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 plant growth facilities staff under the direction of the Greenhouse Manager Sydney Wallace​, 301-405-4375 (office), (240-417-0424 Cell) 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 plant growth facilities.​

Space Allocation and Usage Charges

Space requests must be submitted to greenhouse management prior to the beginning of each academic period (Spring, Fall). All requests for space must be accompanied by a completed Space Request Form. Request forms are available online (​) to all members of the University community.

  1. Space will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis by the greenhouse manager based on availability when the request is submitted.​
  2. Space must be rented at a minimum of one complete bench and for a minimum of a full month.
  3. 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. However, no permanent modification to the greenhouse structures will be permitted.
  4. Hazards associated with the project must be disclosed at the time that the request is made.
  5. Space Charges for University researchers are as follows:
  • Greenhouse Bench: $47.89/unit/mo
    • 700 sq ft room : $287.34 / month
    • 1500 sq ft room: $478.90 / month
    • 3000 sq ft room: $957.80/ month
  • Growth Chambers
    • Greenhouse M260 (160 sq ft): $247.35/unit/mo 
    • Greenhouse M40s(40 sq ft): $82.45/unit/mo 
    • PSB 8 SF chambers: $82.45/unit/mo 
    • PSB 15 SF chambers: $154.59/unit/mo 

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 community members conducting research 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 Manager (Sydney Wallace, 301-405-4375,
  2. Undergraduate Students can obtain card access if they are employed by the greenhouse or a faculty member conducting research, but must only be in the greenhouse after regular hours under the supervision of a member of the greenhouse staff or the faculty member they are employed by.

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 worksheet including:
  2. Daily (7 days per week) watering schedules
  3. Fertilization
  4. Insect and disease scouting, and Control
  5. Pesticide and beneficial insect applications (upon request)
  6. Monitoring, maintenance, and purchase of all equipment needed to operate the greenhouse and growth chambers including:

    a. All Priva settings for temperature, ventilation, humidity, supplemental light, and irrigation schedules.
    b. Users should not make any changes to environmental settings or programs
  7. All equipment needed for heating, cooling, fog and mist, irrigation and fertigation, and automated shade and blackout cloth
  8. Environmental data logging will be provided upon request if the request is made at the time that the space request is submitted.
  9. Maintenance and purchase of specific expendable supplies, such as pots, trays, and soil mixes. Non-standard supplies can be obtained through greenhouse staff at a charge to your University account.
  10. Trash removal from trash cans into dumpsters.

User Responsibilities

  1. Requests for space and establishment of conditions for growing conditions as specified on the space request form.
  2. All greenhouse users must complete WPS Training in person with the Agricultural Technician Supervisor before working in the greenhouse.  This training must be renewed annually - contact Meghan Fisher Holbert to schedule.
  3. Provision of all plant material needed for experiments.
  4. 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.
  5. Pruning, staking and weeding of experimental plant material.
  6. 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 through the Department of Environmental Safety. The greenhouse manager must be advised in advance of the chemicals being brought into the facility. The user is responsible for arranging storage and removal of all chemicals brought on the site.
  7. Clean up of all common areas, especially potting benches and areas around the benches, as well as the removal of any debris in zones.
  8. 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 and recycling dumpsters or into the soil composting pile. Smaller (yellow and blue) cans are to be used for plant debris and general trash and will be emptied periodically by the greenhouse staff.
  9. Maintenance of any temporarily installed equipment in zones
  10. Removal of any research material, including plants, no longer being used for experiments
  11. Arrangements for the temporary establishment of storage areas for personal equipment. 
  12. Arrangements for after-hours, weekend and holiday access to the greenhouse
  13. Scheduling of uses of common areas such as the conference room and  potting room
  14. Coordination of deliveries made to the greenhouse complex with the greenhouse manager. All deliveries must be scheduled in advance and offloading of deliveries made to individual users is the responsibility of the user. Deliveries must be scheduled during regular business hours (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday).