IMPACT OF GROWTH CONDITIONS ON POSTHARVEST QUALITY OF CUT ROSES

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  • 1 Département de Phytologie, Centre de Recherche en Horticulture, Pavillon Comtois, Université Laval, Québec G1K 7P4, Canada

The general objective of this project was to study the impact of preharvest growth conditions [supplementary lighting as high-pressure sodium (HPS) or metal halide (MH) lights, and fertilization] on the postharvest quality of greenhouse roses. On 25 Jan. 1991, 288 plants (Rosa × hybrida `Royalty', `After-Glow', and `Obsession') of 3× caliber were planted in pots. A split-split plot experimental design made up of four blocks was used. Light treatments (three) were main plots while fertilization (two) and cultivars (three cultivars; four plants per cultivar) were subplots and sub-sub-plots, respectively. The two fertilization regimes used had respective N: K (in ppm) ratios of 150 N: 300 K (F1) and 300 N: 300 K (F2). Three light treatments [ambient light conditions (control) and ambient light conditions + PPF of 100 μmol·m-2·s-1 supplied by 400-W HPS or MH lamps] were compared. Yields were significantly affected by supplemental light treatments, fertilization, or both regardless of cultivars. Results indicate that stems harvested from HPS and MH light treatments combined with fertilization F1 had a longer vase life than those grown with F2. HPS lamps significantly increased vase life compared to MH. The level of abscisic acid (ABA) was higher under MH than under HPS lamps at time zero (T0), and this was similar for all cultivars. Furthermore, when supplemental light was combined with the F1 fertilization, a lower ABA level was obtained. Low ABA levels were correlated to longer vase life expectancy.

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