About this Program
The Ornamental Horticulture Program was started in 1977 to address the disease, insect, and weed management tool and plant growth regulator needs of growers. Over time this program expanded to cover not only ornamental horticulture plants grown in greenhouses and nurseries, but landscape plantings, Christmas tree farms, sod farms and interiorscapes.
Research activities start with growers or landscape care professionals or with researchers or extension agents identifying a need – an area where current management tools are not registered, such as for a newly introduced pest or for crops where little phytotoxicity information is available. Research has been sponsored on most active ingredients registered for ornamental horticulture since 1977.
Over the program's history, the primary focus has been generating crop safety information and adding new crops to labels. This changed during the 2003 Annual Workshop where attendees established high priority projects to focus the research efforts on key issues in each discipline. At that workshop attendees selected Phytophthora Efficacy, Scale & Mealybug Efficacy, and Herbaceous Perennial Tolerance to Select Herbicides. Since then, the Ornamental Horticulture Program has remained focused on generating efficacy data for high priority projects for disease and pest problems. Several of these high priority projects include Downy Mildew Efficacy, Bacterial Disease Efficacy, Armored Scale Efficacy and Thrips Efficacy. For weeds, the Program's core research remains developing crop safety to broaden herbicide plant lists, but in 2007 research into pre and post emergent sedge efficacy was conducts and during 2008 and 2009 the program sponsored research on early post emergent efficacy for bittercress, oxalis and spurge. Please see the Summaries of these research projects.