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Maximum vase life is essential to assure buyer and consumer confidence in fresh flowers.The factors discussed here all contribute to the postharvest life of flowers and need the attention of growers and marketers.Feeding sugars to cut flowers can supplement the food reserves of the flower; this is a common practice with traditional flower crops.Sugar solutions are not always beneficial for native flowers, and must be used with care.Uptake of the pulsing solution depends on temperature.Pulsing is commonly carried out in the coolroom, but if you need to give a quick pulse treatment, do it at room temperature (25°C to 30°C).
These stored foods are needed to sustain the cut flower after harvest, and to allow flowers picked in bud to open.A larger number of native flowers may benefit from having a small amount of sugar added to the vase solution (where uptake is continuous), rather than being treated by pulse application.(Some natives that do benefit from sugar are kangaroo paws, thryptomene, Christmas bells (pictured at right) and Verticordia.) You can prolong the postharvest life or flowering display of such flowers by pulsing them after picking, that is, putting the stems in a sugar solution (100 grams of sugar per litre of water is often adequate), usually for 12–16 hours.A biocide is always added to the sugar solution to prevent microbial growth.
Only the best quality flowers and foliage should be picked for market.Cut flowers and foliage begin to deteriorate as the reserves of moisture and food present at harvest start to run out.