Effects of irrigation and N on the vegetative growth of Aloe barbadensis Mill. In Aruba
Keywords:Aloe, Gel production, Irrigation, Nitrogen, Leaf initiation, Leaf growth· Water stress
AbstractTwo experiments were carried out to investigate the effects of irrigation and N application on the initiation and growth of leaves, and thus gel production, of Aloe barbadensis Mill. under the typical arid conditions of Aruba. Irrigation proved to be essential for continuous vegetative growth and high yields of A. barbadensis in Aruba throughout the year. It increased the fresh weight per leaf, but, during the first months of drought, water deficiency hardly affected the leaf appearance rate. Vegetative reproduction by suckers was reduced by drought. Nitrogen fertilization improved the total gel yield by increasing the rate of leaf initiation and by increasing the yield per leaf. Interactions between N and irrigation were significant when drought stress was severe.