Contribution of thermal imaging to fertigation in soilless culture

Isidro Morales, Juan E. Álvaro, Miguel Urrestarazu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Thermography is a tool used in many scientific disciplines, including agriculture. This paper describes the application of thermography as a rapid diagnostic method of adequate watering. Two experiments were conducted. In experiment 1, Philodendron erubescens and Anthurium andraeum were transplanted to pots in a greenhouse in Almeria (Spain). The vegetative growth parameters of these plants were measured. In experiment 2, two areas of vegetative cover were established on green walls: one with a combination of aromatic plants and another with ornamental indoor plants. The thermographic images were recorded using a compact infrared camera, which had a spectral infrared range of 7.3-13 μm, microbolometer of 320 × 240 pixels, and the resolution was 0.01 °C at 30 °C. Three irrigation treatments were applied in both experiments, consisting of a control treatment (CT), a deficit irrigation [1/3 less volume, deficient irrigation (DI)] treatment, and an excess irrigation [1/3 greater volume, excess irrigation (EI)] treatment. In both experiments, the sample temperatures were recorded by thermography for each irrigation treatment. In experiment 1, the vegetative growth parameters were greater under CT than under DI or EI. The data of the reference thermographs over the leaves of the potted plants were significantly correlated with the superior growth parameters under the optimal irrigation treatment. A continuous vegetative canopy was formed on both of the green walls in experiment 2, and the average temperatures were correlated with the irrigation treatments in this experiment. The temperatures reflected in the reference thermographs allowed for the determination of the most appropriate irrigation treatment. These results suggest that thermography can be a useful method to provide an early diagnosis of water stress in potted plants and green walls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1039
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Fertigation
  • Green wall
  • Non-invasive monitoring
  • Sensor techniques
  • Thermography
  • Thermometry


Dive into the research topics of 'Contribution of thermal imaging to fertigation in soilless culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this