Congratulations to the University of Florida

Research took center stage last week during the 50th Anniversary celebration at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) in Apopka, FL.  More than 150 attendees were treated to walking tours showcasing the projects being conducted.  It was a day filled with many opportunities to highlight the quality of work taking place at the center. 

Over the years, NHF’s consistent financial contributions have laid a solid foundation for its partnership with MREC researchers and has become one of the trusted sources of funding for Florida’s environmental horticulture industry.

In today’s world of science and technology, the nursery and landscape industry has an opportunity to seek out more proactive ways of bridging the gaps between academia and the commercial world.  What if through research the industry could grow bigger or stronger plants or identify ways to make plants grow slower or faster depending on application? What if we could develop different colors in plants that are normally green? What about more disease resistance for plants in the landscape? Got your attention, yet? What if? Why not? The fact is with modern technology the possibilities are endless. 

NHF is proud to support the researchers at MREC. With the financial support of NHF, research can provide the industry with valuable results and targeted ways to enhance production and utilization of plants. NHF is currently funding the following projects at MREC: 

  • Development of Begonias with Enhanced Heat Tolerance for Florida Nurseries being conducted by Alfred Huo, Assistant Professor, Ornamental Plant Breeder, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center

  •  Development of New Pothos Cultivars for the Foliage Plant Industry being conducted by Dr. Jianjun Chen, Professor, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center

Whether you are an industry member seeking a solution to your industry problem or a researcher seeking financial support, NHF needs your help to identify what the next projects should be. Research proposals are accepted from academic institutions across the country. If you wish to apply for an NHF research grant, please fill out and submit the forms to the National Horticulture Foundation. The annual deadline is December 31.  For questions, please contact Linda Reindl at or by phone at (407) 295-7994.