Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UF researchers develop ways to keep the bloom on the rose

13.02.2006


They may not be able to make love last, but a team of University of Florida researchers has figured out how to at least make the flowers go the distance.



A UF environmental horticulturist has developed ways to extend flower quality and vase life by three or more days through post-harvest techniques so consumers see a difference in the flowers they purchase – not only on Valentine’s Day but throughout the year.

“Our research has shown that keeping flowers cold as they move from the field to the florist is critical,” said Terril Nell, who has been involved with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences postharvest floral program for more than two decades.


Growers and retailers also need to understand the importance of proper treatment and sanitary conditions. Consumers can extend vase life by two to three days by using properly mixed commercial flower foods. Using clean, sanitized containers will help to keep all cut flowers fresh longer.

Additionally, Nell and his research team are working with growers and retailers nationally and internationally to spread the word about how best to make flowers last longer.

“Sometimes the differences we achieve relate to the flower quality as well as vase life,” said Nell, who began working with roses because of their popularity and economic value. He also works with carnations, lilies, gerbera, chrysanthemums and alstromeria.

One of the commonly seen quality issues with roses has been ”bent neck” – a bending of the stem immediately below the flower that leads to wilting and failure of the flower to open. Bent neck typically occurs in the first three days after purchase.

“Generally, this problem has been greatly reduced due to use of improved handling procedures from grower to consumer and better rose varieties developed by rose breeders,” Nell said. “As seen with the reduction of bent neck over the last five to eight years, the results of this research programs are making a difference with consumers already. We hope to make even greater strides in the next two to three years.”

Consumers can make a difference in flower longevity, too.

For instance, when choosing roses, buyers should look for freshly cut stems. Re-cut the stems, use a commercial flower food and place the flowers in a clean vase. Keep roses in a cool place, away from heat vents and out of direct sunlight.

The findings also can be applied to lilies and alstromeria, to keep their leaves green even after they go into a vase. Previously the leaves of these crops were susceptible to yellowing, said Nell.

He anticipates that floral sales will increase if flowers perform better by withstanding the test of time.

“It is already proven that flowers are the most popular gift to receive, that they consistently increase a sense of individual well-being, and are even capable of increasing creative thought and output in workplace settings,” Nell said. “If we can help make floral products last longer, their value to consumers will be greater.”

He expects that with improvements to rose quality and longevity, people will buy flowers more often, which will benefit all elements of the floral industry.

“Our whole business relies on the feelings flowers give to people,” said Charles Kremp, owner of Kremp Florists in Philadelphia. “It is important for flowers to arrive to retailers looking their best and to remain looking good after they are purchased by the consumer.”

In the past, fresh flowers kept their quality longer because they were sold in local markets in the vicinity of the fields where they were grown, said Kremp, who has been in the floral industry more than 50 years. When the floral industry began shipping flowers by air to retailers, the quality and longevity declined for the consumer.

“With Terril’s research, people today are receiving flowers of a better quality that last longer than when roses were grown and sold in the same location,” Kremp said.

The beauty and ephemeral nature of Valentine’s Day flowers represent a unique investment in memories, said Nell. A behavioral study shows that fresh flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and increase life satisfaction and enjoyment.

“It’s not enough to offer consumers a beautiful flower,” Nell said. “It needs to come with an extended warranty to remain lovely for a reasonable period of time. Our research is providing scientific basis for that kind of guarantee.”

Terril Nell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ufl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport
26.06.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht UK chemistry researchers develop catalyst that mimics the z-scheme of photosynthesis
26.06.2017 | University of Kentucky

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

26.06.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New research reveals impact of seismic surveys on zooplankton

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Correct connections are crucial

26.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>