Task 5 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Genhua Niu
- Evaluate drought tolerance of selected landscape plants. Plant lists categorizing drought tolerance should be based on research data, instead of empirical observations. Relative drought tolerance of selected plants will be evaluated by growing the plants under various soil moistures. Relationship between plant performance and soil moistures and environmental conditions will be examined. Knowledge on drought tolerance of landscape plants will help home owners, nursery and landscape professionals use appropriate plants to conserve and reduce water use. Partners for this project are UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Garden and Mountain State Wholesale Nursery.
- Determine minimum water requirement of landscape plants. Drought tolerant plants may consume a lot of water under non-limiting conditions. The minimum water use to maintain healthy appearance rather than optimal water requirement to maximize plant growth needs to be determined for landscape plants. Substantial amount of water can be conserved by irrigating plants based on minimum water use instead of optimal water requirement. Partners for this project are UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Garden and Mountain State Wholesale Nursery.
- Information Transfer Activities and Publications. Results will be published through TWRI technical reports and peer reviewed journals, and discussed with local and regional stakeholders for outreach. Oral or poster presentations will be delivered at professional and regional meetings. Appropriate fact sheets/guidelines will be prepared for extension personnel on drought tolerance of tested plant species and their irrigation recommendations.