Ornamental horticulture research at the Coastal Research and Extension Center is based at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville. The proximity of the unit to Mississippi's center of ornamental plant production has lead to the development of a multi-faceted research program.
- USDA/National Arboretum Crape Myrtle Introductions
- Annual and Perennial Trial and Display Gardens featuring plants for southern Mississippi
- Variety trials conducted jointly at experiment stations in Poplarville, Crystal Springs, and Verona
- All-America Selections Trial and Display Gardens
- SERA-IEG 27 woody ornamental plant evaluations conducted jointly with other university trial gardens throughout the southeastern U.S.
- Alternative methods of auxin application for cutting propagation
- Comparison of commercially available auxin formulations ("rooting hormones") for cutting propagation
- Use of processed whole pine trees as a rooting medium for cutting propagation
- Prevention of azalea web blight in cutting propagation of azaleas (in cooperation with USDA/ARS)
Fertilization and Growing Media
- Fate of nutrients in container-grown ornamentals using commercially available controlled-release fertilizers (in cooperation with USDA-ARS and University of California, Riverside)
- Use of WholeTree as a renewable growing medium for nursery crops (in cooperation with USDA/ARS and Auburn University)
Specialty Crop Production
- Production of ornamental and related plant species for extraction and screening of essential oils as biopesticides (in cooperation with USDA/ARS)
For more information, contact: Dr. Eugene K. Blythe