Temperature research helps floriculture industry thrive

By Peter Kent

Timing is everything in the ornamental horticulture industry. Plants need to arrive healthy and ready to go, either for sale to consumers or for planting by commercial nurseries. Clemson floriculture physiologist Jim Faust works in both areas to help growers keep plants at their peak.Researcher studying poinsettias

An internationally recognized expert, Faust recently published research that will help poinsettia growers determine how cool they can keep their greenhouses so that the plants look their best during the winter holidays. Research that helps them slow down or speed up plant development can ensure top quality poinsettias when people want them and can save fuel costs.

Faust is also working with packaging scientist Scott Whiteside to develop a package so young starter plants can be shipped by boat from Central America to U.S. growers. Currently, cuttings are flown in, which is expensive. Their research seeks to configure ice packs in insulated cartons to protect the tender plants for the longer trip by boat and significantly reduce shipping costs.

For information: Jim Faust, 864-656-4966, jfaust@clemson.edu