Whitefly Abundance on Rooted Poinsettia Cuttings and Finished Poinsettias Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, we surveyed the initial whitefly (Aleyrodidae) populations on rooted poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) cuttings at two commercial greenhouse facilities in both 2017 and 2018 to determine the initial whitefly population at the beginning of poinsettia production and surveyed finished poinsettias at multiple retailers in Tyler, TX, over 2 years to determine whitefly densities considered acceptable by retailers. The initial whitefly population (mean se) for all poinsettias was 0.02 0.02 (2017) and 0.33 0.13 (2018) nymphs per plant for grower facility A and 0.05 0.05 (2017) and 0.02 0.01 (2018) nymphs per plant for grower facility B. Of the total 2417 rooted poinsettia cuttings inspected at both locations over 2 years, 29 cuttings had whitefly nymphs (1.2%), 18 had pupae (0.7%), and 23 had exuviae (1.0%). On finished poinsettias sampled at retailers, 4.38 to 40.38 immatures (nymphs + pupae) per plant were found within 60 seconds for any given retailer over the 2 years. We found poinsettias with as many as 220 immatures and 32 adults on a single plant at retailers. This study is the first to quantify densities of whiteflies at retail stores over multiple years.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Vafaie, E. K., Pemberton, H. B., Gu, M., Kerns, D., Eubanks, M. D., & Heinz, K. M.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Vafaie, Erfan K||Pemberton, H Brent||Gu, Mengmeng||Kerns, David||Eubanks, Micky D||Heinz, Kevin M

publication date

  • August 2020