Grip on light in the potted plants anthurium and bromeliads

Published on
March 12, 2014

Filip van Noort, Wanne Kromwijk, Jan Snel, Mary Warmenhoven, Esther Meinen, Tao Li, Frank Kempkes and Leo Marcelis

Diffuse light is beneficial for plant growth. Furthermore, in greenhouses with pot plants more light can be allowed if the light is diffuse. When combined with the Next Generation Cultivation (‘Het Nieuwe Telen’) new possibilities arise to improve production and to save energy. Experiments were conducted with two Anthurium cultivars and two Bromeliads. The light was made diffuse by a diffuse screen, diffuse glass or by growing the plants in the Daylight greenhouse. Air humidity was always maintained at high levels. In the summer half year the growth of all crops increased substantially by allowing more diffuse light; leaf damage never occurred. The anthurium plants were marketable within 16 weeks, whereas normally this takes 22 weeks; the plants were also 25% larger. Applying light integration and decreasing the set-point for heating saved 25% energy. To avoid the risk of leaf damage due to too much light, methods for plant monitoring were improved. The Plantivity sensor was improved such that the sensor can measure for one week on the same leaf instead of changing the leaf every 2-3 days. Furthermore, the sensor can now be used to measure potential photosynthesis which allows a better estimate of the efficiency of photosynthesis.

Financers are the PT, Ministry of Economic Affairs and 'Kas als Energiebron'. Also BiosolarCells, Guardian and Ludvig Svensson co-financed this project.