Protected ornamentals

Two Strategic Centres feature heavily in the AHDB work programme for protected ornamentals.

The Bedding and Pot Plant Centre is home to a range of specific projects examining new plant growth regulators for bedding plants and poinsettias, screening fungicides new to the sector for potential phytotoxicity, evaluating new varieties of poinsettias and scheduling herbaceous species for early season production. Work at the Cut Flower Centre has focused on evaluating new plant species as seasonal cut flowers, Fusarium and downy mildew control in column stocks and fungicide phytotoxicity screening. Work to maintain crop protection solutions is also important via the SCEPTREplus programme which has provided the information to generate over 15 EAMUs for protected ornamental crops since 2018, while the AMBER project has led to a better understanding of biopesticides and how to use them.

Specific projects have tried to resolve the cause of pansy mottle syndrome, understand the genetics of Fusarium and disease development, examine alternative growing media use with a range of bedding, pot plant and cut flower crops, address energy management concerns via GrowSave, optimise the nutrition of bedding and pot plant crops and outline the various options for automation and labour efficiency improvements on nurseries.

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