Document Type : Research Paper - Horticulture


1 Assistant Professor at Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Iran

2 Former master student at department of horticultural sciences, faculty of agriculture, Shahrekord University, Iranty

3 Instructor of Horticultural Products Department, Technical and Vocational University, Tehran, Iran


The function of a growth substrate is to provide an ideal medium for plantlet emergence which allows for the optimal development of plants during the time they stay in the container. A high-water storage capacity is necessary due to the limited volume available in growth substrate. There is a large variety of materials available for substrate elaboration, and their selection depends on the plant species to be propagated, season, propagation system, price, substrate availability and proper features. Compost seems to be an excellent alternative to peat. Also, the fresh material presents a high carbon: nitrogen ratio (C: N) and it may contain substances that are toxic to the plants, such as phenols, resins and tannins. Choosing the suitable planting bed for ornamental plants is one of the problems for most greenhouse managers. In this regard, in order to investigate the possibility of using liquorice residue compost as a by-product of the medicinal plant industry, in growth medium, the effect of peat moss, coir and liquorice root residue compost on the growth of African violet tested in an experiment.  
Materials and Methods
The experiment was done with 7 treatments and 5 replications in a completely randomized design. Experimental treatments included: 60% (volumetric) peat moss, 60% coir, 60% liquorice root residue compost, 30% peat moss + 30% coir, 30% peat moss + 30% liquorice root residue compost, 30% coir + 30% liquorice root residue compost. Each treatment was mixed with 40% perlite. According to the results of a pre-test on the low water retention capacity of liquorice compost, a treatment was also performed using liquorice compost with superabsorbent polymer (Aquasorb made by SNF) at a rate of 5g/kg mixed medium.
Results and Discussion
Experiment results in African violet showed that in shoot fresh weight, leaf number, root fresh weight, leaf area and relative leaf water content of 30% peat + 30% coir treatment and shoot dry weight, flower number and chlorophyll a were the best in 30% peat moss + 30% liquorice root residue compost treatment. The highest amount of chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll were observed in 60% liquorice root residue compost + superabsorbent polymer, the highest carotenoid content in 60% peat treatment, and the highest root dry weight and proline content in 60% liquorice root residue compost treatment. In general, according to the obtained results, by using licorice root residue compost with peat, it is possible to achieve favorable growth results, and it is recommended to use it up to 50% of the required organic matter in the bed of African violets. Based on the results of this study, licorice root resigue compost with peat moss can achieve favorable growth results and it can be used up to 50% of the required organic matter in African violet bed. The effects of licorice compost on morphological and physiological parameters of plants may be due to its effects on increased water content and soil aeration. Because there is a strong relationship between RWC and plant biomass. That also suggests that plants having greater biomass can maintain higher water content in their leaves.
Presence of nutrient elements increased the overall fertility, and functionality of the tested media, leading to maintain better plant growth. RWC is a measure of plant water status, which reflects metabolic activity in plant tissues and is one of the most important indicators to identify differences in substrate conditions.


Main Subjects

Akomeng, N., & Adusei, S. (2021). Organic solvent extraction and spectrophotometric quantification of total phenolic content of soil. Heliyon, 7(11), e08388.
Amooei, A. M. Ghasempour, N., &kaboli, M. (2015). Licorice Cultivation Entrepreneurship Package. Asrar e Elem poblisher, Tehran, Iran. [In Persian]
Arancon, N., Edwards, C. A., Bierman, P., Welch, C., & Metzgert, J. D. (2004). Influences of vermicomposts on field strawberries: 1. Effects on growth and yields. Bioresource Technology, 93, 145- 153.
Atiyeh, R. M., Arancon, N., Edwards, C.A., & Metzeger, J. D. (2000). Influence of earth worm – processed pig manure on the growth and yield of greenhouse tomatoes. Bioresource Technology, 75, 175- 180.
Awang, Y., Shaharom, A. S., Mohammad, R. B., & Selamat, A. (2009). Chemical and physical characteristics of cocopeat-based media mixtures and their effects on the growth and development of Celosia cristata. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 4, 63- 71.
Azarmi, R., Giglou M. T., & Taleshmikail, R. D. (2009). Influence of vermicompost on soil chemical and physical properties in tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) field. African Journal of Biotechnology, 7, 2397- 2401.
Bailey, L. H., & Bailey, E. Z. (1976). Hortus third: A Concise Dictionary of Plant Cultivated in the United States and Canada. Macmillan. New York.
Banker, G. J., & Mukhopadhyay, A. (1985). Response of Polianthes tuberosa L. cv. Single to high doses of NPK. South Indian Horticulturae, 33, 214- 216.
Bates, L., Waldren, R. P., and Teare, I. D. (1973). Rapid determination of free proline for water stress studies. Plant and Soil, 39, 205- 207.
Capasso, R. (1997). The chemistry, biotechnology and ecotoxicology of the polyphenols naturally occurring in vegetable wastes. Current Topics in Phytochemistry, 1, 145-156.
Chang, Y. L., Kim, D. O., Lee, K. W., Lee, H. J., & Lee, C. Y. (2002). Vitamin C equivalent antioxidant capacity (VCEAC) of phenolic phytochemicals. Journal of Agricultural and food chemistry, 50(13), 3713-3717.
Daneshmandi, M. S., & Azizi, M. (2009). The study on the effects of water stress and superabsorbent polymer (SAP) on some quantity and quality characteristics of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L. var. keshkeny levelu). Presented at the 6th Iranian Horticultural Science Congress, Gilan University.
Dole, J.M., & Wilkins, H. F. (2005). Floriculture: Principles and Species. Prentice - Hall, inc. New Jersey.
Gajalakshmi, S., & Abbasi, S. A. (2002). Effect of the application of water hyacinth compost and vermicompost on the growth and flowering of Crossandra undulaefolia and on several vegetables. Bioresource Technology, 85, 197-199.
Ghasemi Ghehsareh, M., & Kafi, M. (2015). Scientific and scientific floriculture. The second volume. Moalef Publisher. [In Persian]
Ghasemi Ghehsareh, M., & Khosh-khui, M. (2007). Effect of superabsorbent polymer on irrigation frequency and growth of chrysanthemum plant (Dendranthema × grandiflorum Kitam syn. Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat). Journal of Horticultural Sciences and Techniques of Iran, 8, 65-82. [In Persian]
Ghasemi Ghehsareh, M., Ghanbari Soleimanabadi, M., & Reezi, S. (2021). Effects of peat moss, cocopeat and licorice residues on geranium growth characteristics (Pelargonium × hortorum ‘Ringo 2000 Deep Red’). Flower and Ornamental Plants, 6(1), 71-84.
Ghasemi Ghehsareh, M., Ghanbari, M., & Reezi, S. (2020). The effects of different potted mixtures on the growth and development of miniature roses (Rosa ‘Orange Meillandina’). International journal of recycling organic waste in agriculture, 9(4), 399-409.
Grout, B. W. W. (1990). African violet. In: A revised medium for rapid growth and bioassays with tobacco tissue cultures. Physiologia plantarum, 15, 473- 497.
Hartmann, H. T., Kester, D. E., Davies, F. T., & Geneve, R. L. (2011). Plant propagation: Principles and practices. 6th ed. Prentice Hall, Inc. USA.
Hidlago, P. R., Matta, F. B., & Harkess, R. L. (2006). Physical and chemical properties of substrates containing earthworm castings and effects on marigold growth. American Society for Horticultural Science, 41, 1474- 1476.
Honfi, P., Gaspar, T., & Szabo-Erdelyi, E. (2010). Application of coir in cut lily production. Journal Kertgazdasag Horticulture. 42, 93- 100.
Ismaili, F., Kalate Jari, S., & Alipour, Z. T. (2012). Investigating the effect of the combination of organic and inorganic substrates in the cultivation of Dracaena (Dracaena marginata). Agricultural Engineering (Scientific Journal of Agriculture), 36 (1), 51 - 64. [In Persian]
Jacobs, M., & Rubery, P. H. (1988). Naturally occurring auxin transport regulators. Science 241, 346- 349.
Javanbakht, M., Gehsareh, M., & Mottaghian, M. (2020). Investigating the effect of licorice residue compost on the growth and development of geranium (Plargonium × hortorum ʽMaveric Roseʼ). Presented at the 12th Congress of Horticultural Sciences of Iran, Rafsanjan. [In Persian]
Kakoei, F., & Salehi, H. (2013). Effects of different pot mixtures on spathiphyllum (Spathiphyllum wallisii Regel) growth and development. Journal of Central European Agriculture, 14 (2), 618-626.
Kazemaini, A., Ghadiri, H., Karimian, N., Kamkarhaghighi, A. A., & Khordnam, M. (1386). The effect of nitrogen and organic matter interaction on the growth and yield of dryland wheat. Journal of Agricultural Sciences and Techniques and Natural Resources, 12, 461-470. [In Persian]
Khan, S., Jan, l., Ullah, H., Iqbal, J., Iqbal, S., Shah, S. H. A., & Khan, A. A. (2016). Influence of Phosphorus and Bulb Size on Flower and Bulblet Production of Tuberose. American-Eurasian Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Science, 16(1), 191- 197.
Khayyat, M., Nazari, F., & Salehi, H. (2007). Effects of different pot mixtures on pothos (Epipremnum aureum Lindl and Andre ‘Golden pothos’) growth and development. American- Eurasian Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Science, 2(4), 341- 348.
Krumfolz, L. A., Wilsonand, S. B., & Stoffella, P. J. (2000). Use of compost as a media amendment for containerized production of perennial cat whishkers. SNA Research Conference, 45, 69- 72.
Lattanzio, V., Lattanzio, V. M., & Cardinali, A. (2006). Role of phenolics in the resistance mechanisms of plants against fungal pathogens and insects. Phytochemistry: Advances in research, 661(2), 23-67.
Lichtenthaler, H. K. (1987). Chlorophylls and carotenoids: pigments of photosynthetic biomembranes. In Methods in Enzymology, 148, 350-382.
Mahboob khamami, A., & Padash dehkaii, M. N. (2010). Effect of composted azolla in different growth media on growth and nutrient elements composition in Ficus benjamina plant cv. Starlight. Seed and Plant Production Journal, 4, 417-430.
Mashayekhi, K., & Atashi, S. (2015). The analizing methods in plant physiology. Tak publisher. Thehran. 317p. [In Persian]
Medina, S., Krassnovsky, A., Yogev, A., & Raviv, M. (2011). Horticultural characteristics of licorice waste compost. Compost Science and Utilization, 19, 163-169.
Mengle, K., & Kirkby, E. A. (1995). Principle of plant nutrition. International Potash Institue, Switzerland, 124-546.
Mirakalaei, S. M. M., Ardebill, Z. O., & Mostafavi, M. (2013). The effects of different organic fertilizers on the growth of lilies (Lillium longiflorum). International Research Journal of Applied and Basic Sciences, 4, 181-186.
Nazarli, H., Zarsashti, M. R., Darvishzadeh, R., & Najafi, S. (2010). The effects of water stress and polymer on water use efficiency, yield and several morphological traits of sunflower under greenhouse condition. Notulae Scientia Biologica, 2, 53-58.
Nikrazm, R., Alizadeh Ajirlou, S., Khaligy, A., & Tabatabaei, S. (2011). Effects of different media on vegetative growth of two Lilium cultivars in soilless culture. Journal of Science and Technology of Greenhouse Culture, 2, 1- 9.
Noguera, P., Abad, M., Noguera, V., Puchades, R., & Maquieira, A. (2000). Coconut coir waste, a new and viable ecologically friendly peat substitute. Acta Horticulturae, 517, 279-286.
Papafotiou, M., Avajianneli, B., Michos, C., & Chatzipavlidis, L. (2007). Coloration, anthocyanin concentration, and growth of croton (Codiaemum varigatum) as affected by cotton gin trash compost use in the potting medium. Horticulture Science, 42, 83-87.
Papafotiou, M., Phsyhalou, M., Kargas, G., Voreakou, M., Leodaritis, N., Lagogiani, O., & Gazi, S. (2001). Cotton gin trash compost and rice hull as growing medium components for ornamentals. The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 76, 431-435.
Putman, A. R., DeFrank, J. D., & Barnes, H. P. (1983). Exploitation of Allelopathy in Weed Control in Annual and Perennial Cropping Systems. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 9, 1001-1010.
Rajaei, M., Attarzadeh, M., Mousavi, H., & Attarzadeh, M. (2014). The use of licorice compost in reducing the effect of dehydration stress in greenhouse cucumber. Journal of Agricultural Knowledge and Sustainable Production, 25(3), 79-90. [In Persian]
Saidi, M., Safari-nia, H., Ghanbari, F., & Sayari, M. (2013). Evaluation of some physiological indicators of tomato plant under the influence of irrigation cycle and different levels of A200 superabsorbent polymer. Journal of Crop Production and Processing, 335-346. [In Persian]
Sajjadinia, A., Khayat, M., & Karimi, H. R. (2011). The effect of organic cultivation substrates on the vegetative and ecophysiological characteristics of the Coleus (Coleus blumei) plant. Greenhouse Science and Technology, 5, 55-60. [In Persian]
Salehisardoui, A., & Rahbarian, P. (2015). The effect of culture media on the growth, development and offshoot of pandanus. Journal of Horticultural Sciences (Agricultural Sciences and Industries), 30, 168-163. [In Persian]
Saraker, A. M., Rahman, M. S., & Paul, N. K. (1999). Effect of soil moisture on effect of soil moisture on relative leaf water content, chlorophyll, proline and sugar accumulation in wheat. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, 183, 225-229.
Scalbert, A., & Williamson, G. (2000). Dietary intake and bioavailability of polyphenols. Journal of Nutrition, 130, 2073S-2085S.
Sumner, M., & Miller, P. (1996). Cation exchange capacity and exchange coefficient, In. by D.L. Sparks (Ed.), Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 3: Chemical Methods (pp. 1201–1230). SSSA Book Series no. 5, (American Society of Agronomy-Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI).
Verdonck, O., & Gabriels, R. (1992). I. Reference method for the determination of physical properties of plant substrates. II. Reference method for the determination of chemical properties of plant substrates. Acta Horticulturae, 302, 169-179.
Wilson, S. B., Staffella, P. J., & Graetz, D. A. (2002). Development of compost-based media for containerized perennials. Horticulturae Science, 93, 311-320.
Zaller, J. G. (2007). Vermicompost as a substitute for peat in potting media: Effects on germination, biomass allocation, yields quality of three tomato varieties. Scientia Horticulturae, 112, 191-199.
Zarei, M., Merikhi, M., & Saharkhaiz, M. J. (2013). Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and licorice residue on morphological and physiological characteristics of marigold (Calendula officinalis L.). Bi-monthly scientific-research of medicinal and aromatic plants of Iran, 30, 401-391. [In Persian]
Zeng, R. S., Mallik, A. U., & Luo, S. M. (2008). Allelopathy in Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry. Springer Science+Business Media, LLC: New York, NY, USA,