Increasing use of sustainable plants in production and landscape design

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2006: $180,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Kris Braman
University of Georgia

Annual Reports


  • Additional Plants: ornamentals


  • Education and Training: decision support system
  • Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: holistic management


    This project brought Horticulturists and Pest Management Specialists together in a concerted effort to better identify and increase interest in better-adapted, low input plants for the southeastern U.S. Hundreds of ornamental plants and turf grass selections were evaluated for the ability to resist or tolerate common and newly invasive pests. Better-adapted species and cultivars were identified and mechanisms conferring resistance were in some cases able to be further elucidated, informing plant-breeding efforts. Industry surveys in three states revealed that lawn care and landscape maintenance professionals largely believe that insect- and disease- resistant plants will benefit their businesses and should result in increased client satisfaction. Recommendations developed as a result of research conducted in this project have been formatted to populate a web-based plant selection tool “Gardensource”

    Project objectives:

    The goal of our project was to increase production and ultimate use of low-input, especially pest -resistant plants in the southeastern U.S. The objectives of this project were to: 1)identify optimal plant material (from both low input and aesthetic viewpoints), 2) facilitate pest-resistant plant production and availability, 3) enhance the likelihood that resistant plants will be specified in landscape design, and 4) provide a tool that will make locating desired sustainable plants easier.
    The research component of this project 1) identified and developed pest-resistant or other stress tolerant plant material suitable for the southeast and 2) investigated, through survey, interview and facilitated conferences, the most appropriate methods to achieve components 2, 3 and 4 of the plan above.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.