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Postharvest Longevity of Cut Gerbera and Alstroemeria as Affected by Citric Acid Pulse and Vase Solutions

Authors:

H. H. D. I. Lakmali ,

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Gonawila 60170, LK
About H. H. D. I.
Department of Horticulture & Landscape Gardening, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management
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B. L. S. Balasooriya,

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Gonawila 60170, LK
About B. L. S.
Department of Horticulture & Landscape Gardening, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management
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K. Ratnayake

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Gonawila 60170, LK
About K.
Department of Horticulture & Landscape Gardening, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management
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Abstract

End-user vase life of two popular cut flowers, gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) and alstroemeria (Alstroemeria spp.) is limited due to non-adoption of appropriate postharvest treatments in Sri Lanka. Citric acid-based cut flower preservatives could be affordable treatments to extend the longevity of those species. Therefore, a study was carried out to investigate the effectiveness of pulse and vase solution treatments with citric acid for increasing the keeping quality of cut gerbera and alstroemeria flowers. For pulsing, cut flower stems were treated with 0 mM (distilled water), 5, 10 and 15 mM citric acid combined with 5, 16 and 24 h pulsing durations. Only alstroemeria was further tested with 0, 15, 25 and 30 mM citric acid with previous pulsing durations. Pulsed stems were stood into distilled water for vase life evaluation. For vase solution treatment, citric acid at 0, 1, 2, 5 and 10 mM concentrations were incorporated in vase water. In the next step, two levels of citric acid (0, 1 mM) were combined with four levels of sucrose (0, 1, 2, 5%) in vase water for gerbera. Factorial experiments were arranged in completely randomized design with five to ten replicates. Data on vase life, relative fresh weight and solution uptake rate were recorded. Pulse treatments were ineffective for improving vase life. Nevertheless, a vase solution with 1 mM citric acid showed a 2-fold increase in vase life and a better retention of fresh weight in cut gerbera. Incorporation of citric acid in vase water did not extend the vase life of cut alstroemeria flowers. Combining citric acid with sugar in the vase solution maintained favourable relative fresh weight, water uptake rates and vase life in cut gerbera. Thus, incorporation of 1 mM citric acid and 1 – 2 % sugar in vase or holding solutions could improve the longevity of cut gerbera flowers.
How to Cite: Lakmali, H.H.D.I., Balasooriya, B.L.S. and Ratnayake, K., 2016. Postharvest Longevity of Cut Gerbera and Alstroemeria as Affected by Citric Acid Pulse and Vase Solutions. Journal of Food and Agriculture, 9(1-2), pp.39–49. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jfa.v9i1-2.5205
Published on 30 Dec 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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