Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



HortScience, Vol. 38(5), August 2003, pp. 1031-1035


Copyright 2003 American Society for Horticultural Science. Used by Permission.


According to Seeley (1979), even though the Society for Horticultural Science was formed in 1903, it wasn't until the 1930s that research papers on the subject of floriculture were published in our journal. There were, however, numerous college and university bulletins about floricultural crops which included fertilizer studies (for example, Blake, 1915).

Despite the sluggish start, in the last 25 years, in the American Society of Horticultural Science's three journals (Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, HortScience, and HortTechnology) alone, there have been over 240 publications relating to the nutrition of floricultural crops. Journal such as Scientia Horticulturae, Journal of Plant Nutrition, Agrochemica, Journal of Environmental Horticulture as well as others also publish papers on this topic.Thus, the focus of this article will be on research published in ASHS journals. Even with this narrowed focus, only a sampling of the research that has occurred can be mentioned here.

Floriculture in its broadest sense involves growth and development physiology, culture, management and postharvest physiology of cut flowers, potted flowering and foliage plants, cacti and carnivorous plants, bedding plants and herbaceous perennials including forbs and geophytes. Adequate elemental content of these plants is critical at all growth stages to ensure a marketable product.