The potential of tithonia diversifolia as a foliar fertilizer for amaranthus cruentus yield and growth enhancement
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The study was conducted to determine the potential of Tithonia diversifolia as a foliar fertilizer using red Amaranthus as an experimental plant. The fertilizer was a mixture of water with sunflower leaves and stems as treatments with three replications then the positive and negative treatments. The different treatments were applied to the red Amaranthus twice a day for a period of four weeks including positive and negative treatments. The number of leaves were counted, the leaf width of the plants were measured as well as weight of the Amaranthus after the six weeks of the study. Treatment means of leaf number, stem height and the weight were compared using the paired t-tests and the overall data analysis was conducted using the t-tests and the one-way ANOVA. Treatments 2 and 3 showed no significant difference between the positive control treatments. This shows a comparable potential of Tithonia diversifolia as foliar fertilizer that can be tested in other crops. Results indicate that wild sunflower plant leaves, stems and both combined water extracts can be used as alternative source of organic foliar fertilizer to increase yield of leafy vegetables like Amaranthus. This research should be carried on and tried out onto other plants not only red Amaranthus so that we get a long term solution to the inorganic fertilizers that are in existent. Dilutions of the extracts should be standardized in order to have the best yields and maximum growth of the vegetables. There is need to seek out more other related organic fertilizers in our community for the benefit of plant health and food security.