Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of four fertilizers and eight watering regimes on the growth of young Phoenix Roebelenii O'Brian. palms in an attempt to find a means of accelerating growth. Six experiments were conducted to determine the effects of: three rates of Osmocote 18-6-2, N, P(,2)O(,5) and K(,2)O, three rates of Peter's 25-9-17 fertilizer and three rates of a combination of the two fertilizers on growth of young seedlings and on the growth of one-year-old palms; seed scarification, no scarification and 24 hour water soak on germination; frequency of application of one rate of Peter's 25-9-17 fertilizer on growth; a single rate of Osmocote 18-6-12, 8-9 month release formulation, 19-6-12, 3-4 month release formulation and SulfurKote 21-6-12, 6 month release formulation, fertilizers on soluble salts release rate and growth; three rates of dolomitic limestone in Metro 500 Mix on growth. This research has shown that P. Roebelenii O'Brian. palm seeds will germinate significantly better if seed scarification treatments are provided prior to planting. Leaf length was not a reliable growth measurement. Leaf number appeared to be a reliable growth measurement. Fertilizer additions of Osmocote 18-6-12 and Peter's 25-9-17 produced plants with significantly more leaves than plants not fertilized. In Experiment 5, plants fertilized with Osmocote 18-6-12 produced significantly more foliage dry weight than plants fertilized with SulfurKote 21-6-12. Results from Experiments 4 and 5 indicated that continued use of Peter's 25-9-17, Osmocote 18-6-12, 19-6-12 and SulfurKote 21-6-12 fertilizers at the same quantity and rate would result in a significant linear increase in total leachate soluble salts. Increasing the dolomitic limestone concentrations by 50 and 100 percent in Metro 500 Mix did not induce chlorosis over a 17 week period, but it significantly decreased foliage, root and total dry weights. More research is needed to more accurately predict the fertility needs for optimum growth of palms.