In an effort to compare yield and time required to remove substrate from roots of liners, Ophiopogon japonicus and Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’ (lilyturf) bare root bibs were potted into 100% aged pine bark, 8: 2 (v: v) pine bark: peat moss, 100% perlite, 100% fine grade Profile™ porous ceramic (Profile™ products LLC, Buffalo Grove, IL), or 100% course grade Profile™ porous ceramic. In a second study Ophiopogon japonicus was potted into 100% aged pine bark, 100% 3/16-inch HydRocks® (Big River Industries Alpharetta, GA), fine grade 100% Profile™, 100% perlite, 100% sand, 8: 2 (v: v) pine bark: peat moss, and 3: 1 (v: v) 3/16 HydRocks®: sand. In the second study, fine grade Profile™ produced the highest number of total bibs per container and bib production was similar to 8: 2 pine bark: peat moss. HydRocks® was similar to pine bark in total bibs per container but was more efficiently removed from roots. Removal of the HydRocks® substrate from plant roots required 50% less time than removal of pine bark: peat moss substrate and 51% less time than removal of pine bark substrate. HydRocks® took 23% less time to remove from roots than fine grade Profile™. Results indicate that clay materials such as HydRocks® and Profile™, when compared to conventional substrates can provide suitable yields while also decreasing labor cost by decreasing time to bare-root.

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Author notes

2Agricultural Technician.

3Assistant Professor of Horticulture.

4Professor of Horticulture.

5Superintendent, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station Ornamental Research Center, Mobile, AL.