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Organic potted plants maybe on the way

If scientists at the University of Aarhus could have their way, organic potted plants would be available in the future.

The life of a potted plant can be quite stressful. You have to be fresh as a daisy, shapely and colourful while at the same time living under conditions with limited space, artificial light and lots of moves throughout a life in the greenhouse, the storage facility, the shop and home at the consumer.

In order to help roses and other flowers we give them fertilizer and spray them with chemicals that combat diseases and pests. Now scientists at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (DJF) at the University of Aarhus are investigating if it is possible to create beautiful and healthy potted roses using minimal or no chemicals. The results are promising.

- We combine beneficial fungi that occur naturally in the soil and on the roots of the plants – the so-called mycorrhiza – with biological remedies on the leaves. We see that the combination of biological remedies results in good protection against, for example, grey mould in potted roses explains senior scientist John Larsen.

- It works just as well as chemicals and can in the long run pave the way for organic potted plants, he says enthusiastically.

If the use of phosphorus in the fertilizer is also reduced, then you will achieve an even better protection against grey mould while at the same time benefiting the environment.

For more information please contact senior scientist John Larsen, Department of Integrated Pest Management, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Aarhus, telephone: +45 8999 3659, e-mail: [email protected]

Wednesday 09 May 2007 | Communication Unit