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Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre
for Cultivated Plants

Dr. Ute Katharina Vogler

Messeweg 11/12
38104 Braunschweig, Germany

Ms Kerstin Hansmann and
Ms Margot Knur
Tel: +49 (0)3946 47-7701/-7703
Fax: +49 (0)3946 47-7702
E-mail: g@  julius-kuehn.  de

Branch offices

in  Münster
Toppheideweg 88
48161 Münster, Germany
Fax: +49 (0)251 87106-33

in Kleinmachnow
Stahnsdorfer Damm 81
14532 Kleinmachnow, Germany
Tel: +49(0)33203 48-0
Fax: +49(0)33203 48-425

Institute booklet


Ornamentals enrich the quality of life and decorate our living environment. The diversity of species and cultivars in cut flowers, potted and bedding plants, as well as perennials grown in Germany is tremendous and changes permanently due to new breeds. Pests and diseases can adversely affect the quality of plants in commercial nurseries and greenhouses as well as at the consumer’s home. Against this background, we study the cause of the occurrence and spread of harmful organisms and develop appropriate measures for their control.

In Germany, ornamentals are grown in nearly 4,500 market gardens on an area of about 6,700 ha, of which about 1,800 ha are under protected conditions. The major cultivation areas are located in North Rhine-Westphalia. About 76 % of the bedding plants and 18 % of the cut flowers sold in Germany are from domestic production.

Plant protection in ornamentals

There is a great diversity of ornamental plants and their cultivation, with different requirements to be met, and consequently a foresighted and sustainable plant protection management is needed to guarantee the production of high-quality plants. Emphasis is put on integrated plant protection measures. This means to use healthy and preferably resistant plant material. In greenhouses, climate control is an important measure to counteract the multiplication and spread of harmful organisms like Botrytis sp.

Biological and biotechnical measures can be taken to control pests like thrips or aphids. If such measures are not sufficient, the use of insecticides which are tolerated by beneficial insects should be considered. In this context it has to be noted that - also in Integrated Plant Protection - the use of chemical plant protection products is limited according to the principle of “as much as necessary – as little as possible.”

Before any plant protection measures are taken, the cause of the damage needs to be identified. Therefore, another focus of our Institute is the diagnosis and identification of pests and diseases, which in particular applies to newly occurring species.

Fields of work

  • Characterization and identification of the causal agents of plant damage
  • Biology and spread of pests and diseases
  • Detection of pathogens in propagating material
  • Resilience of cultivars to pests and diseases
  • Integrated and biological plant protection in ornamentals  

Scientists working in this field