Hort 310 Greenhouse Crop Physiology

Jim Faust, Ph.D
Office: 169 Poole Ag. Center
Phone: 864-656-4966
FAX: 864-656-4960
E-mail: jfaust@clemson.edu

Course Description:
HORT 310 will focus on the commercial production of flowering plants in greenhouses, including manipulation of vegetative growth and flowering, nutritional management, integrated pest management, scheduling and cost analysis.

Course Objectives and Policies

Course Objectives:
This course is designed to introduce the physiology and the greenhouse production of floriculture crops through hands-on experience in the class and lab sessions.  Students will have the opportunity to work on projects that will allow them to develop their writing and oral communication skills.
Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

  • Walk into any commercial greenhouse and have a meaningful and insightful discussion of greenhouse crop production with the owner/grower.
  • Understand the factors involved in the manipulation of flowering plants.
  • Develop the protocol and cost analysis for producing any floricultural crop.
  • Summarize the most important points contained within a particular lecture topic or written article and coherently communicate those points through writing and oral presentations.

Required Text:
Floriculture: Principles and Species. John M. Dole and Harold F. Wilkins. Prentice Hall.

Recommended Book: Ball Culture Guide (3rd Ed.). Jim Nau. Ball Publishing.

Attendance and Class Policy: Punctual attendance and participation are expected for all class meetings.

Lab Maintenance: Students are expected to maintain the appearance of the lab.
Grading Policy:

Written Exams (Written tests will include lab and lecture material.)

Test I
Test II 10%
Test III

Writing Assignments: Eight one-page reports: 30%

Lab: Bi-Weekly Crop Grades: 20%

Term Project Presentation: 15%

Grading Scale:
A = 90%+
B = 80 to 89.9%
C = 70 to 79.9%
D = 60 to 69.9%
F = <60%
(Grades will not be placed on a curve.)

Term Projects

Groups of three will work together to develop a presentation on a specific  topic of interest to the floriculture industry.  The group will decide on their topic with approval from the facilitator.  The expectations are that students:

  • Will develop a very thorough understanding of their topic,
  • Will cooperatively work with their group,
  • Will carry their fair share of the group’s work load,
  • Will be able to think critically and creatively about their subject matter,
  • Will be able to clearly present the information that they learned to the other students in the class during their term project presentations,
  • Will be able to any questions about their project in front of the class.

The presentation will be given near the end of the semester.  Each group will have ~20 minutes for the presentation and ~10 minutes to answer questions. The class will have the opportunity to review and discuss each group’s performance and suggest grades.

Written Reports

First draft of a one-page summary report covering the material presented in the preceding three lectures due on the indicated dates.  Also, one proposed test question and answer will be provided on a second page.  For example, the first one is due on Jan. 24, the second on Feb. 2, and so on.  In total, seven reports are due in addition to an impact report following the field trip. The first draft is passed on to a colleague for editorial review.  The reviewer will return the review to the author during the next class, at which time the reviewer will have an opportunity to constructively explain corrections. The author will incorporate the changes and turn in the final draft at the beginning of the following lecture:


The primary purpose of the laboratory section is to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to grow plants in situation that resembles commercial production.

The class will be responsible for producing the plants for the annuals trial garden.  Students will work in teams of three.  These teams will each receive a group of ~20 varieties from an assortment of annual bedding plant species.  The groups will determine the proper schedule for their species/varieties and will be responsible for germinating their seeds in growth chambers. Once germination occurs, plugs will be moved to the campus greenhouse.  Once the plugs are transplanted to Greenhouse 7 at the Botanic Garden, a different group of students will be responsible for care of the entire greenhouse of plants each week. The groups will also be responsible for sharing their knowledge concerning the species that they had responsibility for to their classmates via informal oral presentations.  Students will be graded on the quality of their plugs, their oral presentation and for the quality of the plants in the greenhouse during the week(s) that they were responsible.

A crop log book will be kept by each student.  Throughout the semester, students will also have the opportunity to grow some perennials, vegetatively-propagated annuals, flowering bulbs and holiday crops.


The university policy on academic dishonesty is outlined in the student handbook.  Please read this section and know that academic dishonesty will result in an "F" in this course.