Aug, 2015: Study shows that high-grade light diffusion promotes faster, healthier growth in delicate plants.
In a recent study, Svensson Harmony high-grade light-diffusing climate screens have once again been found to help shorten growing cycles and produce better quality plants. This time, potted plants shaded by Harmony were ready for market up to 25% faster – and were up to 25% heavier – than usual.
What if it were possible to give delicate potted plants twice as much light and speed up growth without harming them? To find out, Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, a Dutch research institute, equipped two test greenhouses containing anthurium and bromelia plants with Svensson Harmony high-grade light-diffusing climate screens.
Then they increased both the humidity and the amount of daily light the plants received over a summer growing cycle. Instead of the usual 5 mol PAR/m2 per day, plants in the first greenhouse received up to 7.5. In the second greenhouse, plants received double the usual amount of light: up to 10 mol PAR/m2 per day.
The bromelias were not only ready for market two to four weeks earlier than usual but were also of noticeably better quality. Even more impressive, the anthuriums in both greenhouses were ready for market after just 16 weeks, instead of the usual 22. That’s six weeks faster – a boost of 25%. Not only that: the plants that received the most daily light were also 25% heavier than normal. And even with this accelerated growth, they showed no light damage.
- Bromelias ready up to 4 weeks earlier
- Anthuriums ready up to 6 weeks earlier
- 22 weeks is the typical time to market
The white strips of Harmony screens diffuse light evenly so it reaches deeper into the crop, preventing the occurrence of burnt top leafs. Plus, because the light is of an improved, high-grade quality, more of it can be let into the greenhouse. This speeds up growth. And since Harmony’s light penetrates the entire crop from top to bottom more effectively, plant quality improves too.
In addition, unlike fixed-in-place solutions such as whitewashing, retractable Harmony screens also provide greater control over how much direct and diffused light plants receive. With fixed shade solutions, valuable light is lost in the morning and evening, as well as on cloudy days.