Survey analysis of the major North American rose producers provided a profile of industry marketing and postharvest management practices. The role of the wholesaler in product distribution has diminished, as more than half of the firms now utilize some form of retail distribution. Although most firms perceived little industry-wide uniformity in rose grading, packaging procedures were uniform, with most firms packaging roses in units of 25. The use of floral preservatives has been widely adopted, as nearly 80% of the firms used preservatives in their production operations, but postharvest storage practices have not been optimal, as nearly 45% of the firms stored roses at non-optimal temperatures levels. Most firms indicated that roses last between 5 and 6 days; however, 47% of the firms indicated that rose vase life should extent to 8 days or longer.
Marketability of arrangements of rose (Rosa hybrida L.) was evaluated on the basis of unit size, stem length, cultivar, flower condition including openness, bentneck and discoloration, and price using conjoint analysis. Long stemmed, 12 unit red hybrid tea roses lost competitive position in favor of shorter 9 and 5 unit rose arrangements. Price was the major determinant for the favorable consumer acceptance of the smaller sized, short stemmed roses in arrangements. The cultivar of rose marketed and the degree of flower openness were important factors influencing the consumer's purchase decision. Low priced short stemmed roses (40 cm) in a tight bud-stage were the most highly valued, however, ‘Sonia’ roses evoked strong consumer appeal regardless of price or stage of bud openness.
Controlled-release fertilizers (CRF), Nutricote 14N–6.2P-11.6K or Osmocote 14N-6.2P-11.6K, at the recommended rate (1×) and at half that rate (0.5×) plus 200 mg/l N of Peter's 20N-4.4P-16.6K water soluble fertilizer at every irrigation were applied to potted chrysanthemums cv. `Bright Golden Anne' and `Torch'. Production and postproduction quality was evaluated. CRF applications (1×) resulted in reductions of plant height (-10%), plant diameter (-17%), leaf area (-35%), and leaf dry weight (-47%), but did not affect number of flowers compared to plants receiving only water soluble fertilizer. Application of water soluble fertilizer with CRF (0.5×) increased foliar nutrient levels above water soluble fertilizer application alone, or above either CRF (1×). CRF applications (1×) resulted in improved floral longevity (up to +8 days) and flower color rating (up to +54%), and less foliar senescence (up to -45%) than the water soluble fertilizer application alone, or either of the CRFS (0.5×) used with water soluble fertilizer.
Results from a preliminary study (growth parameters and foliar analyses) comparing a new specialty Osmocote formulation (12N-5.5P-12.4K) designed specifically for poinsettias with a standard Osmocote formulation (19N-2.6P-9.9K) revealed that the new formulation provided inadequate levels of nutrients at 1.0× and 1.5× the recommended rate. Average plant height (cm) for plants produced with 1.0× 12N-5.5P-12.4K, 1.5× 12N-5.5P-12.4K, 1.0× 19N-2.6P-9.9K was 33, 34, 37. Average plant diameter (cm) and foliar N content (%) was 42, 46, 53, and 2.8, 3.5, 4.1, respectively. Follow up studies (growth parameters and foliar analyses) comparing replacement shipments of three specialty Osmocote formulations (12N-5.5P-12.4K for poinsettias, 12N-4.4P-14.1K for potted chrysanthemums, and 13N-5.5P-9.1K for zonal geraniums) with Osmocote 19N-2.6P-9.9K and Peter's 20N-4.4P-16.6K injected at 200 mg N per liter of water at every irrigation showed all specialty formulations to be adequate sources of plant nutrients-comparable to the standard Osmocote. Average chrysanthemum height (cm) for plants produced with 1.0× 12N-5.5P-12.4K, 1.5× 12N-5.5P-12.4K, 1.0× 19N-2.6P-9.9K, Peter's 20N-4.4P-16.6K was 30, 30, 30, 29. Average chrysanthemum diameter (cm) and foliar N content (%) was 51, 50, 49, 50, and 4.5, 4.8, 4.4, 5.2, respectively.