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A measurement with the Scholander chamber means that the plant provides direct information about its water status.

This measuring technique goes back to work of P.F. Scholander in 1965. The manufacturer of our devices was founded as the world's first commercial manufacturer of Scholander chambers back in 1967 by two of his students. Due to this long experience, our devices offer unmatched safety and a well thought-out, very user-friendly handling.


The plant itself, not the soil, provides information about its water status, and thus decides whether irrigation is necessary. With the help of measured values from a Scholander chamber, well-founded conclusions can be drawn about the water availability in the entire root zone of the plant.

How it works

When measuring with a Scholander chamber, the leaf water potential (or the tension of the xylem sap in a plant) is determined directly by cutting a leaf before sunrise and enclosing it airtight in the pressure chamber. Only the cut end of the petiole protrudes slightly from the chamber. The leaf is then pressurized in a slowly increasing manner. As soon as water begins to show at the cut end, equilibrium is reached, i.e. the pressure in the chamber corresponds to the tension under which the water flow of this leaf was at the plant before the cut. At the same time, this value corresponds to the water potential in the entire root zone of the plant.

Another method is the measurement of the so-called stem water potential. Here, the leaf to be measured is enclosed airtight in a mirrored plastic bag before measurement. Since no gas exchange is possible due to the plastic bag, the equilibrium between the leaf water potential of this leaf and the stem water potential of this plant is established after a certain period of time and can be measured. The big advantage of this approach is that the measurement does not have to be done before sunrise, but can be done during the day.

Typical applications

Scholander chambers are most commonly used in viticulture and fruit trees, as well as in research and in the development of drought-resistant varieties. Also, herbaceous plants and grasses can be measured in this way.

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Scholander Chamber Model PMS
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mobile instrument with integrated Air Pump

Scholander Chamber Model M-600
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Handy and light for pressure up to 40 bar

Scholander Chamber Model M-615
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portable, boxed, Pressure Tank integrated

Scholander Chamber Model M-1000
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pressure up to 70 bar

Scholander Chamber Model M-1505D
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Pressure up to 100 bar with digital display

Scholander Chamber Model M-1515D
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Pressure up to 100 bar, pressure Tank integrated

Scholander Chamber Model M-1505D-EXP
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M 1505D & Cavitation Chamber Combo unit

Stem Water Potential Bags SKB (10 pcs)
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for measuring the stem water potential