Short Communications

Honeybush (Cyclopia spp.) response to phosphorus fertilisation and mulching

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 24, issue 3, 2007 , pages: 176–177
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2007.10634803
Author(s): M.E. Joubert, South Africa, P.S. Botma, South Africa, W., A.G. Kotzé, South Africa, J. Wooldridge, South Africa


Honeybush (Cyclopia spp.) is endemic to the Western- and Eastern Cape where it grows naturally in sandy, acidic, low- phosphorus (P) soils. The effects of different rates of applied P, and of mulches, on the growth of four honeybush species were determined in a field trial. In soils containing around 6 mg P kg−1, the growth of plastic mulched Cyclopia subternata was significantly enhanced by the addition of sufficient P to increase the soil P concentration to 20 mg kg−1. At low (6 mg kg−1) soil P concentrations, mortality rates in honeybush species tended to be lower in sawdust mulched, relative to unmulched and plastic mulched treatments. Mortality was probably associated with a root nematode infestation.

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