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Mulch Villain or Hero of Celosia plumosa?

Plant Science
Bailey Flemma Madisyn Hauser

Michael Frank

Our plant science project is about how different amounts of mulch in soil affects the height/growth of a Celosia plumosa plant. We chose this project because we are both interested in the processes of growing plants and we are both in biology honors and are enjoying the course. The results of the project were that mulch has little to no effect on the growth of a Celosia plumosa. The importance of our project is that our plant is used for traditional medicine and food, so it is important to see what allows the plant to grow higher and faster. That way, we can keep growing more of these plants to keep these plants alive for those that use them.

Project presentation

View Project Presentation file

Research paper

View Research Paper file

3 thoughts on “Mulch Villain or Hero of Celosia plumosa?

  1. A lovely project! Horticulture is fun and can cultivate a lot of new ideas into many different applications such as nurseries for medicinal plants, floriculture development, and scalable sustainable agriculture.

    For future directions, perhaps you can investigate:
    – interactions of mulch on the rhizosphere of plants instead of using only the phyllosphere to gauge health/growth
    – organic vs inorganic mulch and/or homemade mulch vs store bought
    – plant growth seasons and zones (Arizona is particularly finicky as to what plants we can grow, but soil chemistry is key!)
    – type of light and durations, air quality, humidity, temperature, soil microbes, soil content/condition (e.g., macro and micro nutrients, pH, minerals, and salts (not just NaCl)), and pot size are all interconnected into successfully growing plants. Soil porosity is another avenue you can investigate as well since it correlates to drainage capacities both for potted and non-potted plants.

  2. I think the choice to use Celosia plumosa plants was very creative and you did a great job in explaining your rationale. Excellent work with your data analysis and interpreting your statistics. Great job!

  3. Good job! It would be very interesting to see how other plants perform in these mixtures or other ones, and how the growth may differ during a warmer season as you mentioned.

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