Full Length Research Paper
Osyris lanceolata (African Sandalwood) is endangered in the wild due to poor natural regeneration and over-exploitation for the highly valued sandalwood oil. The domestication of O. lanceolata is hampered by erratic and unreliable supply of seeds. A study on the rooting of O. lanceolata stem cuttings was conducted using a low-cost technology employed in commercial rooting stem cuttings of tea bushes (Camellia sinensis) in Kenya. Four locally available soils of different pH (3.81, 4.33, 5.46 and 6.03) were tested as rooting media at incubation time of 60, 90, 120 and 150 days under a polyethylene tunnel. The effect of rooting media pH and incubation time were significant for rooting (p< 0.001 and p< 0.001), number of roots (p< 0.001 and p< 0.001), length of the longest root (p< 0.001 and p< 0.001), height of the tallest shoot (p=0.004 and p< 0.001) and the number of shoots (p=0.002 and p<0.001). The best rooting achieved was 37% at incubation of 120 days in the rooting medium of pH 5.46. Further, the cuttings rooted in the rooting media of pH 5.41 and 6.03 were superior in all the parameters assessed.
Key words: African sandalwood, stem cuttings, rooting media pH, rooting, incubation time, polyethylene tunnel.
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