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Sarada Krishnan, Bahman Pirastah, and Harrison Hughes

The evergreen Ceanothus velutinus and semi-evergreen C. fendleri are native Colorado, drought-tolerant shrubs. They are of interest for landscaping and rock gardens, but have poor seed germination as well as vary considerably in growth form and habit. Asexual propagation methods would be important for commercial development of these species. Basal hardwood cuttings of C. velutinus were rooted using four different concentrations of IBA. The highest concentration of IBA (0.8%) showed the highest rooting (14.8%), while the average number of roots per cutting was highest for 0.1%. Ceanothus fendleri shoot tips were cultured on MS medium with four BA (0.89, 4.4, 8.9 and 17.8 μM) and three 2ip concentrations (24.6, 49.0 and 73.6 μM). After nine weeks an average of six shoots were produced in treatments having 4.9 μM of BA. Lower concentrations of BA up to 9.8 μM were better than higher concentrations of BA or 2ip. There was a tendency for production of callus at the higher levels of 8A and all levels of 2ip.

Free access

Sarada Krishnan, Kurt Shultz, and Harrison Hughes

In recent years there has become an increased demand for native, drought-tolerant species for private landscaping and revegetation of disturbed sites; especially in the Rocky Mountains and high plains states. Sheperdia canadensis and S. rotundifolia, native to much of this area, have already increased in popularity due to their drought tolerance and general hardiness. Micropropagation and rooting of cuttings have been investigated for these two species. S. canadensis hardwood stem cuttings were successfully rooted with 0.8% IBA at 46.5% as compared to less than 5% from previous research. S. rotundifolia produced a greater number of axillary shoots on WPM as compared to MS medium and at a moderate concentration of BA.

Open access

Sarada Krishnan, Heather Kirk-Ballard, Esther McGinnis, and Lauren Garcia Chance

The retail gardening industry in the United States is expected to reach $50 billion by 2023, and it is a significant driver of the agricultural economy. To meet the corresponding demand for information, consumer horticulture (CH) professionals will need to develop innovative digital outreach, research-based solutions, a concerted recruitment of youth, and enhanced collaborations. To understand the current gaps in CH research and the extent of the involvement of public gardens in CH, surveys were conducted among the two groups, CH/extension researchers and staff of public gardens. The results of the surveys were presented at the virtual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science on 12 Aug. 2020 during a workshop hosted by the Consumer Horticulture and Master Gardener Professional Interest Group. The workshop included four presentations, and two of those are discussed in this paper: 1) research gaps in CH and 2) bridging the divide between CH and public gardens. Among researchers, even though there was a general understanding of CH, there was a disconnect in participants’ perceptions of the roles of CH in the economy and recreation. The greatest knowledge gap was in basic horticultural practices. Regarding public garden professionals, there needs to be a concerted effort to educate them about CH so they can provide a consistent message to their audiences and the general public.

Open access

Natalie Bumgarner, Sheri Dorn, Esther McGinnis, Pam Bennett, Ellen Bauske, Sarada Krishnan, and Lucy Bradley

Many fields of research converge to assess the impact of plants on human health, well-being, and nutrition. However, even with a recent history of horticulturists contributing to human–plant interaction work, much of the current research is conducted outside the context of horticulture and specifically outside of consumer horticulture (CH). To connect CH to research being conducted by other disciplines that explore the role of plants in improving human quality of life, a workshop was held on 1 Aug. 2018 in Washington, DC, at the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) annual conference. The workshop focused on current food science, nutrition, and crop-breeding efforts to enhance nutrition and flavor, and human health and well-being research related to nature and plant interactions in an increasingly urban population. Following these presentations regarding potential research linkages and collaboration opportunities, a facilitated discussion identified ways to improve future CH research and foster collaborative work. Action items identified included connecting research and vocabulary to help cultivate an interest in plants in younger generations; supporting awareness of collaborative opportunities with health, nutrition, urban planning, and public health practitioners; ensuring CH is known to administrators; and taking responsibility for initiating communication with colleagues in these areas.

Open access

Esther McGinnis, Alicia Rihn, Natalie Bumgarner, Sarada Krishnan, Jourdan Cole, Casey Sclar, and Hayk Khachatryan

The millennial generation, born between 1981 and 1996, is the largest demographic age group in the United States. This generation of plant enthusiasts has experienced financial setbacks; nevertheless, they collectively wield immense economic power. In 2018, this generation made one-quarter of all horticulture purchases. Consumer horticulture (CH) is challenged to develop targeted programming and outreach methods to connect with this influential and information-hungry generation. To examine the possibilities, the CH and Master Gardener Professional Interest Group held a workshop on 23 July 2019, in Las Vegas, NV, at the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) annual conference. The workshop first actively engaged participants to build points of connection by discussing nontraditional terminology that resonates with younger audiences. Suggested terminology included plant parent, plant enthusiast, plant babies, apartment-friendly, sustainable, and urban agriculture. After the opening discussion, three presentations explored innovative content, marketing and outreach in the areas of social media, retail promotions, and public gardens. The social media presentation focused on building a two-way partnership with millennials on Instagram that emphasized shared values of sustainability, local foods, and wellness. During the second presentation, the speaker highlighted retail point-of-sale promotions that appeal to younger audiences. The final presentation described creative programming used by botanical gardens to engage younger visitors. A facilitated discussion followed the presentations to identify and evaluate techniques and content that could be incorporated into CH research, teaching, and extension to reach and interact with new millennial audiences. Based on the workshop presentations and the facilitated discussions, the ASHS CH and Master Gardener Professional Interest Group concluded that more CH professionals should engage in social media outreach tailored to the needs and preferences of younger generations. To support this valuable outreach, research of consumer behavior and retail marketing should be encouraged to identify the preferred terminology and subject matter that appeal to millennials. Finally, CH can learn from and partner with public gardens as they implement multidisciplinary programming and exhibitions.