Episode 7

Ep. 7. Whiteflies on Poinsettias

A common assumption is that ornamental plants must be perfectly clean when they hit the retailer. No pests. Nada. This assumption is unrealistic and rather harmful. By making this assumption, we limit our pest management decisions to options that are most likely to kill all the insects: synthetic insecticides. However, how true is it that synthetic insecticides give us perfectly clean plants? And if "zero" pests is unrealistic, what is? Listen to this episode to learn more about a study looking at whitefly densities on poinsettia cuttings received by growers and finished poinsettias that make it to the retailer.


Vafaie, E. K., H. B. Pemberton, M. Gu, D. Kerns, M. D. Eubanks, and K. M. Heinz. 2020. Whitefly Abundance on Rooted Poinsettia Cuttings and Finished Poinsettias. Horttechnology. 1–6.


About the Podcast

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Jolly Green Scientists
Digesting scientific research relevant to the green industry

About your hosts

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Erfan Vafaie

I'm an entomologist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, based out of Overton, Texas (U.S.A.). I conduct research and educational programming on integrative pest management of ornamental and nursery crops, working mainly with producers and other green industry professionals. My online 'pseudonym' is the SixLeggedAggie.
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Vikram Baliga

I'm the manager of the University Teaching and Research Greenhouse and Horticultural Gardens at Texas Tech University. I also serve as an instructor of horticulture in the Department of Plant and Soil Science and I'm a long-time and active science communicator. I'm also a thunderous plant nerd.