Rose Nursery Banker Plants

Juanita Popenoe, Lance Osborne


Rose nursery plants typically require frequent chemical applications to control pests. Biological control agents and banker plants have been successfully used in greenhouse production, but have not been proven in outside nursery production. In order to reduce pesticide applications in the nursery setting, the use of banker plants and biological control agents in a rose nursery was explored in trials at the Mid Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka. Knock Out™ and ‘Julia Child’ rose plants in 3-gal pots were grown with either overhead or microirrigation. Half of the plants were sprayed with Talstar as needed; the other half received no chemical applications. Banker plants, ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’) and field corn (Zea mays), were grown between blocks of eight crop plants. Biological controls Amblyseius swirskii mites, Orius insidiosus, and Neoseiulus californicus will be introduced onto the banker plants as needed to maintain populations. Rose leaves and buds were sampled every 2 weeks to determine pest and predator populations. More pests and fewer biological controls were found in the overhead irrigation plots; however, chilli thrips had not moved into the plots as of the time of writing. The plots will be continued for several more months and pests may be introduced to provide a better test of biological control.


Amblyseius swirskii, Orius insidiosus, Neoseiulus californicus, biological control

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283