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Growth Performance of Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) as Influenced by Clonal Propagation Methods and Growing Media

Eric Randy R. Politud

The study was conducted to evaluate the growth performance of Stevia as influenced by clonal propagation methods and growing media at the Nursery House of the City Agriculture Office, Casisang, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines from September 2015 to November 2015. The study was carried- out in a 3 x 5 factorial arrangement in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with three replicates with cutting methods (shoot tip cuttings, nodal cuttings and wedge stem cuttings) as Factor A and growing media (pure garden soil, 1?2 garden soil + 1?2 vermicast, pure vermicast, 1?2 garden soil + 1?2 sand, and 1/3 garden soil + 1/3 sand + 1/3 vermicast) as Factor B. Results revealed that shoot tip cuttings in combination with 1/3 garden soil + 1/3 sand + 1/3 vermicast in plastic cups two months after planting significantly produced the tallest plants (13.72 cm), highest survival rates (96% for Factor A and 97.33% for Factor B), least incidence of leaf curling and leaf dark spot (both 1.22 ratings for Factor B), and most number of leaves (26.67) and branches (3.25). However, the combination of nodal cuttings and pure garden soil showed very poor growth performance in all parameters evaluated. Thus, propagating Stevia using shoot tip cuttings with 1/3 garden soil + 1/3 sand + 1/3 vermicast media mixture using plastic cups for two months showed the best growth performance, hence, recommended for mass propagation and herbage production.

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