Past Floriculture Research Projects 


Flowering Physiology of New Greenhouse Crops

Photosynthetic daily light integral (DLI) is an important variable closely related to growth and quality of greenhouse grown crops. DLI can be a limiting factor for greenhouse production especially during winter and early spring, when most floriculture crops are propagated.  Outdoors, it can range from 5 to 10 mol.m-2.d-1 in the northern part in the United States (U.S.). These values can be reduced by 50% or more by shading from greenhouse glazing, structures, obstructions, and hanging baskets resulting in DLI as low as 1 to 5 mol.m-2.d-1 or even lower during extended periods of cloudy weather; which can delay rooting and reduce quality. Tecoma stans (yellow trumpet bush) is a potential new floriculture crop for greenhouse growers in the northern U.S. It produces funnel-shaped, bright yellow flowers that compliment the glossy green pinnate leaves. We are quantifying how the mean DLI during propagation and finishing influences morphological plasticity, rooting, growth, development, and quality of Tecoma stans. [Funding Provided by the Purdue Agriculture Research Programs Assistantship (ARP)]



Cold Finishing Poinsettias

The potted holiday poinsettia is a high-input, floriculture crop that is produced in greenhouses throughout the U.S. from July to December.  The economic sustainability of poinsettia growers is increasingly threatened as the cost to heat greenhouses has increased by over 90% in the last 10 years.  This research will generate information enabling greenhouse growers across the U.S. to optimize the use of poinsettia cold finishing to consume less energy and produce a poinsettia crop with the fewest possible inputs, leading to increased profitability and sustainability.  Based on our data, poinsettia producers across the U.S. could save between 25 to 50% growing their poinsettia crop more efficiently by consuming less energy for heating. [Funding Provided by the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, the American Floral Endowment (AFE), Ecke, Syngenta Flowers, Dummen, and Selecta]