Utilizing Plant Trial Evaluations

The number of plants available in the industry today can be overwhelming!  How do you as a grower or a garden center retailer sift through the exhaustive listings of new and not-so-new plants to determine which to grow and offer for sale?  Seeing and understanding how plants grow and perform in a garden setting alongside their peers allows you as the producer/retailer to select plants that should perform well for consumers in your target market – whether that target market is within your zipcode or hundreds of miles away.  Many universities, public gardens and young plant producers participate in plant evaluation trials – but where are they located and how do you use the information they generate?

A fairly new resource, the Plant Trials Database (www.planttrials.org) was designed to provide standardized information that can be used by the horticulture industry.  A standardized trialing protocol was developed for all trial gardens to follow as well as minimum scoring procedures.  The participating trial gardens and breeders are listed.  Access to the database is currently limited to professionals in the horticulture industry, such as growers, retailers, educators, and others.  Please visit the database website to request access on trial results.

To directly visit the OSU trial websites, you may access them via the database or using the link below.

OSU – Columbus, OH: http://ohiofloriculture.osu.edu/cultivar-trials