Vase Life of Some Cut Flowers Following Fumigation with Phosphine

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
  • | 2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
  • | 3 Institute for Horticultural Development, Private Bag 15, South Eastern Mail Centre, Victoria 3176, Australia
  • | 4 BOC Gases, 799, Pacific Highway, Chatswood, N.S.W. 2067, Australia

Phosphine (PH3) is a potential alternative fumigant to methyl bromide for insect disinfestation of cut flowers. King protea (Protea cynaroides L.), tulip (Tulipa gesneriana `Apeldoorn'), kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos manglesii Hook.), and geraldton wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum `Purple Pride') were fumigated with PH3 at varying concentrations (100 to 8000 μL·L-1) for 2, 4, or 6 hours. Vase life was evaluated at 20 °C, 65% relative humidity, and constant illumination with a photosynthetically active radiation of 15 μmol·m-2·S-1. No significant change in vase life was observed for kangaroo paws after any of the PH3 fumigations. A 6-hour fumigation at 8000 μL·L-1 significantly reduced vase life in king protea, tulip, and geraldton wax flower. Geraldton wax flower and tulip were relatively sensitive to PH3, as they were damaged by 4000 μL·L-1 for 6 hours and 8000 μL·L-1 for 4 hours, respectively. Phosphine has potential as an insect disinfestation fumigant for king protea, tulip, and kangaroo paw at 4000 (μL·L-1 for 6 hours without affecting vase life or causing damage.