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AFE Webinars


February 22nd, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Nutrition of Floriculture Crops

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Garrett Owen, University of Kentucky

Description: Three fundamentals for growing plants are fertilizer, substrate, and water. In-house nutrient monitoring provides you with key pH and EC values needed for successful crop production. This webinar will provide an overview of pH and EC nutritional disorders, discuss monitoring methods, and present available grower resources.



March 22nd, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Calculating the Cost of LED Lighting

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Marc van Iersel, University of Georgia

Description: Supplemental lighting is often necessary for year-round production of greenhouse crops. However, the expenses associated with lighting can be high. That includes both the capital expenses associated with buying or leasing lights, as well as the electricity costs associated with running the lights. Capital expenses are easy to determine, based on quotes from suppliers. However, operating expenses are much harder to estimate, since electricity use depends on the lighting needs of the crop, greenhouse configuration, and local weather conditions. This webinar will showcase free tools that can be used to estimate both capital and operating expenses associated with supplemental lighting in greenhouses.


April 19th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

The Use of Biostimulants in Floriculture Production

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Michelle Jones, The Ohio State University

Description: Biostimulants are products that promise a lot, but do they deliver? Biostimulants include microbial and nonmicrobial ingredients that improve plant health and resilience, leading to better quality crops with increased stress tolerance. Beneficial microbes include bacteria and fungi that can improve the efficiency of nutrient uptake and may allow growers to reduce fertilizer applications and still grow high-quality floriculture crops. These microbial-based biostimulants can also be used to maintain the postharvest quality of cut flowers and flowering plants during shipping and retailing. In this webinar, Dr. Jones will discuss how biostimulants work, how to select biostimulants, and how to set up a trial in your greenhouse to determine if you will get the desired effects in your production environment.


May 17th, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Biological Control of Whitefly on Poinsettias – Start Your Crop Correctly

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Rose Buitenhuis, Vineland Research and Innovation Center

Moderator: Mary Lewis

Description: This webinar will explain the steps to start clean and stay clean in poinsettia production. The goal will be to build and maintain a biological control program against Bemisia tabaci whiteflies as long as possible in order to prevent issues due to pesticide resistance. The main tools presented are dips of unrooted cuttings and early establishment of biocontrol agents. Regardless of whether you are just dipping your toes into biocontrol or if you have been doing it for years, this webinar will be of interest to everyone.

June 21st, 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Developing an Integrated Pest Control Program for Whitefly on Poinsettia

Click Here to RegisterBASF LogoBioWorks Logo

Speaker: Sarah Jandricic, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Moderator: Mary Lewis

Description: Bemisia whitefly on poinsettia is one of the most challenging pests growers of ornamental crops can face. Can it really be managed without relentless pesticide applications? Learn how Canadian growers have successfully tackled this pest using a combination of biological control, careful monitoring, and a few well-timed pesticide applications. The economics of using biological control for Bemisia management versus conventional control with pesticides will also be discussed.


Missed one of the AFE webinars?  No problem — click on the links below to access the recorded webinars!

Past Webinars of the Series

January, 11th 2022 at 1PM (EST)

Successful Handling and Propagation of Unrooted Cuttings

Sponsored By:

 Dr. John Dole, NC State University

Moderator: Dr. Melinda Knuth, NC State University 

Description: Huge numbers of cuttings are harvested and shipped each year and the value of each shipment can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars. Learn how to handle each shipment to maximize the number of high-quality rooted plants. In particular, we will discuss how to handle delayed shipments and avoid the difficult decision of whether to propagate the cuttings and try to maintain production schedules or wait for replacement cuttings. 

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December 9, 2021 at 1PM (EST) – Floral Marketing Fund: Consumer Houseplant Purchasing Study Results 2021

  Sponsored by the Floral Marketing Fund, Altman Plants, Green Circle Growers, Costa Farms, Hortica, and Metrolina Greenhouses. 

Description: Hear the results from this new comprehensive study conducted during COVID-19 that evaluated consumer preferences for plant purchasing. Learn how the industry can sustain this positive growth when consumers return to “normal” lifestyles and work activities. The study analyzes the many different categories of houseplants, outlets for purchasing, spending habits, and core reasoning for purchasing.

Speakers and Study Researchers:

Dr. Melinda Knuth, NC State University
Dr. Hayk Khachatryan, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, UF/IFAS
Dr. Charlie Hall, Texas A & M University


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December 7, 2021 at 1PM (EST) – Grow Pro: Control and Management of Powdery Mildews

Sponsored by BASF, BioWorks, OHP, and Syngenta

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OHP Logo  
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Margery DaughtreySpeaker: Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University

Moderator: Leynar Leyton

Description: Powdery mildew is one of the most conspicuous plant disease problems that growers face. If you grow roses, gerberas, poinsettias, rosemary, phlox or verbenas (to name a few!) you are very aware of how rapidly this fungus disease can build up to an epidemic. Plant breeding efforts have provided some cultivars that are less susceptible to powdery mildew. But knowledge of which plants are prone to this disease, how unusual symptoms might fool you, and how best to deploy fungicides is critical for growing healthy flower crops. Cornell plant pathologist Margery Daughtrey will give an in-depth discussion of integrated pest management strategy for powdery mildew—including what to grow, what to scout for, and some effective treatment programs using fungicides and/or biofungicides.

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November 16th, 2021 at 4PM (EST) – Career Insights: Survey Results and Advice from Both Industry and Academia for Young Professionals.

Sponsored by American Floral Endowment’ Young Professionals Council

Speakers:  Megan Bowman, Director of Research Operations, Ball Horticultural Kimberly Williams, Professor in Greenhouse Management and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Kansas State University Michael Wijesinghe, Assistant Grower, Bell Nursery

Description: Join us for an interactive discussion and breakdown of survey results from the industry and academia on careers for young professionals. After the data is presented, we will open for Q&A with our panelists. In August and September of 2021, the American Floral Endowment created two informal surveys for professionals in the industry and academia about their experiences and advice to help young professionals interested in pursuing a career in floriculture/horticulture. The surveys include insights on the job market, career development, application advice, background on how professionals attained their current roles, and more. The surveys were released to AFE’s community of faculty, donors, and industry members.  Data provided from these surveys will be summarized and discussed with active industry and academic professionals to provide valuable insight to young professionals entering the field. Get to know industry career paths and be properly informed as you navigate your early career!

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November 9, 2021 at 1PM (EST) – Care & Handling: Sell the Highest Quality and Longest Lasting Cut Flowers (webinar for Retail and Wholesale segments)

Sponsored by Smithers-Oasis/Floralife

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FloraLife Logo

Speaker: Loann Burke, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, Furst the Florist & Smithers-Oasis
Moderator: Leynar Leyton, Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

Description: Are you up to speed on the latest in flower care and handling?  What should you do to make sure the flowers you present to your customers are at their best?  We’re taking you back to the basics of proper care and handling techniques and why it’s important to make sure everyone on the team is trained properly.  AFE has supported the development of ‘industry friendly’ handling techniques for cut flowers.  Loann Burke AIFD, AAF, PFCI, a highly acclaimed retail florist and event specialist, will demonstrate many of the key steps every florist should use to assure flower quality and longevity.  From flower box to finished design, Loann will take you through every step of the process and show you the tricks of the trade to keep your flowers fresh and your customers coming back.

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October 19, 2021 at 1PM (EST) – Sensors & Advances in Technology

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Sponsored by Total Grow Lights and Pure Green Farms

Speaker: Krishna Nemali, Purdue University
Moderator: Leynar Leyton, Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

Description: ‘Smart N-Sensor’ technology for floriculture crops will be presented.  This technology uses images of plants to estimate whole-plant N content. The technology is reliable, easy to use, and low-cost (minimal to a few hundred dollars). Using the technology, floriculture growers can non-destructively quantify plant N status whenever needed for optimizing fertilizer application in greenhouses.  The technology offers either smartphone (for small-scale operations) or micro-controller (for large-scale operations) based models.

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September 14th, 2021 at 1PM (EST) – Managing Impatiens Downy Mildew with Variety Selection and Production Practices

Sponsored by PanAmerican Seed Company and Syngenta

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Syngenta Flowers Logo Imara Logo
Margery Daughtrey

Speaker: Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University
Moderator: Leynar Leyton, Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

Description: Impatiens was once one of the most popular bedding plants until Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM) devastated landscape plantings around the world. Plants often looked good in production but died once planted in the landscape. After a decade of breeding and technology, impatiens are back with two new series offering a high degree of resistance to IDM. Margery Daughtrey, plant pathologist at Cornell University, will discuss the attributes of Beacon (PanAmerican Seed) and Imara XDR (Syngenta Flowers) series and share practical tips to optimize the performance of these plants from propagation to planting in the landscape. You will learn that using protectant fungicides during production is a good idea, even when impatiens are highly resistant to downy mildew.

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August 31st, 2021 at 1PM (EST) – Using Biological & Chemical Controls to Manage Whiteflies in Greenhouses

Sponsored by BioWorks

BioWorks Logo Speaker: Dr. Lance Osborne, University of Florida
Moderator: Ping Yu, Texas A&M

Description: Work has been conducted over the last few years to determine the efficacy and rotations of various non-neonicotinoids for managing MED whitefly (Q-biotype). Listen in on how to evaluate the efficacy of biological control agents and pesticides in a commercial greenhouse as a grower.

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August 24, 2021 at 1PM (EST) – Heat Delay in Poinsettias

Sponsored by Dummen Orange and Syngenta

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Syngenta Logo

Speaker:  Jim Faust, Clemson University
Moderator: Ping Yu, Texas A&M
Jim Faust

Description: Heat delay of poinsettia flowering is of growing concern across the U.S. as climate change has caused fall weather patterns to be less predictable and many regions of the country are experiencing higher average temperatures. A few extra degrees of heat at the wrong time can easily cause a one to two week delay in flowering, which can be disastrous for growers. Our research has focused on improving our understanding of the timing and magnitude of the high temperatures that cause heat delay and developing practical solutions to help growers avoid missing target market dates. Our results reveal that poinsettias are not equally susceptible to high temperatures throughout the fall. There are specific weeks of the poinsettia season that high temperatures will cause the largest delays in flowering. We have also identified the specific temperatures during the day and night that are most critical to avoid. By increasing our understanding of the variables that contribute to heat delay, we have identified practical solutions to avoid missing target market dates, such as cultivar selection and black-clothing. These solutions will be discussed so that growers have practical options for addressing this phenomenon.

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July 27th, 2021 at 1PM ESTMaking Sense of Artificial Intelligence in Floriculture

Sponsored by Mercer Botanicals

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Dean KopsellSpeaker: Dean Kopsell, University of Florida
Moderator: Melissa Munoz, Clemson University

Description: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being mentioned in all aspects of agriculture. The idea of AI in floriculture and other segments of agriculture seems like scientists are bringing ‘Star Wars’ concepts to your businesses. Once you hear about the opportunities with AI, the future will seem much brighter as AI will be supporting your decisions for many aspects of your business. AFE has supported projects on use of handheld monitors for monitoring plant nutrition and to provide early detection of western flower thrips. There are so many more opportunities. Take this opportunity to understand AI in just 30 minutes.

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June 27th, 2021 at 1PM ESTOptimizing LED Lighting for Flower Crops, Part 2

Erik RunkleSpeaker: Erik Runkle, Michigan State University
Moderator: Melissa Munoz, Clemson University

Description: Questions abound when considering use of LED lighting. Choices of fixtures and light quality can be very confusing. Erik Runkle has been evaluating LED lighting since they were first available to the greenhouse industry. He will simplify the selection and use of LEDs, both indoors and in greenhouses

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June 22nd, 2021 at 1PM ESTOptimizing LED Lighting for Flower Crops, Part 1

Jim FaustSpeaker: Jim Faust, Clemson University
Moderator: Melissa Munoz, Clemson University

Description: Growers seek to optimize plant growth while maintaining production costs. Interest in LED lighting has surged in recent years due to the potential energy savings. Growers continue to wonder if supplemental lighting with LEDs is needed for their greenhouse operations. Jim will explain how to determine if your location and crops justify adding supplemental lighting.

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Parts 1 and 2 Sponsored by Apogee Instruments, Inc. and Fluence by OSRAM

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Preparing for Success – Challenges and Opportunities for Young Professionals Post COVID-19

Sponsored by the American Floral Endowment’s Young Professionals Council

May 26, 2021, at 5:00 PM EST

Panelists: Art VanWingerden, Metrolina Greenhouses Krystal Snyder, Penn State University
Moderator: Megan Bowman, Ball Horticultural Company

Description: Do you have the necessary skills to succeed in today’s floral industry? Join us for a 40-minute interactive discussion hearing directly from floral business owners and faculty on the challenges and changes brought by COVID-19. Learn what the new floral industry looks like, and what young professionals must do to prepare for a successful career in the industry and/or university system. • How do industry and academia applications differ and how can young professionals best present themselves on both? • What are the must-have skills and experience for your resume? • Where can you find the most floriculture jobs? • Putting your best foot forward – tips and advice for presenting yourself to the industry. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask questions to prepare yourself for the necessary skills employers will be looking for. There will be time for Q & A.

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May 18th, 2021 at 1PM ESTThe Current Status of Growing Media

Brian JacksonSpeaker: Brian Jackson, NC State University
Moderator: Melissa Munoz, Clemson University

Description: Growing media seems to change constantly as growers seek a medium to grow plants successfully at the least costs. There have been major changes in growing media in the last 10 – 15 years. Topics will include: What is important in a good growing media? Are there new components that growers should consider and are the components sustainable? What should growers be asking their supplier when selecting a high-quality growing media?

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January 16th, 2020 at 2:30PM ESTUntangling the Relationship Among Pollinators, Flowering Plants, and Systemic Insecticides

Presenter JC Chong, Clemson University

Description: Hear from Juang Horng “JC” Chong, Professor and Extension Specialist of turf and ornamentals entomology at Clemson University. The relationship among consumers, growers, pollinators, flowering plants and systemic insecticides is a mess! Fortunately, with funding from USDA-SCRI and AFE, teams of researchers are working on untangling that messy relationship. This presentation is an update of current research of SCRI- and AFE-funded research projects to develop approaches to protect pollinators in environmental horticulture. Research findings will be discussed, and most importantly, practical approaches that can be used by growers to protect pollinators will be provided. Webinar – 30 minutes with 10 minutes of Q&A.

Click to watch here

*make sure you download the presentation, to have access to the voiceover from JC.

Challenges & Opportunities for Young Professionals

May 30, 2019, at 2:00 PM EST

Presenter: Brian Krug, Technology Leader at Corteva Agriscience

Description: Whether you are currently a student or are in the early stages of your professional career, you won’t want to miss this webinar to hear about overcoming challenges and capitalizing on opportunities that await you. Hear from Brian Krug, Technology Leader at Corteva Agriscience about the challenges facing young professionals, and the even more important opportunities available. Brian will discuss his experiences in both the academic culture and his current position within the floral industry. He will cover both career paths and offer advice for honing important skills that are essential for professional growth and success. Webinar – 30 minutes with 10 minutes of Q&A. Click to watch here


New Daily Lighting Integral Maps and Advances in Supplemental Lighting for Ornamentals

Nov 2, 2018, at 12:00 PM EST

Presenters: Jim Faust, Assoc. Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Experiment Station, Clemson University Marc van Iersel, Professor of Horticulture, University of Georgia

Description: Daily light integral (DLI) is a very useful measurement of sunlight for anyone that grows plants for a living. New DLI maps describing the light levels delivered across the U.S. are now available, and during this webinar, Jim Faust shows how to use them to improve your crop planning and production. Following Jim’s presentation, Marc van Iersel discusses plant physiological responses to light and how to use that information to develop cost-effective supplemental lighting strategies.

Click to watch:

Part I – New Daily Lighting Integral Maps Presentation slides available here

Part 2 – Advances in Supplemental Lighting for Ornamentals Presentation slides available here

Floral Purchase Tracking Study Webinar

Formerly called the Consumer Tracking Study and last conducted in 2005, AFE partnered with SAF to revive the year-long study that provides actual data on the incidents of purchases, amount spent, what was purchased, for whom and what occasions, and what other gifts were considered.

Conducted by IPSOS and funded by FMRF, this study provides the industry with valuable information to help plan for inventories, marketing and pricing to help florists maximize their sales. The report offers real purchasing data on consumer purchases, amount spent, what was purchased, for what occasions and preferences. Tim Ambary, Vice President of IPSOS who served as the project lead, presented the webinar.

The webinar audio is only available to those who purchase the study. Click Here!

New Resources for Florists to Sell Through Pinterest (FREE)

There was a three-part series of webinars to help increase online and walk-in sales using Pinterest! These fast-paced webinars showed the tricks and tips to reach more consumers, generate more sales and increase website traffic. Power influencer and social media strategist Anna Bennett is the owner of White Glove Social Media and co-founder of True North Marketing. As a Pinterest expert, she helps businesses supercharge traffic and sales growth with Pinterest. Part 1 – Introduction to Pinterest for Business July 20, 2017 – 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST

  • Why should florists be on Pinterest?
  • How to use Pinterest to drive online sales and increase website traffic
  • Pinterest basics: terminology, techniques and tips to build Pinterest boards for floral holidays, events, everyday purchases, wedding work, and more!
  • Using Buyable Pins to sell on Pinterest
  • How to raise your brand profile locally

Part 2 – Intermediate Pinterest Skills August 15, 2017 – 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST

  • Avoiding common Pinterest mistakes
  • Re-pinning to drive more traffic
  • Blog topics to create in order to be found by brides
  • Promoting your Pinterest account on other social media sites
  • Pinterest Techniques – Part 2
  • How to buy Pinterest ads correctly

Part 3 – Pinterest Advanced August 29, 2017 – 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST

  • Using analytics to improve your results
  • How to manage your Pinterest account
  • How to showcase your uniqueness
  • Keeping your Pinterest boards fresh
  • Best practices overview

Unfortunately, the webinars are not available online. Click here for all of the other resources on Pinterest that AFE provides to you for FREE!

Anna offers more advanced help to florists. Fees for coaching businesses one-on-one with customized solutions is $297 for two 45-minute sessions. Click here to purchase those sessions.

Networking to Build Your Career Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. EST (FREE)

Bradley Beck, Sales Manager at DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc., shares networking skills to enhance your career! The webinar will be 30 minutes with 10 minutes for Q & A. The presentation will show:

  • Why you need to network to build your career
  • How to prepare for an event or show
  • Places to meet, engage and connect
  • Opportunities to be seen as a person of influence
  • A template for engagement

For over thirty years, Bradley has served many flower and creative industry organizations. He helped pioneer the “Growing Up With Flowers” program with his fellow young executives to teach young people about the wonder of flowers. He has presented programs on Effective Communication, Messaging and Social Business Media to many wholesale and retail companies.

Click here to listen to the webinar!

Marketing Tactics: Maximizing Millennial Floral Purchases Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. EST (FREE)

Floral marketing is no longer one strategy fits all. Millennials are an enigmatic breed of shopper with different perceptions about floral products, motivations for purchase and a habit of using non-traditional shopping methods – think mobile and social! Renato Sogueco, Vice President of Digital Strategy at BloomNet, presented results from the 2016 FMRF Marketing Tactics to Increase Millennials’ Floral Purchases Study, and shared revitalized marketing tactics customized to reach Gen Y. Since July 2016, Renato has been bringing innovative business solutions and revenue-growth tools to BloomNet florists. He analyzes best technology and business practices in a monthly column for BloomNet’s Floriology magazine, and shares insights through the development of business-centric programming for BloomNet’s Floriology Institute in Jacksonville, Fla. Renato previously worked at the Society of American Florists for more than 13 years as its Chief Information Officer.

Click here to listen to the webinar!

Making the Most of Your Tradeshow Experience Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. EST (FREE)

Mackenzie Wortham of DMA Solutions, Inc. discusses ways to optimize your experience at trade shows, and provides great tips for both first timers and those who have previously attended trade shows. As an intuitive thinker with a keen eye for detail, Mackenzie combines strong communications skills, writing talents and a pulse on trending topics to create targeted content and measurable marketing results. Mackenzie joined DMA Solutions in 2011. As an Account Marketing Director, she focuses on the overall marketing strategy for clients, helping them to reach their marketing goals.

Click here to listen to the webinar!