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Rokolhuii Keditsu ([email protected])
Department of Horticulture, Nagaland University, India
September, 2012
Ms Rokolhuii Keditsu, basically a Floriculturist by passion, is currently perched as Senior Assistant Professor at the Department of Horticulture, Nagaland University, Nagaland (India), the region globally known as the hot spot for plant biodiversity . Having received her Graduation and Masters both from Nagaland University in 1998 and 2001, respectively, has worked on Effect of Planting Time and INM on Growth and Flowering of Gerbera as P.hD. dissertation from Nagaland University. She joined her distinguished academic career in 2002, and guided as many as 13 M.Sc. students. Her research accomplishments consist of: substrate development and field evaluation; post–harvest physiology of cut flowers (post-harvest behaviour of flowers in response to chemical treatments); exploiting meteorological conditions through adjustment in planting time, thereby paving the way for large scale open field cultivation of flowers in northeastern region; evaluation of flower germplasm diversity under protected conditions; landscaping through floriculture covering a large number flowers viz., Anthurium andreanum, Gerbera jamesonii, Rosa indica, Lilium, etc. Her researches have revolutionised the floriculture as commercial livelihood earning option in tribal rural masses. She developed a Practical Manual on Production of Vegetables and Flowers for post graduate students. In addition, she is responsible for designing and executing course curricula on Ornamental Horticulture and Landscaping; Post-harvest Technology of Fruits, Vegetables, Cut and Loose Flowers; Protected Horticulture and Advances in Plant Propagation and Nursery Management for graduate and post-graduate students. She made significant contribution as Subject Matter Expert (2008-2011) under Rural Agricultural Work Experience Programme of Government of India.
She was offered a Tata Consultancy Project on determining constraints towards livelihood security in tribal dominated area of Tuesnshong district of Nagaland. She has contributed handsomely at various national level platforms by presenting her research papers in as many as 12 academic events. She is the recipient of prestigious Mahatma Phule Award for Excellence in Horticulture bestowed by Mahatma Phule International Academy, Maharashtra in 2012. She has acted as Resource Person on Nutrient Management of Horticultural Crops under Protected Conditions for the model training organised by Centre for Advanced Training, Department of Soil Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh .
Besides her professional acumen, She actively participates in co-curricular activity as Secretary, Rotary Club of Dimapur, Nagaland.
Her complete mailing address is : Ms. Rokobhuii Keditsu, Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, School of Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development, Nagaland University, Medziphema 797 106 Nagaland, India. She may be contacted at email id: [email protected]


Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii Bolus ex. Hook) belonging to Asteraceae family is an important cut flower, native to tropical Asia and Africa. Majority of the cut flowers including Gerbera is intensively cultivated resulting in the loss of substantial amount of nutrients with every harvest. The definitive role of soil-climate specific agro-techniques is being increasingly explored to sustain the production as well as quality. The present investigation entitled “Effect of planting time and integrated nutrient management on the growth, flowering and yield of Gerbera jamesonii cv. Red Gem” was conducted at a private nursery in Dimapur during the year 2006-2009. Exploiting the prevailing growing conditions and maintaining water-nutrient synergy through an integrated nutrient supply system across crop phenophases are considered as the two most important aspects of Gerbera cultivation, and if addressed to their potential, are supposed to bring some discernible changes in the overall scenario of Gerbera cultivation in northeast India, especially in Nagaland.
Experiment on “Effect of different planting time on growth, flowering and yield of Gerbera” was carried out on the soil belonging to Alfisol (sand 584.0 g/kg, silt 255.3 g/kg, clay 161.4 g/kg, 33 KPa 241.2 g/kg, 1500 KPa 103.8 g/kg, soil pH 5.3, KMnO4-N 149.6 mg/kg, Bray’s-P 4.6 mg/kg and neutral NH4OAc-K 97.8 mg/kg). Eight treatments consisting of M1(15th March planting), M2(15th April planting), M3(15th May planting), M4(15th June planting), M5(15th July planting), M6(15th August planting), M7(15th September planting) and M8(15th October planting) were replicated three times under randomized complete block design.
The difference in planting time brought a statistically significant difference in performance of cut flower like Gerbera, primarily due to difference in soil moisture content (153.2 g/kg during May planting to 301.6g /kg during August planting, coinciding linearly with amount of rainfall received. However, Gerbera plants planted in with June produced the best response in terms of number of leaves at flowering (15.96/plant), leaf area (138.78 cm2), plant height at flowering (27.09 cm), took minimum days to bud emergence (101.82 days), bud burst from plating time (109.31 days), bud emergence to bud burst stage (7.49 days) and full bloom from planting time (116.56 days). The June date of planting further showed the best response on the flowering characteristics viz., flower size (9.12 cm), stalk length (35.77 cm), stalk diameter (0.91 cm) and neck diameter (0.57 cm). Likewise, ray and disc floret characteristics such as fresh weight of ray floret (4.26 g), dry weight of ray floret (1.02 g), length of ray floret (3.44 g), number of ray floret (46.78), number of disc floret (407.24) and diameter of disc floret (5.95 cm). These parameters collectively imparted higher fresh weight of flowers (13.42 g), higher number of flowers (220.1 /m2 ) and flower yield (2.95 kg/m2 ) with June date of planting compared to fresh weight of flowers (8.08 – 11.41 g), number of flowers (179.7-197.4 /m2 )and flower yield (1.45-2.25 kg/m2) with rest of the other dates of planting. The most favourable response of June planting was observed due to collective effect of better soil moisture conditions, lesser diurnal variation in temperature and the highest availability of nutrients.
Another field experiment entitled “Response of INM on growth, flowering and yield of Gerbera” was carried out with 8 treatments comprising T0 – 100% RDF (Recommended doses of fertilizers), T1 – 50% RDF + 50% Cocopith, T2 – 50% RDF + 50% Pig manure, T3 – 50% RDF + 50% FYM, T4 – 50% RDF + + 25% Pig manure + 25% FYM, T5 – 50% RDF + 25% Cocopith + 25% Pig manure, T6 – 50% RDF + 25% FYM + 25% Cocopith, T7 – 50% cocopith + 25% Pig manure + 25% FYM were tested in a randomized block design with three replications. The experimental soil belonged to Alfisol (sand 594.0 g/kg, silt 241.5 g/kg, clay 164.5 g/kg, 33 KPa 242.6 g/kg, 1500 KPa 104.3 g/kg, soil pH 5.2, KMnO4-N 148.6 mg/kg, Bray’s-P 4.2 mg/kg and neutral NH4OAc-K 98.9 mg/kg). The recommended dose of fertilizers (RDF) was applied at the rate of 60kg N: 40kgP2O5: 60 kgK2O /ha, where half dose of N and full dose of P and K were applied at the time of planting , with remaining half dose of N added one month after planting. Pig manure @ 5kg/m2, FYM @ 7kg/m2 and cocopith @ 6•25kg/m2 on wet basis were considered as 100%. These doses were worked out and applied accordingly to randomized treatments within each plot before planting. Cocopith was applied after soaking in water for about 20 – 25 minutes.
These INM based treatments produced differential response on different vegetative growth parameters, flowering characteristics, ray and disc floret characteristics, flower yield, soil fertility status, soil microbial properties and leaf nutrient. Invariably, out of the three organic manures viz., Pig manure, FYM and Cocopith when applied along with 50% RDF, Pig manure produced the best response due to higher nutrient and microbial load of the Pig manure. Besides, Pig manure along with FYM, due to its complimentary kinetics of nutrient release behaviour, when combined with 50% RDF (T4) produced by far the best response. The vegetative growth parameters and flower characteristics such as number of leaves (13.21/plant), leaf area (99.73 cm2), plant height (29.13 cm), minimum time taken for bud emergence (110.37 days),bud emergence to bud burst (6.32 days), full bloom from planting time (129.38 days), flower size (9.06 cm), stalk diameter (0.94 cm), neck diameter (0.76 cm) and fresh weight of flower (12.95 g) were favourably influenced by treatment comprising 50% RDF + 25% Pig manure + 25% FYM. This treatments was similarly associated with highest fresh weight of ray floret (4.37 g), dry weight of ray floret (1.07 g), length of ray floret (3.49 cm), number of ray floret (48.25 cm), number of disc floret (408.70), diameter of disc floret (5.96 cm), fresh weight of flower (12.95 g), number of flowers (247/m2) and flower yield (3.19 kg/m2). Soil fertility (158.3 mg/kg N, 6.6 mg/kg, P, and 115.1 mg/kg K) and plant nutrition characteristics (2.6% N, 0.26 % P and 2.5% K in index leaves), leaf nutrient norms (2.22 – 2.56% N, 0.18-0.25% P and 1.80-2.20% K) as well as flower yield of 2.50 – 3.75 kg/m2) were also maximum with 50% RDF + 25% Pig manure + 25% FYM. The same treatment also registered the maximum total fungal count (32 x 103 cfu/g) and bacterial count (72 x 104 cfu/g) as compared to rest of the INM based treatments. Thus from the present investigation it can be concluded that, Gerbera when planted in June (M4) along with conventional fertilizers along with organic manures i.e 50% RDF + 25% Pig manure + 25% FYM exhibited the best response with regard to growth, flowering and yield respectively.