crop production: A Review. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 228:151. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-017-3272-1

Martin CA, McDowell LB, Bhattacharya S (1999). Below ground pot-in-pot effects on growth of two southwest landscape trees was related to root membrane thermostability. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 17:636-638.

Miralles J, Nortes Tortosa PA, Sánchez-Blanco MJ, Martínez-Sánchez JJ, Bañón AS (2009). Above-ground and pot-in-pot production systems for Myrtus communis L. https://elibrary.asabe.org/abstract.asp?aid=25950

Miralles J, Martínez-Sánchez JJ, Bañón S (2012). The “pot-in-pot” system enhances the water stress tolerance compared with above-ground pot. Ismail Md et al. (Eds). Water Stress. IntechOpen, https://www.intechopen.com/books/water-stress/the-pot-in-pot-system-enhances-the-water-stress-tolerance-compared-with-above-ground-pot.

Miralles J, Franco JA, Sánchez-Blanco MJ, Bañón S (2016). Effects of pot-in-pot production system on water consumption, stem diameter variations and photochemical efficiency of spindle tree irrigated with saline water. Agricultural Water Management 170:167-175.

Newman JP (2014). Container nursery production and business management manual. UCANR Publications, pp 5-6.

Niu G, Rodriguez DS, Cabrera R, McKenney C, Mackay W (2006). Determining water use and crop coefficients of five woody landscape plants. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 24:160-165.

O’Meara L, van Iersell MW, Chappell MR, (2013). Modelling daily water use of Hydrangea macrophylla and Gardenia jasminoides as affected by environmental conditions. Hortscience 48(8):1040-1046.

Ruter JM (1993). Growth and landscape performance of three landscape plants produced in conventional and pot-in-pot production systems. Journal of Environmental Horticulturae 11:124-127.

Ruter JM (1998a). Fertilizer rate and pot-in-pot production increase growth of heritage river birch. Journal of Environmental Horticulturae 16:135-138.

Ruter JM (1998b). Pot-in-pot production and cyclic irrigation influence growth and irrigation efficiency of “Okame” cherries. Journal of Environmental Horticulturae 16:159-162.

Schluckebier JG, Martin CA (1997). Effects of above-ground pot-in-pot (PIP) placement and humic acid extract on growth of crape myrtle. Journal of Environmental Horticulturae 15:41-44. https://doi.org/10.24266/0738-2898-15.1.41

Tóth I (2012). Lomblevelű díszfák, díszcserjék kézikönyve [Handbook of broad-leaved ornamental trees and shrubs], Tarkavirág Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft., Budapest.

How to Cite
ÓNODY, Éva, HROTKÓ, K., & SÜTÖRINÉ DIÓSZEGI, M. (2020). Water use estimation and growth of container grown tatarian dogwood (Cornus alba L. ‘Sibirica’) and cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus L. ‘Novita’). Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 48(2), 1027-1042. https://doi.org/10.15835/nbha48211856
Research Articles