Experts: Disease-resistant plants enhance profits, client satisfaction

Dec 11, 2009
Nursery growers and ornamental plant breeders can appreciate strong incentives to identify, grow, and promote top-performing ornamental plants for sustainable urban landscape use. Credit: Photo courtesy of Bill Klingeman, The University of Tennessee

New varieties of plants marketed as "disease-resistant" or "insect-resistant" are becoming more accessible to consumers. Available through local garden centers and catalogues, these attractive ornamentals often come with guarantees that offer amateur gardeners the promise of lower maintenance or the need for fewer pesticides.

But how does this trend toward the increased use of disease- and insect-resistant plants impact the profits of landscape and lawn care professionals, whose incomes often rely on maintenance visits and pesticide applications in clients' gardens? To find what the experts think, William E. Klingeman from the University of Tennessee and colleagues at the University of Georgia surveyed lawn care and landscape maintenance professionals regarding the increased use of insect- and disease-resistant ornamental plants on grounds management, client satisfaction, and profitability. The report appeared in a recent issue of the journal HortScience.

Completed surveys were received from lawn care and landscape professionals in Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia. Data analyses revealed that respondents largely believe that insect- and disease-resistant plants will benefit their businesses and should result in increased client satisfaction. Less than 4% of respondents expressed concerns that their business would suffer if pest-resistant plants were made more available or used in greater numbers in clients' landscapes.

The professionals also indicated that they believe that 60% or more of the plants in a specific landscape would have to be resistant to or plant diseases to result in decreased company profits. Even if insect- and disease-resistant ornamental plants were used more widely in client landscapes, respondents expected that the required number of site visits to client landscapes would remain unchanged and that moderate reductions in insecticide and fungicide use would result. In short, the study proved that landscape management professionals accept and are willing to promote insect- and disease-resistant ornamental plants—good news for business and the environment.

Benefits to the survey findings, noted Klingeman, include "strong academic and commercial incentives to identify, grow, and promote insect- and disease-resistant ornamental plants for increased use within sustainable urban landscapes."

More information: The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: hortsci.ashspublications.org/c… t/abstract/44/6/1608

Source: American Society for Horticultural Science

Explore further: 'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Who influences purchases of native plants?

Mar 25, 2009

Native plants are a growing niche market in the southeastern United States. Researchers have documented recent trends toward increased interest in native plants by landscape architects, wholesale and retail ...

Georgia goes bananas

Feb 26, 2009

Bananas, known most often as a healthy, convenient food, are also popular ornamental plants in the southern United States. Banana plants are highly prized by many as one of the most beautiful ornamentals used ...

Does hotter mean healthier?

Feb 03, 2009

Phytophthora blight, caused by Phytophthora capsici, is a major plant disease that affects many crop species worldwide, including chile peppers in New Mexico. Farmers' observations suggested that Phytophthora capsici c ...

Recommended for you

'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

10 hours ago

Nepal's success in turning tiger-fearing villagers into their protectors has seen none of the endangered cats killed for almost three years, offering key lessons for an anti-poaching summit opening in Kathmandu ...

GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

Jan 31, 2015

A British company's plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

Jan 30, 2015

In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the we ...

Researchers develop new potato cultivar

Jan 30, 2015

Dakota Ruby is the name of a new potato cultivar developed by the NDSU potato breeding project and released by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Dakota Ruby has bright red skin, stores well and is intended ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.