Commercial Ornamental Nursery

Scouting Manual

Edited by

Donald E. Short, Gary W. Simone and Robert A. Dunn

First Edition

Edited for this Web page by

Lance S. Osborne


Collins, Janice L., Biological Scientist, EREC, Belle Glade

Dunn, Robert A., Nematologist, University of Florida, IFAS, Gainesville

Henley, Richard W., Horticulturist, University of Florida, CFREC, Apopka

Mizell, Russell F., Entomologist, University of Florida, NFREC, Monticello

Osborne, Lance S., Entomologist, University of Florida, CFREC, Apopka

Pernezny, Ken L., Plant Pathologist, University of Florida, EREC, Belle Glade

Price, James F., Entomologist, University of Florida, GCREC, Bradenton

Short, Donald E., Entomologist, University of Florida, IFAS, Gainesville

Simone, Gary W., Plant Pathologist, University of Florida, IFAS, Gainesville

Waddill, Christine T., Director, Cooperative Extension Service,

University of Florida, IFAS, Gainesville

Department of Entomology and Nematology

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611


©2001 University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Limited quotation from this book in other publications is permitted provided that proper credit is given. All rights reserved. Published 2001. Printed in the United States of America.

Graphic design, production and cover design by Jane Medley

-- of related interest

Many other items of interest are available from the Cooperative Extension Service and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. Find out about all the books, manuals, videos, compact discs, flash cards and other media available from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Contact your County Extension Agent or:

IFAS Extension Bookstore -- University of Florida


-- Don't forget to visit our Web site!

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Science at the University of Florida has an extensive collection of information available online on the World Wide Web.

Begin your visit with us at:


The concept of IPM is more than the sum of its preventive and pest management practices. Simply using plant isolation, sanitation, sticky traps and pesticides does not equate to an operative IPM program. IPM requires a conscious commitment to utilizing a broad range of available management options according to a logical strategy that evolves in response to the frequent collection and interpretation of disease, pest and weed incidence data. IPM is a philosophy based upon the systematic and repeated survey of nursery sites by a scout to allow early detection and identification of plant problems. Early detection of a pest or disease can result in less plant loss, higher plant quality, fewer production delays, lower production costs, and ultimately higher nursery profits. Most growers realize that most non-pesticide management options have less and often slower effectiveness in stopping the existing disease/pest outbreak. These non-pesticidal options become useful and cost effective when implemented as part of an IPM nursery strategy a strategy that constantly evolves and redirects as a result of the efforts of the scout.


The editors wish to express their sincere gratitude to Jane Medley for her design and production of this manual; photographer James Castner; county faculty members Geri Cashion, Elizabeth Felter, Cathy Neal and Roger Newton for project design; typists Ruth Kusky, Jo Ann Dippel and Nancy Sanders; and all contributing authors. Thanks to R.F. Mizell, Cathy Neal and Roger Newton for their critical review of the manual. Special recognition should be given to Dr. James App for his support and encouragement and to Charles Brown of IFAS Educational Media and Services for his editorial review and assistance.


This document is currently under construction.  Sections will be added as they are completed.  If errors are detected within any portion of this document or you have comments please contact Lance Osborne at:

The Integrated Pest Management Concept 

The Scout Decision 

Scout/Management Negotiations 

Recognizing Plant Disorders 

Basic Plant Pathology

Basic Entomology 

Beneficial Insects

Introduction to the Identification of Insects and Related Arthropods - 1999  by P. M. Choate. This link is to a PDF file that takes a significant amount of time to download.

Plant Parasitic Nematodes 

Mistaken Identities in the Nursery 

Abiotic Plant Problems 

Scouting the Nursery -- The Mechanics

Scouting the Nursery for Sound Horticulture 

Key Plants / Key Pests

How to Collect and Submit Plant Disease Samples 

How to Collect and Submit Insect Samples

How to Collect and Submit Nematode Samples 

References for Scout-based IPM Programs in the Nursery

Appendix I: Worker Re-entry Intervals for Common Pesticides used on Nursery-grown Ornamentals

Appendix II: Commercial Laboratories for Plant Problem Diagnosis 

Appendix III: IPM Equipment Suppliers 

Appendix IV: Microscope and General Lab Supply Vendors

Appendix V: Color Identification Sheets

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