Ornamental Horticulture Research Group
Ornamental horticulture is the study of growing, arranging and tending decorative
plants and flowers. Studies in ornamental horticulture explore methods for designing
plant and flower displays that can be used by golf courses, therapy, greenhouses and
public or private businesses and improving production capacities of ornamental plants
also used for production of oils. Ornamental plants have also been shown to improve
air quality, speed release time from hospitals and improve worker attendance in offices.
Ornamental plants are not only attractive, they improve the quality of life. As horticulturalists,
we need to incorporate conservation and sustainability strategies that use native
plants to sustain native pollinators, replenish the soil, plan flowering cycles and
match companion plants when designing landscapes while limiting our use of water.
Our outreach emphasizes sustainable landscapes: We focus on plant materials that are economical to grow and maintain—in home, work, and recreational plantings—and that require a minimum of water, fertilizer, or pest control chemicals. Our goal is to maximize the benefits of utilizing ornamental plants while minimize the environmental impact of landscape plant management. Development of plant materials includes selecting, breeding or modifying plants through biotechnology, and promoting market acceptability through outreach.