Effect of Foliar Application of Silica and Calcium Nitrate on Cracking, Quantitative and Qualitative Characteristics of Pomegranate Fruit

Document Type : Full Paper


1 Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Ilam University, Ilam, Iran

2 Department of Horticultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ilam University, Ilam, Iran

3 Department of Plant Production and Genetic (Biotechnology), Faculty of Agriculture, Jahrom University, Jahrom, Iran

4 Department of Water and Soil Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Ilam University, Ilam, Iran


Fruit cracking and sunburn are two major disorders that can negatively impact pomegranate production. To address these problems, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the combined effects of silica (0, 100, 300, and 500 ppm) and calcium nitrate (0, 0.75%, and 1.5%) spraying on the fruit of pomegranate cv. ‘Malase-Saveh’. The treatments were applied three times during the growing season and a factorial experiment was conducted based on the completely randomized block design. The results indicate that most of the qualitative and quantitative traits were influenced by foliar spraying of these substances. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that foliar application of silica, calcium nitrate, and their interaction significantly affected the fruit cracking. The results indicate that the lowest fruit cracking (1.06%) was obtained by spraying 500 ppm silica and 1.5% calcium nitrate, while the highest fruit cracking (21.6%) was recorded from untreated plants. The highest fruit weight (215.4 g) was observed in the treatment of 1.5% calcium nitrate. Most of the treatments had a positive effect on fruit weight and increased it compared to the control. Moreover, the treatments improved some qualitative characteristics such as increase in fruit acidity and decrease in sunburn disorder. Overall, the results indicated that combined spraying of silica with calcium or potassium is more effective than their individual use and results in the highest fruit yield and quality, as well as the lowest cracking and sunburn disorders. These findings suggest there are synergistic effects between these compounds.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 13 December 2023
  • Receive Date: 15 July 2023
  • Revise Date: 02 September 2023
  • Accept Date: 17 September 2023