Salvia chamelaeagnea (Lamiaceae) is a slow growing water‐wise evergreen shrub originating from the western province of South Africa. It is an attractive landscape, and S. chamelaeagnea is a medicinal plant. It is important to develop enhanced cultivation protocols that could result in high yield and high‐quality medicinal materials. Chlorophyll is a fundamental part of the light‐dependent reactions of the photosynthesis process. This chapter investigates the effects of four phosphorus concentrations and three pH levels of supplied irrigated water on the production of chlorophyll A, chlorophyll B, total chlorophyll, leaf colour and the nutrient uptake of S. chamelaeagnea grown in hydroponics over an 8‐week period at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The treatments of pH 4, pH 6 and pH 8 at 31, 90, 150 and 210 ppm of phosphorus were received by 12 groups of plants and were replicated 10 times. The results indicated that at pH 4, P fertilization significantly (P < 0.05) induced a higher chlorophyll production of S. chamelaeagnea grown in hydroponics compared to other pH treatments (pH 8 and pH 6).
Part of the book: Chlorophyll
High global demand for plant-derived medicines is threatening the existence of many wild indigenous plant species. However, the high demand of medicinal plants has also created huge business opportunities in commercial farming of medicinal plants. Large-scale production of secondary metabolites by plants and medicinal materials will be crucial in the medicinal plant industry. As commercial cultivation of medicinal plants gains traction among farmers, N fertilizers will be increasingly used to enhance plant growth and yield. Therefore, the implementation of better nitrogen use efficiency is critically important. Excessive use of N can lead to many problems; it is costly, it can cause environmental pollution and its high levels in plant tissues can be toxic to plants, herbivores and humans. This chapter discusses the potential risks, opportunities and setbacks associated with the use of N in cultivation of medicinal plants.
Part of the book: Nitrogen in Agriculture