Research Greenhouse Complex

Research Greenhouse Complex

Opened in 2003, the Research Greenhouse Complex houses the core of the University of Maryland Plant Research Growth facility (PRGF), the Norton- Brown Herbarium, and field-oriented research labs of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. The computer-controlled precision growth chambers and greenhouses in the UMD PRGF feature automated light, temperature and humidity controls. The facility places an emphasis on advanced biocontainment and precision delivery of water and nutrients, while maintaining the highest standards of limited pesticide inputs, which contributes to our Integrated Pest Management Practices.



Research conducted in the Complex includes studies of entomopathogen infection of fruits and vegetables, advanced genomics of cereal crops, reduction of mycotoxin contamination of wheat, genetic analysis of invasive weeds, development of new resources for urban agriculture and green roofs, genomic resources for rapid crop production adaption to climate change, improvement of salt tolerance in crops grown near the Chesapeake Bay, development of new strawberry genomic resources, evaluation of insect-crop plant interactions and responses to exotic pathogens. 

Facility Information

Pines at greenhouse

The headhouse (main building) is 26,200 gross square feet. Four separate greenhouse ranges extend off the headhouse with a total area of 39,729 gross square feet under glass. The building includes an additional 4,000 square feet of support space for teaching, research labs, growth chambers and meeting room.


It is the policy of the greenhouse staff under the direction of the Greenhouse Manager and the Facilities Manager (Shaun Faulkner, 301-405-6913, to maintain the research greenhouse complex in optimal operating condition for the use of all faculty at the University. In order to accomplish this it will be necessary to have the full cooperation of all users. The following policies were established by the Controlled Environment Committee as guidelines in order to facilitate the smooth operation of the greenhouse complex.

Space Allocation and Usage Charges

  • All requests for space must be accompanied by a completed project work sheet at least one week prior to the start date for the project. Forms are available from the greenhouse manager. Space will be assigned on a first come first serve basis by the greenhouse manager.
    1. Priority for the assignment of space will go to University personnel. Non-University and commercial users will be assigned space based on availability at the time that the request is made. Space may not be reserved ahead of time and left empty until needed. If No space is available to any user when the request is made, a definite time for availability will be communicated by the greenhouse manager.
    2. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as construction or other special needs for the greenhouse section in which the researcher/user will be working, additional advance notice may be needed. (4-6 weeks depending on the extent of alterations needed)
    3. However, no permanent modification to the greenhouse structures will be permitted without prior approval.
    4. Hazards associated with the project must be disclosed at the time that the request is made.
  • Bench space will be assigned by the greenhouse manager for the specified duration of the project.
  • Bench Charges for University faculty and students have been set by the MAES at $0.30 per square foot of bench surface per month
  • $ 130 per month for each full 750 sq. ft. zone with 431 sq. ft. of bench surface
    1. 4 rolling benches at $25 per bench per month
    2. 2 fixed benches at $15 per bench per month
  • $ 270 per month for each 1500 sq. ft. zone with 882 sq. ft. of bench surface
    1. 8 rolling benches at $30 per bench per month
    2. 2 fixed benches at $15 per bench per month
  • $ 540 per month for the 3000 sq. ft. zone with 2033 sq. ft. of bench surface
    1. 17 rolling benches at $30 per bench per month
    2. 2 fixed benches at $15 per bench per month
    1. Charges will be prorated for a minimum of ½ of a bench and a minimum of one week.
    2. Charges for non-University of Maryland faculty, including commercial enterprises have been set at $0.60 per square foot of bench space per month. Rental space will be allocated for a complete zone only and for a minimum of a full month.
      1. $260 per month for each 750 sq. ft. zone.
      2. $540 per month for each 1500 sq. ft. zone.
      3. $1,080 per month for each 3000 sq. ft. zone.
      contract for space assigned to non-University faculty must be negotiated with the greenhouse manager in advance and approved by the Chair of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture.

Facility Access

For liability and safety purposes, access to the greenhouse facility is restricted to the hours between 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday.

  1. University of Maryland faculty and graduate students can obtain access at other hours using University of Maryland ID Card Access by contacting the Plant Science and Landscape Architecture business office (PLS 2121, 301-405-8511) or the greenhouse  Agricultural Technician Supervisor (Sydney Wallace, 301-405-4375,
  2. Undergraduate students may also obtain access if they are employed by the greenhouse, but must only be in the greenhouse after regular hours under the supervision of a member of the greenhouse staff.
  3. Non-University users of the greenhouse facility may not access the greenhouse facility outside of regular hours and must exit the facility by 4:30 PM unless accompanied by a member of the faculty or greenhouse staff.

Facilities Maintenance

The greenhouse staff will be responsible for:

  1. Maintenance of all plant material in the greenhouse, ground beds and shade house as specified in the project work sheet including:
    • Daily (7 days per week) watering schedules,
    • Fertilization,
    • Insect and disease scouting, and
    • Pesticide and beneficial insect applications
  2. Monitoring, maintenance and purchase of all equipment needed to operate the greenhouse and growth chambers including:
    • All Priva settings for temperature, ventilation, humidity, supplemental light and irrigation schedules.
      Users should not make any changes to environmental settings or programs without checking with the Facilities or Greenhouse Manager.
    • All equipment needed for heating, cooling, fog and mist, irrigation and fertigation, and automated shade and blackout cloth
    • Environmental data logging will be provided upon request if the request is made at the time that the project work sheet is submitted.
  3. Maintenance and purchase of expendable supplies, such as pots, trays, soil mixes, etc. Non-University users will be charged for use of greenhouse supplies not provided by the user.
  4. Mixing of soil and filling of pots with at least 24 hours prior arrangement with the greenhouse manager.
  5. Trash removal from trash cans into dumpsters.

User Responsibilities

  1. Requests for space and establishment of conditions for growing conditions as specified on the project work sheet.
  2. Provision of all plant material needed for experiments.
  3. Potting and repotting of plants, including rooting of cuttings and sowing of seed. The greenhouse staff may assist with potting tasks, if notified in advance and personnel are available.
  4. Pruning, staking and weeding of experimental plant material.
  5. Arrangements for storage of chemicals or hazardous materials used for experiments. All chemicals must be labeled, have MSDS sheets and be stored by law in chemical and pesticide storage sheds outside the greenhouse. Chemicals found to be inappropriately labeled will be disposed of. The facility and/or greenhouse manager must be advised in advance of the chemicals being brought into the facility. The user is responsible for storage and removal of all chemicals brought on the site.
  6. Clean up of all common areas, especially potting benches and areas around the benches, as well as removal of any debris in zones.
  7. Emptying trash into trash receptacles located at trashcan stations in the headhouse. No trash or any other material is to be left in the corridors between zones. Large or heavy loads of soil media, pots, or trash should be removed by users from the greenhouse sections and transferred directly to outside trash dumpsters. Smaller (yellow and blue) trashcans are to be used for plant debris and general trash and will be emptied periodically by the greenhouse staff.
  8. Maintenance of any temporarily installed equipment in zones
  9. Removal of any plant material no longer being used for experiments
  10. Arrangements for temporary establishment of storage areas for personal equipment. No material should be stored in greenhouse zones or growth chambers.
  11. Arrangements for after-hours, weekend and holiday access to greenhouse. Keys must be obtained from the PSLA Department key monitor (Rosalind Kilroy, 301.405.8511, with prior authorization from the Chair of the PSLA Department. Greenhouse access is restricted to the hours between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM on weekdays except for greenhouse staff, University researchers and graduate students.
  12. Scheduling of uses of common areas such as the conference room, potting room and benches, cold rooms, labs, etc.
  13. Efficient and effective use of reserved space. Unutilized or underutilized space may be reassigned to other users based on need with 15 days prior notification, even if the space is being paid for.
  14. Pesticide applications and beneficial insects should not be released without prior approval from the greenhouse manager. All applications of pesticide must be done by registered and certified applicators only!
  15. Coordination of deliveries made to the greenhouse complex with the greenhouse manager. All deliveries must scheduled in advance and offloading of deliveries made to individual users is the responsibility of the user.