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John Dole

Associate Dean & Director, Academic Programs

Academics, Faculty, Research

Patterson Hall 111


John Dole specializes in floricultural crops research and teaches floriculture courses including Greenhouse Management, HS 440, and Production of Floriculture Crops, HS 442 . In addition, he serves as Executive Advisor for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers,, and co-authored Floriculture Principles and Species, 2nd edition, 2005, with Harold F. Wilkins (,1144,0130462500,00.html or other book selling websites).



  • Crop Management and New Crop Species Development – Cut Flowers. The production of specialty cuts in North Carolina and in the United States continues to increase. North Carolina State University is recognized as the only university in the United States with a comprehensive research program on greenhouse and field cut flowers. Our program includes new cultivar evaluations, production studies, postharvest experiments, and marketing analysis. In cooperation with the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG), we coordinate the national ASCFG Seed, Perennial and Woody Plant Trial Programs which includes over forty participating growers around the United States and Canada. This work has been supported by the ASCFG, the American Floral Endowment, the International Cut Flower Growers, and numerous suppliers and producers.
  • Crop Management and New Crop Species Development – Bedding and Potted Plants. The rapid development of the plug and vegetatively-propagated bedding plant industry has been one of the most significant changes in the floriculture industry in the past 20 years. This has resulted in new production methods and dozens of new floriculture crop species on the market. Unfortunately, little information exists on many of the new species. We have been working on providing production protocols for several new species. In addition, since the floriculture industry relies so heavily on shipping of cuttings, we are working on the postharvest handling of unrooted and rooted cuttings. This work has been supported by the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation and numerous suppliers and producers.
  • Development of cost accounting techniques and tools for floriculture crop producers. In today’s competitive environment, floriculture businesses must be equally adept at producing and marketing their crops and managing their businesses to generate a profit. One indicator of floriculture production expenses, $/ft2/week or $/ft2/year, is useful for producers to evaluate their production efficiency. We are updating the $/ft2/week figure for bedding and potted plant producers and the $/ft2/year figure for cut flower producers. In addition, we will focus on correlating automation with characteristics of floriculture companies and developing simplified tools for payback and cost of production analyses. This work has been supported by the North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers’ Association and by numerous producers.


HS 440-Greenhouse Management

Greenhouse Management, HS 440, is a junior/senior level course that serves students in a variety of departments including Horticultural Science, Agricultural Education, and Botany. The course is taught in the fall and is divided into two sections. The first half of the course explains the principles of plant physiology needed to produce plants within a controlled environment, including media, nutrition, water, light, and temperature. The second section of the course deals with greenhouse operations and management such as greenhouse construction, heating, and cooling and business management, marketing, and advertising. In the laboratory students grow a wide range of floriculture crops including potted plants, cut flowers, bedding plants, and foliage plants and at least one field trip is taken. In addition, pest management and plant growth regulators are covered.

HS 442-Production of Floricultural Crops

Production of Floriculture Crop, HS is a junior/senior level course and the floriculture capstone course. Since well over 200 species are used regularly by floriculture industry, the overall goal of this course is to explain the basic production and marketing systems in floriculture using the major crop species as examples. A key component of the course is a term project on scheduling the crop production of a commercial greenhouse for one year and estimating the costs/profits for the entire operation. Much of the project can be completed using a computer spreadsheet. My goals for this project are to 1) emphasize the economic aspects of a floriculture business and 2) incorporate the information they have learned into a practical plan.


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Ph.D., Horticulture/Plant Physiology, University of Minnesota
B.S., Horticulture, Michigan State University