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Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas

Print version ISSN 2007-0934

Rev. Mex. Cienc. Agríc vol.10 spe 22 Texcoco Mar./Apr. 2019 


Effect of orientation and container shape on the growth and development of chile ancho pepper cultivated in greenhouse

Adrián Gómez-González1 

José Guadalupe Reyes-Contreras2 

Eduviges Javier García-Herrera1 

José Pimentel-López1 

Héctor Silos-Espino2  § 

1Programa de Innovación en el Manejo de Recursos Naturales-Colegio de Postgraduados-Campus San Luis Potosí. Iturbide 73, Salinas de Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, México. CP. 78600. (;;

2Instituto Tecnológico El Llano Aguascalientes. Carretera Aguascalientes-San Luis Potosí km 18, El Llano, Aguascalientes, México. CP. 20330.


In this work the effect of solar radiation on greenhouse environmental conditions and effect on the substrate placed in containers vertically and horizontally for chile ancho pepper cultivation was analyzed. It was found that during the months of August 26 to October 17, there is a solar radiation between 246.91 (9:00 h) to 642 (12:00 h) W m-2. The above, induced inside the greenhouse a differential CO2 content at 9:00 h (853 ppm). In growth and yield of the chili plant, the plants cultivated in horizontal containers stood out the height (98.88 cm) and in dry weight (34.08 g) per plant. Horizontal containers showed a greater correlation between root and volume fresh weight variables of 99%, while the lowest was between leaf area and yield. Therefore, we conclude that in greenhouse chili cultivation it is recommended to use horizontal containers facing south to make efficient their yield by at least 25%.

Keywords: Capsicum annuum L.; chile ancho pepper; greenhouse; temperature; tezontle


In Mexico there is a great diversity of the Capsicum genus, which are characterized by living in different climatic conditions, its production is the most important horticultural activity in Mexico and all types of chilli cultivated in the country (with the exception of habanero pepper and manzano chilli), belong to the species Capsicum annuum, the most important commercial species in the world. For optimal cultivation, favorable environmental conditions are required, one of which is temperature, which influences its growth, its fertility, and even the dimensions of the fruit. Rodríguez et al. (2005) mentions that the pepper or chilli, requires an optimum temperature of germination that goes from 25 to 30 ºC. During the day between 14-25 ºC and at night of 20-21 ºC, causing a good vegetative growth in the first stages of growth.

After the transplant the roots will only develop well if the soil temperature is 22 to 24 ºC. For good growth, a daytime air temperature equal to or greater than 28-30 ºC is required. While for fructification it is approximately 15 ºC, causing a minimum biological temperature close to 11 ºC. The temperature was of previously mentioned ranges generate irreversible damages (stunted growth, fall of fruits and young flowers and necrosis of the leaves). A temperature above (35 ºC) can damage the development of the flowers, the fruit set and the later development of the fruits, especially when the plants are old.

According to Cooper (1973); Cornillon and Obeid (1993); Gómez (2003) mentions that the optimum temperatures to create a good balance between vegetative growth and fruiting are between 22-23 °C per day and 18-19 °C at night, the temperature of the soil must range between 15 and 20 °C (Rodríguez et al., 2005). When grown under greenhouse conditions, another factor to consider is the substrate which, one of the most used is the tezontle and according to Baca et al. (1991), is a material considered as inert from the chemical point of view, whose saturation extract has a pH close to neutrality, its cation exchange capacity is very low, has good aeration, moisture retention that varies with the diameter of the particles, is generally free of toxic substances and has good physical stability (Bastida, 1999).

The classification of the growth rates and the concentrations of nutrients in the leaves are the same as the classifications in the average temperatures of the root zone; that is, day and night (Gómez et al., 2003) the temperatures in the substrates sand and tezontle show a behavior of increase of the temperature from 11:00 to 15:00 h with a value up to 53 °C, affecting the temperatures of the root and therefore the total chile ancho pepper yield, especially in the months with the highest temperature. Therefore, interest has grown in comparing different systems and substrates for the production of chile ancho pepper in greenhouse, in terms of yield and optimization in the use of water and nutrients (Inden and Torres, 2004).

In this work, the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of the black tezontle substrate in relation to the orientation and direction of the greenhouse in the development of root, plant and chile ancho pepper yield in black polyethylene containers, in vertical and horizontal position is evaluated.

Materials and methods

Greenhouse conditions

The research was carried out in a greenhouse of the Campus-SLP, of the Postgraduate School in Salinas de Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí. With a surface of 120 m2 chapel type, metallic with a glass covering, zenithal vents and side windows, with orientation of the Northeast greenhouse, to the Southwest. At coordinates 22° 35” north latitude and 101° 45” west longitude, at an average altitude of 2 200 m (Flores, 1985).


The climate belongs to the BS1KW class corresponding to the least dry of the dry ones (BS1), average rainfall from May to October of 300 to 400 mm, according to the DGTN cartography (cited by Flores, 1985), this time is where it occurs from 82.75 to 84.88% of the annual total. The rainiest month is September and follow in decreasing order June, July, August, May and October. The warmest month is May and the coldest January (climate office Detenal, cited by Fortanelli, 1981).

Sowing and planting chili

For the preparation of the seedling, the variety pepper ‘Ancho Magno’ (HYB, Caloro Seeds) was used, which was germinated in peat moss substrate in trays of unicel (May 15, 2011) seedling height is 10 to 15 cm. These were placed in a substrate of black tezontle with particles of 0.3 to 0.7 cm from the region of Cerritos of San Luis Potosí, the container consisted of black polyethylene bags or containers of a volume of 4 L and were placed vertically and horizontal. A total of 48 vertical containers and 48 horizontal containers were placed with 16 containers per line with a total of 96 containers, placing one plant for each container. During the cultivation, the plants were guided vertically by a thread (polypropylene raffia).

Irrigation and nutritive solution

The irrigation system consisted of drippers (2 l h), which were connected to a secondary hose of 16 mm and a spaghetti that ended in a bayonet which was fixed to the south side of each container. Additionally, control drippers were established in the line, placing a container with a dropper (at the end) to determine the total amount of water used, draining 25%, the input pH was measured and the CE that the solution had. It used the nutritive solution recommended by Hewit and Smith, modified by Gómez, (1995) which was administered in two concentrations according to the phenological stage of the crop, as indicated in Table 1.

Table 1 Nutritious solution applied to the cultivation of chile ancho pepper. 

Applied nutrition Nutritious solution (ppm)
Start of cultivation End of the crop
N 323 219
P 121 116
K 389 400
Na 4 4
Cl 0 0
S 41 53
Fe 1.44 1.44
Mn 0.9 0.9
Cu 0.12 0.12
Zn 0.1 0.1
Bo 3.91 3.91
Mn 0.05 0.05

Temperature sensors

Four sensors (two centimeters deep) were placed in the containers, located according to the cardinal points and were connected to a Dataloger, which recorded the behavior of temperature and relative humidity during the critical period of the crop.

Variables analyzed

For the data analysis, 20 repetitions (10 horizontal and 10 vertical) were randomly used, from the following variables to: plant height, was measured from the base of the stem to the tip of the furthest leaf using a metal tape measure three meters long. For the fresh/dry weight of the plant the plant was cut from the base of the stem, the fruits were harvested and the fresh weight of the plant was determined by placing it in a stove at a temperature of 60 °C until constant weight for its dehydration and by difference the weight was determined. For the foliar area, the leaves of the plants were cut to draw in contour of the paper sheet, the leaf was taken to a foliar area integrator and the square centimeters of each plant sampled were obtained.

Fruit yield

The harvest began in August until November, where it is more abundant and with representative size to market it, therefore, the fruits were cut and weighed (digital scale). To determine fresh and dry weight, the fruits were subjected to 55 °C in a greenhouse adapted by heat convection by means of solar energy.

Root behavior

At the root of each plant the fresh weight was determined by means of dehydration in the oven at 60 °C until constant weight and to determine the volume of the root, it was taken in a 500 ml test tube and placed 200 ml of water.

Analysis of data

Some data of the morphological variables were submitted to the Anova, using the Statistical Analysys System (SAS) program. Comparisons of means were also made; through, of the Tukey test, with the probability of error of 5%. In the end, all the variables were correlated.

Results and discussion

Solar radiation and effect in the greenhouse

The climate (Table 2) outside the greenhouse (during the experiment), prevailed a temperature of 20.90 to 37.96 °C, with a rainy period from June to September (average precipitation of 300 mm), a solar radiation between 246.91 (9:00 h) to 642 (12:00 h) W m-2. During cultivation, a greater presence of CO2 was observed at 9:00 h (853 ppm) inside the greenhouse and decreased as the hours of the day progressed, with the lowest concentration at 12:00 h. The above is possibly due to the moving air that is generated by the difference of a temperature effect Marier (2012) between the outside and inside of the greenhouse.

Table 2 Effect of solar radiation on the presence of CO2, accumulated time in s h-1 of irrigation and internal temperature of the greenhouse during chili cultivation. 

Solar radiation time of the day (W m-2) Presence of CO2 (ppm) Accumulated seconds per hour of irrigation Interior of the greenhouse (°C)

26-31 of August

06:00 0 977.6 47.67 21.66
09:00 246.91 1062.16 853.08 21.71
12:00 426.97 997.04 484.58 26.68
15:00 415.68 879.91 387.12 31.36
18:00 80.5 699.86 602.71 32.6
06:00 0.01 65.58 55.87 20.9

01-30 of September

09:00 311.6 64.09 503.52 21.71
12:00 642.75 40.48 246.3 28.53
15:00 401.24 38.19 409.85 32.33
18:00 52.8 37.67 457.4 33.06

01-17 of October

06:00 0 59.4 853.08 21.71
09:00 258.11 997.04 484.58 19.24
12:00 441.11 39.79 382.53 30.45
15:00 352.79 37.41 562.6 37.96
18:00 18.89 40.74 369.29 37.77

As the temperature, the resting time and the size of the plant increased, it also occurred in the accumulated time in seconds of irrigation during the crop, being the highest of up to 853.08 s (necessary for irrigation application). Regarding the temperature, at 3:00 pm, the highest temperature was reached, reaching 37.96 in the month of October, probably due to lack of rainfall compared to the month of August-September.

Temperature of the containers with respect to orientation

On the south side, the containers showed a difference in temperature starting at 11:00 in the morning when temperatures begin to be distant, and it is greater in vertical containers. The temperature for the vertical containers on the south face was 43 °C and the horizontal ones were 33 °C, the difference was 10 °C at the same time. Abbott and Gouth (1987); Spiers (1995), indicate that the growth of the root in the blueberry is controlled by the temperature of the soil, for this they mention that the radical system of the bilberry develops better when the temperatures of the ground are between 14 to 18 °C, which may be similar in the cultivation of chile ancho pepper. Considering five readings (starting at 6:00 and ending at 6:00 and ending at 6:00 pm), the containers showed differences in temperature (Table 3).

Table 3 Behavior of the temperature of the container placed vertically and horizontally applied to a chile ancho pepper crop under greenhouse conditions. 

Hour Temperature (°C) of the substrate in the vertical container Temperature (°C) of the substrate in the horizontal container
Side North South East West North South East West

26-31 of August

6:00 18.57 19.15 18.79 19.1 18.72 18.63 19.1 18.92
9:00 22.86 25.03 26.18 23.12 23.45 24.18 24.32 22.53
12:00 28.04 31.13 31.9 30.11 30.48 30.25 29.09 28.03
15:00 32.49 39.1 34.75 37.64 34.97 33.19 31.75 34.52
18:00 29.82 34.09 31.28 32.38 29.94 29.30 29.12 30.08

01-30 of September

6:00 17.43 20.26 17.64 18.02 17.89 17.25 17.87 17.91
9:00 23.31 29.11 29.11 23.82 23.42 25.79 25.05 22.55
12:00 33.39 45.32 40.27 35.48 35.28 41.74 37.7 33.15
15:00 35.4 42.19 37.68 43.6 34.55 42.25 34.67 38.7
18:00 31.8 34.49 32.77 36.96 30.49 31.42 29.71 31.54

01-17 of October

6:00 15.69 16.26 15.8 16.14 16.03 15.58 16.48 16.35
9:00 24.54 25.8 27.23 24.3 23.04 24.63 24.18 22.04
12:00 41.23 46.04 44.78 40.83 39.94 49.66 44.24 38.77
15:00 39.92 45.67 40.79 45.16 41.76 46.96 40.14 43.18
18:00 32.21 33.6 32.15 35.15 32.82 32.91 31.73 33.29

The side with respect to the south and east in both positions (vertical and horizontal) reach the highest temperature, projecting the horizontal container facing south with 49.66 °C at 12:00 h (followed by vertical containers in the same location with 46.04 °C). Averaging the temperatures during the day, the vertical containers to the south reached a higher average (34.27 °C), data almost similar to the horizontal containers to the south (33.94). The lowest average temperature during the day was presented by both containers facing north and east, with the vertical container being slightly lower, facing north (26.34 °C).

Morphological behavior of wide chili plants

In growth and yield of the chili plant (Table 4), the plants cultivated in horizontal containers stood out the plant height (98.88 cm) in dry weight of the plant (34.08 g plant), which represented an additional 24% to the containers vertical in the foliar area with almost double (2 958 cm2), in number of fruits (30% additional) and obviously in yield with an additional 15%. Lorenzo (2000), mentions that when we use plastic container, the temperatures of the radical environment, affects the metabolism and affects the growth and development of the crops, since different processes intervene (cell division expansion, carbon assimilation, respiration, distribution of assimilated) and each one of them has a certain optimal temperature interval, according to species, phenological phase and previous growth conditions. In tomato plants with staircase arrangement (scalariform containers) blunted to three clusters yielded significantly more per unit area, compared to tomato plants in commercial arrangement also to three clusters, which accommodating the containers in the greenhouse it is very important for any crop (Bastida, 2012).

Table 4 Morphological variables and yield of chili plants, grown in vertical and horizontal containers. 

Position Height (cm) Dry weight of plant (g) Leaf area (cm2) No. of fruits Total dry weight of fruits (g plant-1) Total yield (g plant-1)
Vertical 91.56 25.71 1 776 21 58.3 492.3
Horizontal 98.88 34.08 2 958 32.7 85.5 659.9
CV 12.47 38.31 45.31 26.6 13.1 18.4
Sig. 0.03 0.001 0.0001 0.006 0.001 0.0075

The horizontal containers showed a greater correlation between the variables of fresh root weight and volume of 99% (Table 5). The lowest correlation was found between foliar area and yield, it is shown that the chili plants, even having more leaves, is not a guarantee that they produce more fruit. The vertical containers, in general, showed less correlation between their variables, possibly due to the temperature in the container. The above, coincides with López et al. (2000) to demonstrate high temperatures in Spain in greenhouse for crops without soil, due to its low thermal inertia, the temperature in the root zone is close to the air temperature, can in cold periods, limit the development of crops.

Table 5 Correlations of the variables of the vertical and horizontal containers. 

Characteristics Plant height Leaf area Root fresh weight Root dry weight Root volume Yield

Horizontal container

Plant height - 0.93 0.95 0.95 0.95 0.85
Leaf area 0.9 - 0.9 0.91 0.91 0.68
Root fresh weight 0.83 0.73 - 0.98 0.99 0.92
Root dry weight 0.86 0.81 0.91 - 0.98 0.96
Root volume 0.89 0.79 0.93 0.91 - 0.92
Yield 0.85 0.68 0.92 0.96 0.92 -

Vertical container


The investigation was carried out in a greenhouse with northeast orientation, to the southwest. The coordinates 22° 35” north latitude and 101° 45” west longitude, at an average altitude of 2 200 meters above sea level. The orientation of the greenhouse and the type of container it influences the best development of plant height, leaf area, fresh and dry root weight, root volume and yield. Being the horizontal container facing south, the one that excelled in performance.

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Received: February 2019; Accepted: April 2019

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