Categories: Plant Health Care

Graham Murza


So what is Plant Health care, or PHC, for short?

Plant Health Care (PHC) is a comprehensive and holistic approach to managing plant health and maintaining the vitality of landscapes, gardens, and urban green spaces. It emphasizes proactive, preventive measures and promotes sustainable practices to address plant health issues effectively. By combining knowledge from various disciplines such as horticulture, entomology, pathology, and soil science, PHC offers a science-based and environmentally friendly approach to plant management.

That seems like a boring textbook definition doesn’t it?

Lets break it down a little bit more.

Core Concepts behind Plant Health Care


At its core, PHC focuses on promoting and maintaining the overall health of plants, recognizing that healthy plants are better equipped to resist pests, diseases, and environmental stressors. Rather than solely relying on reactive treatments, PHC emphasizes a proactive approach, integrating cultural, biological, and chemical practices to create an ecosystem that supports the plant.

When did PHC become popular?

PHC, or Plant Health Care, gained popularity as a holistic and sustainable approach to plant management in the late 20th century. It emerged as a response to concerns about environmental and health impacts of traditional pest and disease control methods. These methods relied on chemical treatments.

In the 1980s, horticulturists, arborists, and landscape professionals recognized that a more holistic and sustainable approach was needed. This coincided with the awareness of the importance of ecological balance and adverse effects of synthetic chemicals on the environment.

The early 1990s was the start of the PHC boom when the International Society of Arboriculture(ISA) started promoting principles and practices of PHC. This was when the ISA launched its PHC program focusing on integrated pest management, soil health, and tree nutrition. This program focused on the use of cultural practices, biological controls, and reduced reliance on chemical treatments.

Ok, so now that we have a little background information on PHC, lets look at some of the different key components of a PHC Plan.

Key Components of a Plant Health Care Plan

  • Plant Assessment and Monitoring: Regular plant assessments and monitoring are paramount in identifying potential issues. Trained professionals evaluate plant health, check for signs of diseases, pests, nutrient deficiencies, and environmental stressors. Here at Pell Tree we recommend checking them at least once a month.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): IPM focuses on managing pests in a balance and environmentally responsible manner. It employs a range of different strategies designed at treating plants specifically for pests and only using chemical treatments when absolutely necessary.
  • Soil Health Management: A plant might photosynthesize for energy, however the roots are where it gets almost all of its nutrients. Management of soil health includes fertilizing, proper drainage, and aeration. The use of slow-release organic fertilizer is a great way of providing plants with the nutrients they require.
  • Plant diversity: Another commonly overlooked component. Choosing the right species of plants for the site can help reduce stress and enhance plant health. It also reduces the risk of plant and disease outbreaks, and if there is an outbreak, it wont kill every plant.
  • Water Management: Proper irrigation plays an important role in PHC. Efficient watering methods include drip irrigation and smart irrigation systems which ensure plants receive what they need without any waste.

A good PHC plan includes all of these components.

So these are the components of PHC. I imagine you are asking yourself “Why should I care?”

Lets dive into the benefits.


The Benefits of PHC!!!

  • Increased Property Value: Most people don’t understand that their landscape contributes to their properties value.
  • Environmental Sustainability: If you have a fruit tree in your yard, would you want to use destructive chemicals to treat it that could potentially end up in your body via the produced fruit? We didn’t think so either. With how popular coconuts and uses of them in Florida, this is important to consider.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: There may be a few initial investments in PHC, but the long term cost savings can be significant. Any type of landscaping work is not cheap. Preventative treatments are much cheaper than reactive treatments.
  • Enhanced Plant Health: Not only will your property value be increased and your fresh fruit trees produce so much more, but the visual appeal of your property will make you the envy of all your neighbors.

As PHC gets more popular its also paramount to hire the right company that knows what they are doing. Our certified arborist Gus has extensive knowledge in PHC and we are ready to help you get your yard in tip top shape. We offer many different comprehensive PHC services from simple fertilizer to full IPM programs. We understand that each yard and house is different so contact us today for more info!