Botrytis and Thrips Research Campaign

Botrytis damage

In 2017, a special research campaign was established to address the control and management of Botrytis and thrips.

Losses from these pests affect all segments of the industry every day. Botrytis and thrips are challenging to control using currently available pesticides and management strategies.

Goal: Raise $1.5 million through industry support to conduct new and innovative research leading to effective control procedures and management strategies. The research will lead to reduced losses and higher quality flowers and plants.


AFE is in the early stages of fundraising, so industry-wide support and funding is needed!

Click here to download and fill out the form to support this important initiative.

Contact AFE Research Coordinator Dr. Terril Nell for more information!

The following research projects are currently being funded by the Endowment:

Rose Buitenhuis, of The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Lincoln, Ontario, and Melissa Muñoz Agudelo, of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina spent a day visiting Colombia growers before making presentations at Proflora 2017.

  1. Finding Solutions to Pre-Harvest Botrytis Infection of Cut Roses
    • Objective: Developing and understanding the relationships between the greenhouse environment, such as temperature and cultural practices on Botrytis spore populations in cut roses.
  2. Postharvest Management of Botrytis During Shipping and Storage
    • Objective: Identifying the relationship between ethylene sensitivity and Botrytis susceptibility of cut roses. Also, the relationship of temperature and relative humidity conditions inside shipping boxes will be related to incidence of Botrytis relative to packing materials and pre-cooling methods.
  3. A Novel Approach to Fungal-based Thrips Management with Marigold Guardian Plants
    • Objective: Evaluating the persistence of Beauveria bassiana, an insect-killing fungus, that when combined with a solid nutritional substrate (millet) in the potting mix will provide control of western flower thrips for longer periods.
  4. Successful IPM of Western Flower Thrips Starts with Clean Cuttings
    • Objective: Investigating the use of cutting dips containing reduced-risk materials (insecticidal soap, mineral oil) and biopesticides (Beauveria bassiana) as a means of reducing thrips infestations on propagative materials.
  5. Spray Application of Calcium and Silicon on Flower Petals to Improve Resistance to Botrytis Infection and Western Flower Thrips Feeding
    • Objective: Evaluating the effect of calcium and silicon to improve flower petal resistance to Botrytis and western flower thrips.
  6. Ultraviolet Light for Integrated Pest Management of Western Flower Thrips
    • Objective: Determining the effect of the western flower thrips’ lethal dose of UV-C exposure on the growth and flowering of roses and mums under lab conditions.

Important Resources:
  • Proflora Presentations 2017:
  1. Integrated Pest Management of Thrips
  2. Botrytis Management in Cut Roses
  3. Manejo integrado de Botrytis en rosas de corte
  • Articles:
  1. Designing Your Greenhouse IPM Program

  2. IPM: Prevention and Early Intervention

  3. Rise of Microbes Offers Growers Important New Tools

  4. IPM Update: 1001 Ways to Use Predatory Mites

  5. How to Use Non-Crop Plants in Your Thrips IPM Programs

Thank you to the following organizations who have made contributions in support of this important initiative:

  • Bouquet Collection, Inc.
  • CalFlowers
  • Continental Flowers
  • Equiflor Corp. – Rio Roses
  • Falcon Farms, Inc.
  • Fresca Farms
  • Galleria Farms
  • Golden Flowers
  • Jardines de los Andes
  • Joseph H. Hill Memorial Foundation, Inc.
  • Kee Kitayama Research Foundation
  • Metrolina Greenhouses
  • Passion Growers
  • The Elite Flower Company
  • The Queen’s Flowers Corp.
  • Solé Farms
  • Sunshine Bouquet Company