Short pretreatments of stems of anthurium flowers (Anthurium andraeanum André) with silver nitrate solutions increased vase life by 40 to 60% after a simulated shipping. Significant improvement was obtained with a single 10-minute treatment with 1 mm silver nitrate. Maximum postharvest life was obtained with flowers treated with silver nitrate within 12 hours of harvest. Silver nitrate treatment was effective on flowers ranging from half to full maturity. No measurable silver was translocated to the spathe or spadix. Silver thiosulfate complex was not as effective as silver nitrate. For response to silver treatment following simulated shipping of 3 days, 2 cm of stem had to be removed before placing in a vase solution. Continuous maintenance of the flower before and after simulated shipping in a commercial preservative was not significantly better than a single pulse with silver nitrate or a combination of silver nitrate pulse and commercial preservative.