News and Announcements

Winning at Water

Irrigation controllers are not only becoming easier to program, they're saving on time and water for landscaping companies and their customers. Imagine driving down the street in a suburban development in the wee hours of the morning and it starts pouring.  Read More

Scholarship Opportunities from our Partners at AmericanHort

Scholarships totaling nearly $20,000 for the 2018-2019 school year are made possible by seven special Horticultural Research Institute endowment funds that aid students who are seeking a lifelong career in horticulture. HRI, the AmericanHort Foundation, and its member firms consider graduating students in horticulture to be the lifeblood of the green industry. The scholarship application and prerequisite information are AVAILABLE HERE.  

The Rise and Rise of the Under 35s

Right now most owners and managers in the retail garden business are in “can we catch up with budget?” mode after a late, cold spring season and are probably not worrying too much about demographic trends. So mark this as a “should look at this again after Memorial Day” doc and circle back when you can raise your head above the trench...Read More

Milkweeds and Systemic Insecticides? Please Don't!

There’s a chain email making its way around the country. It’s being forwarded by garden enthusiasts up in arms over the allegation that Home Depot is selling Asclepias spp., milkweeds, bearing a label indicating that the plants have been treated with a neonicotinoid. Yikes! Leaf-feeding...Read More

The Continuing Story of Impatiens Downy Mildew

The more we learn about impatiens downy mildew (IDM), the more intriguing and cunning this disease seems. It came to light in 2004 after widespread infections were reported in several states throughout the US but then receded from the spotlight for several years. Since 2011, IDM has been more consistently visible...Read More

Top Arborvitae Aggravations

Arborvitae varieties (Thuja spp.) provide some of our most beautiful and versatile evergreens for landscapes, with an extensive selection of sizes and types. Unless they get proper care, they also give us some frustrating failures. Here is my list of the most frequently...Read More

Why Monsanto and it's Rivals are Trying to Save Butterflies

Rivals BASF (BASFY), Bayer (BAYRY), DowDuPont (DWDP), Monsanto (MON) and Syngenta (SYENF) are ramping up their efforts ahead of a looming deadline to avoid potentially burdensome regulations. The companies are part of a collaborative group, Farmers for Monarchs, that launched in February to try to keep the Monarch butterfly off the endangered species list. Read More

IA Announces New Public-Private Initiative to Advance Irrigation Research Into the 21st Century

The Irrigation Association is pleased announce the creation of the Irrigation Innovation Consortium, a collaborative research effort to accelerate the development and adoption of water-efficient irrigation technologies and practices through public-private partnerships. The $5 million Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research grant was matched...Read More

Don't Get Fooled By These 7 Marketing Myths

Did you get pranked on April Fool’s Day? Even if you got through April 1 unscathed, you might still fall victim to some common marketing misconceptions. Don’t get fooled by these seven marketing myths.  Read More

High Performance: Excelling in a Compressed Spring

Many of you in the northern regions have been affected by late spring snow storms, pushing back the transition to spring work. While we have no control over the weather...Read More

Two Green Industry Associations in Wisconsin Merge

The Wisconsin Green Industry Federation’s (WGIF) plans to merge its programs and services into the Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association (WNLA) as of July 1, 2018. WGIF’s board of directors began strategically planning in 2013 to become a more sustainable, effective...Read More

Illinois Tollway, Morton Arboretum to Plant 58,000 Trees Along Roads

The Illinois Tollway and Morton Arboretum launched a partnership on Friday to add 58,000 trees along toll roads that will be studied for scientific research on planting and care...Read More

HRI Now Accepting Research Project Proposals

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the research affiliate of AmericanHort, is now accepting research project proposals designed to improve green industry efficiencies and profitability. Proposals for the 2019 grant cycle are due no later than May 31. Learn More

NALP Board of Directors Terms Begin

The National Association of Landscape Professionals’ new board of directors took office on May 1, 2018 with terms running through April 30, 2019. Jeff Buhler, senior vice president of customer service at Massey Services will serve as the president of the association.Sabeena Hickman, NALP CEO, says, “We have assembled a very talented and committed group of industry professions to lead our association and the industry. Read More

Louisiana Bill Could Halt Professional Certifications by Private Organizations

A bill recently introduced in the Louisiana House of Representatives could bring a halt to the use of private professional certifications in that state. Certifications that are offered by trade associations and other private organizations by groups such as the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) would be outlawed. Read More

Plant Branding 101: Things to Know about Plants and Millenials

As college students interested and actively involved in the horticulture industry,we have noticed there have been several studies conducted to figure out what attracts “Millennials” to plants and gardening. While many of these studies provide accurate information about our preferences...Read More

Emerald Ash Borer Adults Emergence

Emerald ash borer activity should be under way in the southern part of the state and we expect activity to begin in central Illinois soon. Adult emergence generally begins with the accumulation of 450-500 degree-days. Read More

New Sterile Ornamental Grasses One Solution to Grass Invasion

Today’s ornamental grasses are poles apart from what was available several years ago. There are more varieties to choose from, colorful foliage for season-long interest, and shorter, more compact selections for growing in containers and small spaces. But while consumers enjoy ornamental grasses’ low-maintenance benefits, they don’t relish pulling...Read More

ICPI Survey Reports Workforce Shortage, Strong Sales Among Concrete Paver Contractors

Gross sales for concrete paver contractors in the U.S. and Canada increased by 7.7 percent during 2017, while four of every five contractors reported difficulty in recruiting and hiring quality employees, according to a new survey released by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI). The 2018 ICPI Contractor Industry Report identified business trends from...Read More

Millennials Have Grown Up. Has Your Marketing?

Just when you thought you had Millennial marketing down pat, experts on marketing to the Millennial generation are saying, “Not so fast.” This generation, whose brand loyalty and spending dollars are so in demand, no longer fit many generational assumptions...Read More

Landscape Design Plant Choice Survey

The purpose of this survey is to understand what information Landscape Architects and Designers use to make plant choices and the role of formal education and different...Take Survey

Arborjet Launches 'Saving America's Iconic Trees' Campaign

Arborjet Inc. has announced the launch of “Saving America’s Iconic Trees,” an initiative to ensure the health and longevity of the country’s trees. The campaign targets America’s most beloved trees – from the most awe-inspiring in terms of size and age, to those that dazzle us with their beauty and provide shelter and comfort to a community...Read More

Five Keys to Accurate Greenhouse Production Costing

Knowing your production costs is the first step in helping you build a profitable plant production business. Here are five tips to make sure you are accurately estimating production costs at your operation. Read More

Revved-Up Trucking Regulations Could Be Costly for Farmers

We focus a lot here at Florida Grower magazine on sharing information to help you grow a good, quality crop. But it’s good to also take a step back and look at all of the many variables that can impact the profitability of your farming operation. I was reminded of that recently while riding with a grower...Read More

IFB Advocates for Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Illinois Farm Bureau urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue to grant farmers access to four critical neonicotinoid pesticides. IFB submitted comments to EPA as the agency conducts registration review of imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam and dinotefuran. “The agriculture community in the United States, and in Illinois in particular...Read More

Three Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business

When it comes to running your green industry business it is vital that you and your team are “brilliant on the basics.” The funny thing is that usually means simply doing the things your competitors are just too lazy to do. Oh, they may have started out doing them when they first opened their doors, but over the years they’ve became complacent or apathetic. Don’t let this happen to you...Read More

Growit! Partners With the National Wildlife Federation

Growit! is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation to help promote the Garden for Wildlife Program during Garden for Wildlife Month once again this May. The National Wildlife Federation's Garden for Wildlife program is celebrating 45 years of helping Americans create beautiful spaces...Read More

Climate Change Gives Invasive Trees an Even Greater Advantage

Invasive trees have demonstrated their adaptive mettle, so it shouldn't come as a shock that they are likely to outperform natives as climate change alters growing conditions. But a U.S. Forest Service analysis shows the invaders hold a dramatic advantage.  "A lot of our least vulnerable species are...Read More

Preparing for Floods and Flash Floods with Help from Hortica

When you grab your light spring jacket on the way to work, remember there’s more to the season than sunshine and flowers. As spring approaches, with its fast-melting snow and showers, so does the possibility of flooding. Are you prepared? If you aren’t sure if your business is at risk...Read More

Kaizad Irani 2018 ICCTA Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award Winner

It is my great pleasure to announce that Kaizad Irani, Program Director and Professor of Horticulture and Agriculture, has been selected by the Professional Development Subcommittee for Faculty as the recipient of our 2018 ICCTA Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award! Read More

Communication Coach: How the Right Words Predictably Sell

I get it. Writing is not your thing. You would rather craft your message with a video. That’s your preferred communication medium. Or maybe you like to use snapshots on Instagram to tell your story. What matters is finding a medium that you are comfortable using. Read More

Spotted Lanternfly: States Urge Citizens to Report Sightings of Invasive Insect Hitchhiker

In the summer of 2014, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, a keen-eyed state Game Commission officer spotted an unusual insect congregating in an ailanthus tree. It was a large plant hopper, about an inch long, with distinctive spots and red hind wings. The officer followed his training and called it in. “He gave us a chance,” says Sven-Erik Spichiger, entomology program manager...Read More

IGIA Announces New Leadership

Happy Spring! Hopefully you are all off to a productive and healthy start to the new season. I love the way spring ushers in a fresh new breath of air into our nursery each year. It can be chaotic, hopeful, busy, exciting, frustrating, sunny, rainy, warm, cold - sometimes all in the same day. But in the end, a new...Read More

ASLA Survey: Demand High for Sustainable Residential Landscapes

People want to do downward-facing dogs in their sustainably designed backyards or shared outdoor spaces—while their phones are charging nearby. That is one of the possible conclusions of the 2018 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends...Read More

Landscaping Projects Make Backyards the Life of the Party

It’s time to take the party outside, according to the Houzz 2018 Landscaping Survey,* which found that over half of homeowners spend more time entertaining outside after completing landscaping projects (51%). More than a quarter of homeowners also report that their usable outdoor area is significantly larger...Read More

Know What You're Worth

The link between plants and home value is far from an anecdotal one. Horticulturists, economists and industry professionals of every stripe have spent years evaluating the impact gardening and landscaping projects tend to have on home value.  Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture with Texas A&M University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences, has been involved in several academic studies on the topic and says the data suggests that greenery has a reliable, direct and positive...Read More

Pruitt Takes Over Authority for Water Protections Policy

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has signed a directive giving himself more authority to determine environmental regulations for projects near regional waterways, according to a memo...Read More

The H-2B Guest-Worker Program Gets Potential One-Year Increase

Taking advantage of the “must-pass” omnibus federal spending bill for fiscal year 2018-2019, advocates for the H-2B guest-worker visa program managed to get an extension of the authority for the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to increase the 66,000...Read More

USDA Allots Nearly $70 Million For Invasive Pest and Disease Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is charged with implementing Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten...Read More

Americans Agree: Promoting Pollinator Health Is Important

According to a recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), nearly all Americans agree that promoting pollinator health should be a conservation priority across the United States. Promoting pollinator health includes protecting against the decline and death of pollinators, such as honey bees and other insects, and increasing their habitat. Baby boomers (96 percent) are the biggest proponents...Read More

Making it Rain: Effective Stormwater Fees Can Create Jobs, Build Infrastructure, and Drive Investment in Local Communities

Stormwater management is a public good: it can help keep pollution out of our waterways and promote the growth of green infrastructure, among many other benefits. However, it can be challenging for localities to pay for the infrastructure improvements needed to reduce the volume of polluted stormwater runoff. Read More

Raising Future Retailers

When registration opens at Boyle County High School, horticulture classes are among the first to fill. Students are not just interested in classroom lessons about propagating, watering and fertilizing nursery plants — they are eager to get their hands dirty.  Read More

Bayer Wins EU Approval for $62.5 Billion Monsanto Buy

German conglomerate Bayer won EU antitrust approval on Wednesday for its $62.5 billion buy of U.S. peer Monsanto, the latest in a trio of mega mergers that will reshape the agrochemicals industry. Read More

Federal Regulators Need to Revisit Electronic Tracking Rule for Truckers

It’s no exaggeration to say trucking is the backbone of the U.S. economy, given how heavily we rely on over-the-road carriers for fast and affordable transportation of goods and products. The industry estimates truckers are responsible for carrying...Read More

Branded Plants: Gaining and Retaining Relevance with Consumers

When “The Complete Guide to Garden Center Management” was published in 2002, plant branding was still in its infancy. The book’s author, international retail consultant John Stanley, urged garden centers to be “aware and prepared” for plant brands. He also suggested...Read More

Blue Spruce Update

Colorado blue spruce is not native to Indiana (no spruce is!), and it often suffers from environmental stresses such as drought, excessive heat, humidity, and compacted or heavy clay soils—making it an already poor choice for...Read More

AmericanHort Welcomes Farm Bill Pest and Disease Funding

AmericanHort enthusiastically welcomed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue’s announcement earlier today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating almost $70 million in new funding for invasive plant pests and disease projects. The funding is intended to prevent the introduction or spread of pests that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, and to sustain... Read More

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture - #PlantsDoThat

Horticulture positively affects people’s lives where they live, work, shop and play, according to a new report from the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH). The benefits of consumer horticulture are spotlighted in #PlantsDoThat...Learn More