Effects of long term storage on the physiology of cut rose flowers

MSc-thesis abstract (submitted 27 February 2017): Cut rose flowers are grown in distant places and transported to the whole world by air or by sea.
Although transportation by plane is less time consuming, nowadays transportation by ship is preferred due to less costs and a more sustainable choice that reduces the carbon footprint significantly. However, this way of transportation prolongs the stay of the flowers in conditions of constant darkness and low temperatures.
The transportation can be prolonged up to 5 weeks and flower performance problems are often seen at the consumer level.

The aim of our research was to investigate the effects of long term storage periods on the physiology and water relations of cut roses during vase life.
It was found that the flower performance of Avalanche roses was reduced with storage, irrespective of the storage period when the flowers were placed in water during vase life.
The flower performance was storage period dependent (decreasing with increasing storage period), when the roses were placed in a bactericide solution during vase life. Also, tests on stomatal and xylem functionality, revealed that the stomata are the most important parameters influencing the performance in stored roses, where it was found, that stomatal functionality is decreased with increased storage period.
However, the functionality seems to increase to un-stored levels within the first week of vase life.
Xylem functionality was not affected by storage.

Key words: vase life, roses, stomata, xylem specific conductance, water flow, relative water content, storage of cut flowers