Different proportion of root cutting and shoot pruning influence the growth of citronella plants
¹Federal Fluminense University. Postgraduate Program in Biosystems Engineering - Department of Agricultural Engineering and Environment. Street Passo da Pátria, n.156, São Domingos, Zip Code: 24210-240, Niterói- RJ, Brazil
²Federal University of Rio Grande. Institute of Biological Sciences, Zip Code: 96203-900, Rio Grande, RS, Brazil
Environment concern, sustainable products demand, and natural components conscious are currently global movement factors. Related to the global movement factors, citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus L.) is being widely used in folk medicine, and has insect repellent activity, fungal and bactericidal action. Its essential oil has high content of citronellal, citronellol, geraniol. The essential oil is mostly extracted from leaves which turns this plant with high commercial demand. However, to obtain the best therapeutic quality and productivity of medicinal plants, which culminates in greater quantity and quality of the active compounds, the proper management of the crop is fundamental, as several factors can interfere during its growth and development. Thus, we analyzed the growth of citronella plants submitted to different levels of shoot and root cuts. Five different proportions of root pruning (0, 25, 50, 75, 100%), after 145 days of seedling planting and four cuttings in the shoots: blunt; a cut at 145 DAP (days after planting) along with the root cut; a cut at 228 DAP; and cuts at 145 and 228 DAP (two cuts). Four harvesting for dry matter accumulation and photoassimilate partition data were performed. The treatment with 100% root cut, but without leaf cut, increased the total dry mass accumulation of the plant in relation to the other treatments, for the last analysis period, demonstrating a recovery. Thus, the application of two leaf cuts or no leaf cutting within the 100% root cut treatment for leaf dry mass accumulation is more effective when compared to the blunt root treatment.