Floriculture Area of
      Expertise (AoE)


Programs and Meetings


Other Information








Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo



The Western Michigan Greenhouse Association, the Metro Detroit Flower Growers’ Association,

and the Michigan State University Floriculture Team are proud to offer the

2014 Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo

in coordination with

The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo

December 9-11

in the Devos Place Convention Center, downtown Grand Rapids
Visit the Great Lakes Expo Website to register and for more information. Pre-registration ends November 20.

Greenhouse Education Sessions at a Glance

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

9:00 to 9:50 10:00 to 10:50    2:00 to 2:50 3:00 to 3:50

Greenhouse Biological Control - Putting it All Together for a Successful Outcome

Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, Vineland Research and Innovation Center

Sponsored by
Biobest USA

Moderated by Gordon Berkenpas, Greendorr Greenhouses

 Consumer Perceptions on Pest Control

Heidi Wollaeger, MSU Extension

Moderated by Dr. Kristin Getter, MSU

Mixed Containers - The Most Important Department in Your Retail Greenhouse for 2015 and Beyond

Judy Sharpton, Growing Places

Moderated by Mark Watkins, Bogie Lake Greenhouse

 Planning and Growing Mixed Hanging Baskets: A Grower Panel

Chris Buist, Countryside Greenhouse; Chris Schwartz, Schwartz's Greenhouse; Paul Schapp, Schaap's Greenhouse

Sponsored by Michigan Plant Growers Cooperative

Moderated by Dr. Kristin Getter, MSU

Herbaceous Perennials and Graceful Grasses

Dr. Art Cameron, MSU

Moderated by Dr. Kristin Getter, MSU

Best-Performing Plants from the 2014 Michigan Garden Plant Tour

Daedre Craig, MSU and Thomas Dudek, MSU Extension

Controlling Downy Mildew on Impatiens

Dr. Mary Hausbeck, MSU

Sponsored by

Moderated by Tom Dudek, MSU Extension

 Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Honey Bees... What's All the Buzz?

Dr. Dave Smitley, MSU

Sponsored by

Moderated by Tom Dudek, MSU Extension

4:30 to 6:30 pm
Michigan Floriculture Growers Council reception and annual meeting


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

9:00 to 9:50 10:00 to 10:50    



2:00 to 2:50 3:00 to 3:50

 Probing Greenhouse Vegetables - An Overview of Production Systems, Schedules, and Approaches

Dr. Natalie Bumgarner, Univ. of Tennessee

Moderated by Paul Karlovich, C. Raker & Sons

The Pros and Cons of Producing Greenhouse Vegetables - A Panel Presentation

Bill Tuinier, Post Gardens; Kelly Leach, Avalon Farms; and Phil Tocco, MSU Extension

Moderated by Tom Dudek, MSU Extension

What Should I Consider Before Marketing Greenhouse Vegetables?

Dr. Bridget Behe, MSU

Moderated by Dr. Kristin Getter, MSU

The Best Retail Garden Center in America and How To Use the Design Concepts at Your Retail Location

Judy Sharpton, Growing Places

Sponsored by
Proven Winners

Moderated by Dennis Crum, Four Star Greenhouse

 MSU Research Update

Coordinated by Dr. Kristin Getter, MSU

Moderated by Dr. Erik Runkle, MSU

Advertising: What Is the Cost and What is the Return on Investment?

Dr. Bridget Behe, MSU

Moderated by Scott Klooster, Great Lakes Greenhouses

 2:00 to 3:30

Using LEDs in Young Plant Production

Dr. Erik Runkle, MSU and Dr. Roberto Lopez, Purdue Univ.

Sponsored by
Philips Lighting

Moderated by Heidi Wollaeger, MSU Extension

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Special Tour
Southwest Michigan Greenhouse Bus Tour

8:00 am to 4:15 pm
Tour leader: Heidi Wollaeger, MSU Extension
Please board the bus around 7:45am from the Lyon St. entrance of the Amway Grand Plaza hotel.

Consider joining other growers on this tour to see retail, wholesale, and propagation operations that grow high-quality plants for the market place.  The tour will also include a visit to a leading supplier of growing media.  The tour stops and highlights of each facility are described below.  The $79 registration fee is required to cover transportation and lunch expenses.  This tour may be canceled if fewer than 15 participants register in advance. Register now; space is limited to the first 40 registrations.

Tentative schedule:

7:30am Tour bus arrives at the Lyon St. entrance of the Amway Grand Plaza hotel
8:00am Tour bus departs (promptly!)

Visit Great Lakes Greenhouses in Kalamazoo
• Having been in business for 33 years, Great Lakes Greenhouses built their current facility in 2008.
• Contract grower that produces for a local distributor that services big box chains in the Midwest.
• Product line consists of spring annuals in containers, hanging baskets, packs, and fall mums.
• Six acres under cover, double poly, gutter vented greenhouse range.
• Facility has radiant heat floors, utilizes irrigation booms, carousel style hanging basket systems, environmental controls, and shade curtain systems.
• Environmentally certified by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).


Visit Wedel's Garden Center in Kalamazoo
• Beginning in 1946 as a fruit stand, today it is a full service garden center, nursery, florist, and café.
• During the spring, Wedel's carries over 700 varieties of perennials and over 100 varieties of trees, shrubs & evergreens.
• Nine acre retail lot of pre-dug and potted nursery stock and three water features nestled in the display gardens.
• Specialize in fresh, handmade Christmas wreaths, trees and Christmas décor.
• Offer classes on popular topics such as fairy gardens and seasonal events such as Spring Garden Expo or the Petting Zoo.
• Currently employ over a hundred people in the spring and 40 permanently.
11:30am Lunch at Wedel's (provided)

Tour Wenke Greenhouse in Kalamazoo
• Two growing locations in Kalamazoo and one retail location for a total of over 30 acres of production.
• One growing location in Douglas, Georgia with over 20 acres of production.
• Sell finished product to independent garden centers, landscapers, and Kalamazoo Flower Group.
• Sell prefinished or young plants to other greenhouse growers.
• Greenhouse with 10 acres of high-intensity lighting.
• Produce mostly annual bedding plants for spring, summer, and fall.
• We will visit their main growing facility where plugs and liners will be in production.


1:45pm   Tour Michigan Grower Products
• Originated by Kalamazoo-area growers in 1980, Grower Products was intended to supply their container filling operations co-operatively, but now supplies other growers in 8 states with their media mixes.
• They have over 30 years of service for growers, by growers.
• Includes a line of 15 SUREMIX professional growing media and SURECLONE custom blending operations.
• Offer media mixes that can include peat, coir, or rice hulls, pre-charged with fertilizers, fungicides or insecticides.
4:15pm Return to the Amway Grand Plaza hotel





  Copyright © 2015, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University.

  This page was last edited Oct 28, 2014.
  Please send your comments to Dr. Erik Runkle runkleer@msu.edu

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. This information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned.