Effect of Different Concentrations of Irrigation Water Salinity and Potassium Humate on Vegetative Growth and Mineral Content of Prickly Pear Plants (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) (1)

Document Type : Original Article


1 plant production department - ecology & Dry lands agriculture Division - desert research center

2 plant production department - ecology & Dry plants agriculture Division - desert research center


This study was conducted during two consecutive seasons of 2020 and 2021 on an orchard of prickly pear located at the Alumni villages area “Cairo-Alexandria desert”, Egypt. The effects of water salinity levels (control (orchard irrigation water), 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 ppm), potassium humate (0, 50 and 100 g/tree /year) and their interactions on vegetative growth and cladodes minerals content of El-Shamia cactus pear plants were studied. Application with salinity levels and potassium humate as well as their interaction showed that, control (orchard irrigation water) with 100g potassium humate rate improved plant height, plant canopy volume, number of cladodes per plant, cladode area, cladodes relative turgidity, cladodes succulence grade, cladodes water potential, chlorophylls a and b, total chlorophyll, carotenoids, cladodes total carbohydrates content, and content of N, P, Mg, Fe, Mn and Zn of cladodes. On the other hand, reduced cladodes osmotic pressure, hard cladodes character, cladodes total sugars content, cladodes proline content, as well as Ca, Na and Cl contents. Thus, this treatment was proved to be the most efficient in enhancing growth and minerals content of cladodes of El-shamia cactus pear plants.