Cut flower plants contribute to a very prosperous industry in many parts of the world. The longevity period of these cut flowers is a very important factor which influences the duration of the shelf-life of the flowers. Different cut flowers may have different longevity periods, depending on the effect of various environmental factors such as continuously changing conditions of temperature, light, humidity, water content of growth medium and nutrient or fertilizer availability. Furthermore, physical damage factors such as bruising, crushing, ethylene accumulation and invasion by microorganisms can also affect flower longevity (Gast, 1997). The reason why flowers wilt and shrivel faster after they are harvested is because their source of water and nutrients is cut off, as they are removed from the parent plant. So to maintain their quality, odor and freshness, post-harvest treatments that mimic the way the parent plants maintain the flowers should be employed which will hence, ensure that the high customer expectations and demands for high quality flowers can be met (Campbell and Reece, 2011).
One such treatment involves the holding solutions used to keep the flowers until they are ready for sale. Suitable holding solutions reduce the extent of cell deterioration, hence, extending the period of longevity. Sucrose is the major transport molecule for providing nutrition to different organs of the plant and is therefore a source of carbon and energy for growing plant organs and those carrying out photosynthesis (Cho, Celikel & Dodge, 1999).
[...] 829-837. Gast, K. L. B. (1997). Postharvest handling of fresh cut flowers and plant material. Cooperative Extension Service, Kansas State University (KSU). [...]
[...] Hence, supplying the cut flowers with sugars such as sucrose in the holding solution can promote photosynthesis and respiration and hence increase longevity. Furthermore, increased sucrose concentration in the plant promotes the uptake of water providing turgidity to the stems of the cut flowers. Sucrose also promotes the effect of cytokinin in postponing aging and prevents the effects of ethylene from stimulating aging (Eisenberg and Staby, 1985). Errors might have been caused by microbial contamination and also air bubbles which might have developed within the solution and as it blocks the xylem and the phloem of the flowers it may reduce the plants ability to take in nutrients and water which might have hence decreased the longevity of flowers and hence reduce the shelf life. [...]
[...] (550 words) CONCLUSION In conclusion, the 10% sucrose solution was found to be the most ideal holding solution for maintaining high flower longevity in rose, chrysanthemum and orchid plants and the 15% sucrose solution was the least ideal holding solution. Chrysanthemum flowers had the longest longevity as compared to the rose and orchid species while rose had the shortest longevity. Orchid flowers grew well in 10% and solution because the sucrose concentration was ideal for uptake into the plant (78 words) Bibliography Campbell, N. [...]
[...] (1999). Sucrose enhances the postharvest quality of cut flowers of Eustoma Grandiflorum (raf.) Shinn. In VII International Symposium on Postharvest Physiology of Ornamental Plants 543 (pp. 305-315). Eisenberg, B. A., & Staby, G. L. (1985). Mitochondrial changes in harvested carnation flowers (Dianthus caryophyllus) during senescence. Plant and cell physiology, pp. [...]
[...] Effect of sucrose holding solution on flower longevity INTRODUCTION Cut flower plants contribute to a very prosperous industry in many parts of the world. The longevity period of these cut flowers is a very important factor which influences the duration of the shelf-life of the flowers. Different cut flowers may have different longevity periods, depending on the effect of various environmental factors such as continuously changing conditions of temperature, light, humidity, water content of growth medium and nutrient or fertilizer availability. [...]
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