Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Environmental Horticultural Science


Horticulture and Crop Science


David Hannings


ABSTRACT EFFECTS OF RECYCLED WATER ON LANDSCAPE PLANTS Casey Ray Miranda Recycled water is water that has been previously used, has suffered a loss of quality, and has been properly treated for redistribution (Wu et al. 2001). The use of recycled water as an alternative to fresh water in the landscape can have positive and negative effects. Experimentation on 40 different plant species during a 32 week period (2 phases of 16 weeks), was conducted to analyze the effects of recycled water irrigation on the appearance of landscape plants. Each species of plant was planted into 10 individual number 2 pots and irrigated with recycled water daily. Media and water were tested for nutrients and other constituents. In phase I there were four different species of grasses and grass-like plants, five different perennials, five species of shrubs, and four annuals tested; while phase II tested four species of herbaceous perennials, eight different species of shrubs, six species of groundcovers, and four species of annuals. All tests were conducted at the Paso Robles Waste Water Treatment Plant. Of the grasses and grass like species Yucca spp. and Buchloe spp. performed best. Osteospermum fruticosum, Lavandula angustifolia, Rosmarinus officinalis, Phormium tenax, and Pennisetum setaceum had the best appearance of the herbaceous perennials tested. For the shrubs, Coprosma repens, Cistus purpureus, Dodonea viscosa, Eleagnus pungens, Baccharis pilularis, Ceanothus thysiflorus, Thuja orientalis, and Nerium oleander had the best appearance when irrigated with recycled water. The best annuals were Senecio cineraria, Antirrhinum majus, Primula spp., Viola spp., and Calendula officinalis. Of the groundcovers Heuchera spp., Lonicera japonica, Vinca major, Hedera helix, and Ceanothus griseus had the best results. From the experiment a list of tolerant and non-tolerant plants was compiled (Appendices 1 and 2). While many plants were capable of developing and growing normally, other plants were sensitive to recycled water irrigation. In order to prevent salt damage to plants and expand the use of recycled water, salt tolerance of landscape plant material must be identified (Niu, 2006).