A new study has pinpointed reasons for the short vase life-span of cut flowers - that refers to flowers or flower buds (often with some stem and leaf) that have been cut from the plant bearing it.
John M. Dole and a research team from North Carolina State University chose stems of "promising and productive cultivars" from the National Trial Program, pretreated them with either a commercial hydrating solution or deionized (DI) water, then placed them in either a commercial holding solution or DI water.
Interestingly, the researchers determined that holding preservatives actually reduced the vase life of 14 cultivars such as ageratum, false queen anne's lace, lisianthus, pineapple lily, yarrow, and zinnia.
Hydrating preservatives reduced the vase life of 18 cultivars, including feverfew, lisianthus, ornamental pepper, pineapple lily, shasta daisy, sweet william, sunflower, yarrow, and zinnia.
Application of a combination treatment showed that the use of hydrating and holding preservatives reduced vase life in 12 cultivars.
The study results indicated that none of the treatments and preservatives are advantageous in extending the vase life of most of the cut flowers studied.
The study has been published in HortTechnology.