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

Biodegradable Containers: How Appealing Are They?

One of the most widely discussed topics in the floriculture industry stemming from consumers exhibiting greater degrees of environmental awareness is the issue of environmental sustainability. The sustainability movement has led to a desire for products that not only solve the needs of consumers, but are also produced and marketed using sustainable production and business

Non-Chemical Height Control

[imageviewer] As part of the movement toward sustainable production of greenhouse crops, many growers are looking for non-chemical alternatives to control plant height and size. Fortunately, there are numerous options available. These options include genetic selection, planning and graphical tracking, environmental manipulation of light quality and air temperature, cultural manipulation of irrigation and mineral nutrition

Biocontainers For Long-Term Crops

The terms organic, sustainable, alternative and green have become part of our vernacular in a way we could not have imagined a decade ago. Consequently, there has been a proliferation of new products in all sectors fashioned to these ideals. Being the true “green industry” by nature, it is only fitting these products be incorporated–or,

Getting The Most Out Of Light Measurements

Does the quality of your greenhouse-grown plants or number of cut flowers harvested decrease in the winter? Do your cuttings take longer to fully root during certain times of the year? Do you own HID lamps but don’t know when you should use them? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, this

Revisiting Poinsettia Cold Finishing Up North

As growers, we continue to look for methods to reduce costs while still producing high-quality crops. This is especially true when growing poinsettias, as margins continue to grow thin and competition gets stronger. Growing poinsettias at cool temperatures has emerged as an option over the past several years to reduce heating costs. The University of

Containers: Paper Or Plastic?

Sustainability has become a commonly discussed topic within the floriculture industry. Few studies, however, have quantified whether conversion to a sustainable production practice is a worthy investment. Therefore, we conducted a case study for a medium-sized Indiana commercial greenhouse interested in substituting plastic 4.5-inch pots with Ellepots for bedding plants. Ellepots are “pots” made from

Consumer Perceptions Of Sustainably Produced Poinsettias

Greenhouse growers across the United States continuously hear the word “sustainability” and often speculate whether this is another marketing program or a consumer-driven initiative that must be put into practice for their continued economic success in a very competitive environment. Most growers, however, have not heard of Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS). Have you?

Producing Poinsettias Sustainably

As more greenhouse producers consider implementing sustainable production practices, questions arise about the use of compostable/biodegradable pots, organic media, fertilizers and pest management methods for poinsettias. Organic media and compostable/biodegradable pots are available in the industry, and pest management practices using organic pesticides and biological control agents are being established. However, cultural information about using

Reducing Crop Shrinkage

No matter how good we are at growing, we end up losing plants in our operations. Shrinkage, or the gradual loss of plants over time, occurs at every stage of the supply chain, such as in propagation when some seeds fail to germinate, finished material that is unmarketable due to insects or diseases, plants grown

Getting Results With A Liner Dip

Controlling plant height is a key factor in producing a quality crop and maximizing the number of plants that can be shipped per rack. Growers often use both chemical and non-chemical height control techniques to suppress stem elongation. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are commonly applied as foliar sprays, media drenches or sprenches (high-volume spray with