Growth and Yield Responses of two Accessions of Bitter Leaf to Stem Pruning
Keywords:Bitter leaf, Growth, Pruning, Shoot, Yield
A two season (rainy and dry seasons) experiment was conducted to determine the effects of stem pruning on growth and leaf yield of two accessions of bitter leaf in 2021 and 2022 cropping seasons. The experiment was carried out at the Demonstration Farm of the Department of Crop Science and Horticulture, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. The two accessions (Nimo and Nnewi) received four levels of stem pruning which were no pruning, pruning to 1, 2 and 3 stems. The experiment was laid out as a 2 x 4 factorial in randomized complete block design (RCBD) and replicated three times. The result indicated that stem pruning had significant (P<0.05) effect on the growth and leaf yield of bitter leaf. The tallest plants, highest number of leaves, widest stems, highest leaf fresh and dry weight were observed in plants that were pruned to 3 stems while unpruned plants significantly (P<0.05) produced the lowest mean values for both growth and leaf yield. Growth and leaf yield did not show significance among the accession though results showed that Nimo accession produced higher number of leaves, tallest plant and highest fresh leaf yield in the two seasons. Combined effect of stem pruning and accessions showed that pruning Nimo accession to 3 stems produced most vigorous plants and highest leaf yield. Considering the results obtained, stem pruning of bitter leaf, especially Nimo accession, to 3 stems was recommended for farmers in Awka since it recorded most vigorous plants and highest leaf yield.