Back To Columbus

Just as perennials come back every year, the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) will return to Columbus, Ohio, to celebrate the silver anniversary of its first Perennial Plant Symposium.

Dr. Steven Still, an emeritus landscape horticulture professor at The Ohio State University (OSU), organized the very first symposium in 1983. The response was so overwhelmingly favorable, perennial growers formed an association of their own the next year. Still has been the executive director ever since.

Today, PPA has more than 1,800 members and draws more than 1,000 perennial professionals to its symposium. The program appeals to growers, retailers, landscapers and allied industry members. Here’s what’s planned for growers on this year’s program at the Hyatt Regency Columbus. 

Land Of Legends Tour

Stops on Sunday, Aug. 5, include: Wilson’s Hillview Farm, Baker’s Acres Greenhouse, Mission Oaks Garden and Longaberger Basket Co. 

Perennial Diagnostic Workshop

Growers will go back to school Monday, Aug. 6, at Kottman Hall on OSU’s campus. This hands-on workshop will feature a multitude of samples and case studies of plant diseases, pests and disorders of perennial plants. 

Grower Program

In addition to visiting with trade show exhibitors, Tuesday educational sessions for growers include:

• Liverwort Biology And Control In Container Crops

• Healthy Nutrition Leads To Strong Plants

• What’s Bugging Perennials? An Update

• Hosta Virus X – An Update

• Perennial Disappointments – Disease Update 

Buckeye Professional Grower Tour

Wednesday’s tour stops include:Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens on OSU’s campus, Acorn Farms, Smith’s Gardens, Millcreek Gardens and Oakland Nursery & Garden Center. 

Grower Program

In addition to visiting with trade show exhibitors, Thursday’s educational program for growers includes:

• Alternative Energy Sources For Greenhouse/Nursery Operations

• Technologies For Greenhouse Energy Conservation

• Growing And Propagating Challenging Woodland Perennials 

More Grower Tours

The symposium ends with opportunities to visit growers and garden centers in three parts of Ohio.

Friday’s Cincinnati-area tour includes:

• Greenfield Plant Farm

• Natorp Nursery and Natorp’s Garden Stores

• Berns Greenhouse and Garden Center

• Krueger-Maddux Greenhouses

Friday’s Mohican-area tour includes:

• Wade & Gatton Nurseries

• Possum Run Greenhouse

• ATI-Ohio State University Gardens at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

• Quailcrest Farm

• Hosta Works Garden

• Kingwood Center, the 47-acre estate of a Mansfield industrialist

Saturday’s tour just west of Cleveland includes:

• Willoway Nurseries, Inc.

• Corso Perennials

• Casa Verde Nursery, which supplies eight Petitti Garden Centers

• Green Circle Growers

For more information about the Perennial Plant Symposium, contact PPA at 614-771-8431, [email protected] or visit

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