Author Archives: Roberto G. Lopez

About Roberto G. Lopez

Roberto G. Lopez is an assistant professor and floriculture extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University. Roberto is a member of the Floriculture Sustainability Research Coalition. You can eMail him at

Scouting For Pathogens And Pests: The Basics Of Monitoring

Pathogens, insects and other pests can seriously impact greenhouse production and reduce profitability. In this fourth article in the Basics of Monitoring series, we provide concepts and tactics to help you develop a comprehensive greenhouse pest and pathogen scouting program. Scouting is a vital part of any integrated pest management (IPM) program and involves systematically

Media pH, EC & Water Quality: The Basics Of Monitoring

The cover of an environmental monitoring company catalog contains a quote: “To measure is to know.” Monitoring is an attempt to quantify the invisible, to know before you see. We have become accustomed to this practice in human health and wellness and have our temperature and blood pressure taken. We understand the importance of the

Graphical Tracking: The Basics Of Monitoring

Figure 2. Long, thin and weak poinsettia stems due to tight spacing (shade avoidance response) on the greenhouse bench. Scroll down to see the rest of the figures for this story. Controlling height is a major challenge for growers with most floriculture crops. Unfortunately, not only do environmental growing conditions vary from year to year

Monitoring The Greenhouse Environment

How do you make decisions related to crop production in your greenhouse? The most common decision-making aids are notes made during previous production seasons and reacting to problems that arise. While using notes and reacting to situations as they arise are commonplace, each season and year is going to be different than the previous one.

The Potential Of Poinsettia Trees

Tree form poinsettias offer a sales opportunity to a new generation of consumers that does not associate the traditional potted 6-inch poinsettia with the Christmas holiday. Young adult consumers are more likely to be interested in non-traditional novelty cultivars and poinsettias used as an interesting form or as color in a mixed combination planter. In

Consumer Interest In ‘Green’ Plants

The ornamental plant industry consists of a few large- and many medium- and small-scale growers. In recent years, the intense competition from large domestic and international growers has forced medium- and small-scale farmers to identify and explore new niche markets for their products through value-added marketing. Discovering a profitable niche market is a complicated task

The Value Of Biodegradable Containers

What drives a consumer to purchase one plant over another? Logical factors include plant type, need and price. But as more consumers begin to take note of environmental impacts associated with their households and the products they buy, the need to personify your product as meeting this “green” standard is essential. There are several ways

On Sustainability: No Two Consumers Are Alike

Savvy marketers rely on the principles of customer segmentation and product targeting to more efficiently allocate scarce resources and effectively reach groups of consumers with similar preferences or demands. It would appear as though many people have jumped on the eco-train, but to what extent have people who purchased plants, many of them gardeners, adopted

What Are Growers Doing About Sustainability?

Consumer and market interest in green, environmentally friendly, organic, local and sustainable products has encouraged much discussion and debate about sustainable production practices and certification in the commercial floriculture industry. Many ask: “What is sustainable production and why should I become certified?” Depending on who you ask, you will get a variety of opinions and