Navigation Links
Buyer beware: Stressed plants won't survive shipping
Date:12/3/2007

COLLEGE STATION, TX -- It's a common springtime disappointment: you buy beautiful, flourishing potted plants from your local retailer, only to watch the once-healthy flowers wither and die shortly after you place them on your patio or porch. How do you know you are actually buying plants that will thrive after they leave the garden store? New research published in the October issue of HortTechnology will give consumers better odds for identifying and purchasing healthy, long-lasting annuals.

Dr. Terri W. Starman, Associate Professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, recently concluded a research study of potted annuals to determine the strongest survivors of "postharvest experiences" such as shipping and storage. Starman studied 21 vegetative annuals, popular garden plants marketed to consumers for use in landscaping and decorative containers. Most often sold in 10-inch pots, these showy annuals provide instant color for outdoor spaces and are consumer favorites for use in patio planters and window boxes.

On their way to consumers' homes, however, the annuals experience difficult shipping and storing conditions that have an impact on their survival. According to Starman, the annuals are usually packed in boxes at the growers and shipped long distances to retail outlets, where they often are left in the shipping boxes for several days. In the shipping boxes plants are subjected to high temperatures, low light, and increased exposure to ethylene gas.

Under these stressed conditions photosynthesis shuts down, causing plants to stretch, yellow, and "abscise", or shed foliage. Consumers pay the price when these stressed planets die soon after they are purchased from the retailer. The study showed that high-quality plants produced in the greenhouse may look healthy when they are removed from shipping boxes, but, within one week, the plants' quality declines, and by the end of three weeks most plants are unmarketable.

Starman and her team of researchers subjected 21 varieties of plants to zero, one, or two days of simulated shipping. "After the simulation, we tested plants for quality and counted flower abscission weekly for three weeks in a simulated retail environment. There were few decreases in flower number and quality directly after the simulated shipping, but decline symptoms became evident as time lapsed in the postharvest environment.", Starman said.

After two weeks postharvest, 12 of the 21 cultivars that were shipped for one or two days did not have a high enough quality rating to be considered marketable. Each species in this study had one or two postharvest decline symptoms common to all cultivars of that species. However, cultivars within species also varied in their postharvest decline symptoms and longevity.

Five of the annuals tested still had flowers at termination of the experiment. Sturdy survivors included bracteantha (commonly known as paper daisy or strawflower) cultivars Florabella White, Florabella Gold, Dreamtime Cream, and Sundaze Golden Yellow, and Cascadias Pink petunia.

Starman noted that more conducive environmental conditions, better care, and faster turnover in the retail market are needed to improve the shelf life of vegetative annuals. She added that better plant breeding efforts, production practices, and post-production treatments are needed if market turnover time can not be reduced. She hopes that studies like hers will help growers be better equipped to train retailers to care for plants, and will help retailers become more knowledgeable when designing optimal spaces for marketing potted garden plants.

"As an end result, production practices keeping postharvest longevity in mind will give consumers longer lasting products and will create more delighted, repeat customers.", added Starman.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mice stressed in simulated weightlessness show organ atrophy
2. Layered approach may yield stronger, more successful bone implants
3. Clever plants chat over their own network
4. Plants can be used to study how and why people respond differently to drugs
5. Book on weeds and invasive plants discusses how to manage them using ecological approaches
6. A greenhouse in order to study the impact of climate change on plants
7. Agent that triggers immune response in plants is uncovered
8. Scientists ramp up ability of poplar plants to disarm toxic pollutants
9. A new baseline of invasive plants in Isabela
10. Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
11. Scientists warn that species extinction could reduce productivity of plants on Earth by half
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Buyer beware: Stressed plants won't survive shipping
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016: ... up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% ... 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M ... revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to ... ) , The analysts forecast the ... CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... number of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new ... make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction ... timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies ... screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing ... lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated electronic ... showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 for ... Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug Information ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division ... tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing ... collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... research report to its pharmaceuticals section with historic ... details and much more. Complete report ... 151 pages, profiling 15 companies and supported with ... http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/601420-global-cell-culture-media-industry-2016-market-research-report.html . The Global ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Research and ... Global Markets" report to their offering. ... billion in 2014 from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is ... of 13.8% from 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in ... projected product forecasts during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are ...
Breaking Biology Technology: