“Plant Health Care” is a bold new concept in professional plant care. Healthy, productive plants can use their own natural defense systems to resist environmental stresses. As a result, they need fewer chemical treatments for survival and productive long term growth. It is a preventive, rather than a curative approach, to plant care. Understanding plant health is the same as understanding human health.
Plants have basic needs for adequate water, nutrients, sunlight and soils rich in beneficial microbes. When those needs are not met, plants get weaker and cannot defend against drought, other environmental stresses and pest infestations. In fact, research shows that almost 90 percent of all insect and disease problems encountered by plants can be attributed to deficiencies in the basic growing needs of plants. As with humans, when plants are strong and healthy, their own potent natural “immune” system can resist most stress related problems.
“Plant Health Care” is a natural systems approach to improving plant health and productivity.
Prevention is the key to successful, cost-effective plant growth, just as it is with human health care. Most trees and shrubs grown in nurseries today are not prepared for the stressful conditions they encounter after leaving the nursery. The reason is that mass-produced plants are raised in “intensive care” surroundings where they are often planted in sterilized soil-less mixes or fumigated nursery beds void of beneficial microbes, and receive an over abundance of water, fertilizer and pesticide treatments, in order to “push” growth. While plants may look attractive when they leave the nursery, too often they are unprepared for the stresses that exist in the urban landscape or development site. Professionals who adopt the “Plant Health Care” program attempt to create a more natural growing environment for their plants through the use of microbial inoculates, better water and soil management, and the use of biological pest controls.
In late 1994, Plant Health Care, Inc. (PHC, Inc.) was established by a team of leading scientists from the USDA Forest Service to develop products and provide technical support for professionals who adopt a “Plant Health Care” approach to plant and land management. The Company has quickly become a leading supplier of plant health care-related products and services to the forestry, horticulture and land restoration industries in the U.S. and, increasingly, worldwide.