The production of ornamental plants is a thriving and expanding industry, which is economically important in the United States of America, Canada, South America, Australia, and Europe as well as in many developing countries. During the last few decades significant changes have occurred, with many new crops being introduced, new products such as pot plants replacing cut flowers, and improved techniques for growing, treating and handling plants being introduced. Such changes have had a profound influence on disease development and management. This review focuses on critical aspects of the disease management of ornamental crops, considering the role of breeding strategies, cultural practices, chemical and biological control, natural products, regulatory control and diagnostic tools. Finally, the research needs in this sector are critically analysed.