Plant doctors promote eco-friendly urban life


Plants in the greenhouse. (Photo‍: VCG)

Many know hospitals as places for people, or even pets, feeling a bit under the weather. But, when it comes to plants, a horticultural clinic may seem a bit out of the ordinary.

Treating plant diseases is not an easy job because the patients can't speak. They simply lie in the sick ward in silence, however, for green-thumbed doctors, they know the way by heart.

“We provide services and treatment methods to help farmers and residents who grow plants for fun,” said Dr. Qiao Yan of the Beijing General Hospital of Plant, one of China's first plant clinics, adding, “They have the need but may lack the experience. That's what we are here for.”

Doctors at plant clinics in Beijing have reviewed over 86,000 cases since 2012. Planters can either bring a sample to have a face-to-face session with doctors or an inquiry via the hospital's online platform -- all for free.

Now as an answer to this year's International Horticultural Expo, these doctors are teaching city dwellers to live green even if they don't have a garden. Simply growing vegetables on the balcony, one can eat organic food every day.

Dr. Qiao also hopes planters can cut down on the use of pesticides and switch to greener methods.

“We're promoting bio-pest control techniques, such as using the pests' natural enemies. This is eco-friendlier and totally chemical-free. Planters don't need to think twice about what they eat out of the ground,” said the doctor.

Whether it's for vegetables or flowers, plant doctors are doing what they can to make life greener under the Green Cross.