The water use and crop coefficient of five woody landscape species were determined by growing the shrubs both in 56-liter (15 gal) drainage lysimeters and in above-ground 10-liter containers (#3). Water use per plant, crop coefficient and overall growth parameters differed by species and culture system. Of the five species tested, Buddleia davidii ‘Burgundy’ and Nerium oleander ‘Hardy Pink’ had higher water use per plant in the lysimeters than in the containers. Water use per plant for Abelia grandiflora ‘Edward Goucher’, Euonymus japonica and Ilex vomitoria ‘Pride of Houston’ was the same for the two culture systems. Crop coefficient and growth index of A. grandiflora, E. japonica, and I. vomitoria was similar between the two systems. The growth index of B. davidii and N. oleander was much higher in the lysimeters than in the containers. Abelia grandiflora and E. japonica had more growth in the containers than in the lysimeters while I. vomitoria had slightly larger leaf area in the lysimeters than in the containers. The culture system did not affect the water use per unit leaf area of all species. Therefore, our results indicated that by quantifying the leaf area, the plant water use in the two culture systems is exchangeable.

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Author notes

This project was supported by Texas Water Development Board and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture under Agreement No. 2005-34461-15661.

2Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University, AREC at El Paso.

3Technician II, Texas A&M University, AREC at El Paso.

4Associate Professor, Texas A&M University, AREC at Dallas.

5Associate Professor, Texas A&M University, AREC at Dallas.

6Professor, Texas A&M University, AREC at Dallas.