Post-Harvest PhysiologyFlower Processing Floral Design Ornamental Horticulture Plant Physiology
General Background Info: Fresh Flower Food • Flower food contains: • a bio-inhibitor • like bleach to kill bacteria • a sugar compound for the flower food • helps flowers open • an acidifier • to maintain the pH level
General Background Info:Flower Plumbing • Xylem & Phloem • These are the tubes that move water and food products up and down the stem of the plant.
General Background Info:Old, Dead Flowers • Ethylene • This is the aging hormone gas from plants. • It causes flower blooms to open. • It can also cause premature aging of flowers.
Step by Step: When Flowers arrive: Processing Flowers • 1. Debunch • Take flowers out of plastic sleeves to release any ethylene gas. • Cut open the bundles so the blooms have room to open and breath. • 2. Cut & Clean Stems • Make a fresh cut, about 1 inch from the bottom to provide a new water source for the flower stem. • Remove any lower leaves that will be underwater.
Step by Step: When Flowers arrive: Condition Flowers • 3. Place in flower solution • Be sure flowers are able to “drink” the flower solution for at least 1 hour at room temperature.
Step by Step: After Processing: Storing Flowers • 4. After drinking for an hour, its time to “harden” the flowers. • Place them in the cooler! • Most common flowers should be stored at 32 – 38 degrees F.
Special Circumstances • Tropical Flowers • Store at temperatures between 55 – 75 degrees F • Keep air humid • mist with water
Special Circumstances • Curving Stems • For roses and tulips, leave the plastic sleeves on while letting them ‘drink’ the floral solution, to prevent curving stems.
Special Circumstances • Stripping roses • Be careful not to strip the ‘bark’ because the xylem is right below the surface, rather than in the center of the stem.
Special Circumstances • Gerbera Daisies: • Use chicken wire to support the flower heads to prevent bent neck. • Also, keep them in just enough water, about 2 – 4 inches. Their stems are spongy and absorb lots of water, which can cause them to wilt prematurely.
Storing Foliage • Greens, like leather leaf and other plumosa ferns, can be stored in the cooler without a water bucket. • Keep foliage wet, hose down the bunches. • Keep foliage wrapped in plastic bags inside the boxes to prevent drying out.
Tropisms • Tropisms is when flower stems curve. • We want to prevent this problem when storing flowers. • Phototropism • This is when flowers curve towards a light source. • like turning toward a window
Tropisms • Geotropism • This is when flowers curve up away from gravity. • growing upwards, when laying down