Six carnation cultivars from Colorado and from California were cut as ¾- to 1-inch buds and shipped during each of the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons. After arrival, usually 2 days after cutting, loose buds opened in 1–2 days at 75° F in a preservative; tighter buds sometimes required 3–4 days. A low relative humidity of 42–45% was as satisfactory as 80–85% during the few days required for opening buds. Vase life at 70° was 13–15 days when buds were opened on arrival and held continuously in a preservative, 12–14 days when stored 1 week at 40° before opening, and 7–14 days when stored 3 weeks at 32°–33°. Bud-cut carnations held in water after shipment had a vase life of 4–5 days. Some lots and cultivars were injured after 3 weeks at 32°–33° and never opened well.
Three preservatives were tested and found satisfactory for opening buds after shipment or after shipment plus storage. Use of Cornell solution (5% sucrose, 200 ppm 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate and 50 ppm silver acetate) for opening and display usually produced the largest blooms with the longest life. Two percent “Ever-bloom” and a solution containing 3% sucrose, 400 ppm 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate and 300 ppm “Alar” were other satisfactory preservatives for use with bud-cut carnations after shipment.
Received for publication July 18, 1969.
Horticulturist and Agr. Res. Technicians, respectively, Market Quality Research Division. The authors sincerely appreciate the assistance of R. F. Guilfoy, Transportation and Facilities Research Division, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Hyattsville, Md., for arranging the shipments and obtaining the cooperation of Davis Bros. Florists, Denver, and Wm. Zappettini Co., San Francisco, who donated flowers.