The National Horticulture Foundation has awarded $50,000 to fund a University of Florida research study aimed at developing new pothos cultivars for the foliage plant industry.
The national Foundation will award the funds over the next three years to the ambitious endeavor, which will be headed up by Jianjun Chen, Ph.D, a professor with the Department of Environmental Horticulture. Chen is based at UF's Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka.
"Pothos has been an important foliage plant in the industry," Chen stated in his funding request. "Pothos new cultivar development, however, has been hampered [by] the lack of a functional reproductive system. Thus far, there are only six cultivars in the market."
Chen added the research study intends to develop several new cultivars for this, one of the most popular foliage plants in the foliage industry.
NHF President David Liu explained the recent increase in green wall popularity also played a part in the Foundation's decision to fund the research project.
"Today, thousands of pothos and philodendron (along with many other plant varieties) are being grown for the Green Wall market," Liu explained. "With this in mind, we are supporting Dr. Chen's research in hopes that new, exciting cultivars will be brought to the market within a reasonable time frame."
The study is expected to complete in December 2020.