Floriculture Area of
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Floriculture & Greenhouse Crop Production Information



Click on one of the topics above to view specific articles in pdf format published in floriculture trade magazines.  Articles posted with permission from Greenhouse Product News, Greenhouse Grower, Greenhouse Management, and GrowerTalks magazines.  All articles are in pdf format.

Bulletins, books, and electronic resources

Light Management in Controlled Environments
This book, edited by Roberto Lopez and Erik Runkle, contains 18 chapters on the subject of light in horticulture.  It is updated and substantially expanded from the "Lighting Up Profits" book published in 2004.  It presents the underlying biology of how light influences plant growth and development of specialty crops, especially those grown in greenhouses and controlled-environment growth rooms.  Over 20 leading plant scientists from 16 different universities/institutes/private companies discuss technology options for shade and lighting, including the latest developments in greenhouse and sole-source lighting.  Published in April, 2017 and available in print and digital versions.

LED Lighting for Urban Agriculture
This book, edited by Toyoki Kozai (Japan Plant Factory Association), Kazuhiro Fujiwara (Univ. of Tokyo), and Erik Runkle (Michigan St. Univ.), focuses on light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, mainly for the commercial production of horticultural crops in plant factories and greenhouses. It contains 450 pages in 32 chapters written by plant scientists and engineers in Japan, the U.S., China, and Taiwan. Published in late 2016 and available in print and digital versions.


Crop Scheduling of Bedding Plants
This PowerPoint presentation was delivered by Erik Runkle (Michigan St. Univ.) live to floriculture growers in Michigan in February 2015. It was recorded and edited by Heidi Wollaeger, MSU Extension.  Research-based information is presented on how temperature, light, and other environmental and cultural factors influence flowering time of bedding plants.  In addition, scheduling tools are presented to assist growers who are scheduling their crops for specific market dates.
FlowersOnTime (version 1.3)
This Microsoft Excel spreadsheet allows users to predict the effect of modifying greenhouse temperature on crop production time.  First, select one of the 70+ floriculture crops (many of which are bedding plants) in the drop-down list, then specify your typical finish crop time at a particular temperature.  The model then predicts the effect of increasing or decreasing temperature at 2 °F intervals, assuming all other conditions are the same.  Developed by Paul Fisher (Univ. of Florida), Erik Runkle and Matt Blanchard (Michigan St. Univ.) and John Erwin (Univ. of Minnesota).

Managing Photoperiod in the Greenhouse
This six-page bulletin provides information on how control the day length in commercial greenhouse production of floriculture and nursery crops.  Developed by Chris Currey and Roberto "RoLo" Lopez (Purdue Univ.) and Erik Runkle (Michigan St. Univ.).

Wave® Smart Scheduling Tool
This Excel‐based tool, developed in collaboration with PanAmerican Seed, enables growers to predict time to first open flower for 15 Wave petunia varieties at specific average daily temperatures (ADTs) and daily light integrals (DLIs). This tool allows growers to schedule specific Wave varieties on precise dates and help select varieties that flower uniformly under their environmental conditions.  Developed by Erik Runkle, Heather Greyerbiehl, Cathy Whitman, Tasneem Vaid, and Mike Olrich (Michigan St. Univ.) and Sonali Padhye (PanAmerican Seed).
Budgets, Cost of Production and Decison-Making Tools
Several spreadsheets (in Microsoft Excel) have been developed by MSU Extension educators to help growers estimate greenhouse production costs and explore opportunities for savings.  Examples include the Greenhouse Capital Investment Calculator and the Greenhouse Cost of Production spreadsheet.  For more information and additional tools, visit the MSU Extension Farm Management website.
Growing Plants Indoors
This 20-page, full color bulletin presents information on how to care for common indoor plants.  Topics presented include light, water, fertilizer, insects, mites, and diseases.  Developed by by Erik Runkle, Daedre Craig, Jeanne Himmelein, Tiffany Enzenbacher, and Mary Hausbeck, Michigan St. Univ.

New Daily Light Integral (DLI) Maps
These maps provide the average outdoor daily light integral throughout the United States and were developed by Jim Faust at Clemson Univ. To estimate the average DLI in your greenhouse, determine the percentage of light transmission that reaches your crops. For example, if you measure 1,400 micromoles outside the greenhouse at noon on a clear day, and an average value of 800 micromoles inside, your light transmission value is about 57%.  Multiply the DLI value on the maps by the light transmission value to get the estimated DLI inside your greenhouse.

The original DLI maps are still available online.

Firing Up Perennials: The 2000 Edition
Written by faculty and graduate students in Horticulture at Michigan State University, this 144-page book contains 10 chapters on general concepts of producing flowering herbaceous perennials and 27 chapters on how to propagate and produce individual species.  This research-based book is now available free here in pdf format. Published by Mesiter Media Worldwide.

     Part 1: Concepts of forcing perennials, p. 1-30 (7.2 mb)
     Part 2: Achillea to Hosta, p. 31-87 (13.5 mb)
     Part 3: Lavender to Veronica, p. 88-144 (13.9 mb)

Cold Storage of Plug Seedlings
This 20-page pdf document (3.4 mb) contains research-based information on storing seeding plugs. Written by Royal Heins, William Carlson, Nathan Lange, and Tom Wallace, Michigan St. Univ. Copyright Greenhouse Grower magazine and Michigan St. Univ., 1994.






  Copyright © 2019, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University.

  This page was last edited Aug 9, 2018.
  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.