Postharvest treatments significantly reduced or eradicated pests on various tropical cut flowers and foliage. Immersion in water at 49° C for 10 minutes killed armored scales on bird of paradise leaves, Strelitzia reginae Banks, as well as aphids and mealybugs on red ginger, Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K. Schum. Vapor heat treatment for 2 hours at 45.2° C provided quarantine security against armored scales on bird of paradise leaves. A 5 minute dip in fluvalinate combined with insecticidal soap eliminated aphids and significantly reduced mealybugs on red ginger. A 3 minute dip in fluvalinate, a 3 minute dip in chlorpyrifos, or a 3 hour fog with avermectin-B significantly reduced thrips on orchids, Dendrobium spp., without injury to the flowers. No postharvest treatment was both effective and nonphytotoxic on all commodities.
Vapor heat treatments to disinfest tropical cut flowers and foliage were evaluated using a commercial facility. Efficacy was determined for specific durations against representative Hawaiian quarantine pests on their plant hosts. Nymphs and adults of aphids, soft and armored scales, mealybugs, and thrips were killed after 1 hour at 46.6C, and both life stages of aphids and armored scales along with mealybug nymphs after 2 hours at 45.2C. Injury to several varieties of Hawaiian floral commodities (Araceae, Musaceae, Zingiberaceae, Heliconiaceae, Orchidaceae, Marantaceae, Lycopodiaceae, Agavaceae, Proteaceae) during these treatments was determined. Large heliconias, most red ginger, bird-of-paradise flowers and leaves, and most foliage were not damaged; anthuriums, pincushion protea, and orchid flowers and foliage were very sensitive to vapor heat. Treatment modification was needed to reduce plant injury to these commodities without losing efficacy. The number of shelf-life days of the treated plant material was estimated from the visual ratings.
A seasonal pattern of flowering was observed in field production records of Heliconia stricta Huber. ‘Dwarf Jamaican’. That this seasonality could be photoperiod-related was indicated in greater yields for plants grown under 8-hr daylengths for 6 weeks when compared to plants given natural daylengths (about 13.5 hr). Depending on the capacity of the plant to respond to photoperiod, 3 or 4 weeks of short daylength (SD) were sufficient durations for flower initiation. Leaf number affected the response, as only 4% of pseudostems with <3 leaves at the onset of SD yielded flowers, while 91% of pseudostems with ≥4 leaves at the onset of SD produced flowers. From the start of SD, about 13 weeks were required for development of the inflorescence to anthesis for pseudostems starting with ≥4 leaves.
Greenhouse-grown Tapeinochilus ananassae Hassk. were fertilized with 1110, 2220, or 4440 g of Osmocote 17N–3P–10K/m2 per year for 4 years. Plants receiving the medium rate of fertilizer produced the most flowers, while the highest fertilization rate resulted in the fewest. Flower stalk length decreased each year after planting, but cutting back the vegetative shoots to the ground resulted in increased flower stalk length the following year. Fertilization with the highest rate resulted in reduced flower postharvest life, but floral preservatives and ethylene inhibitors had no effect on postharvest life.
The genus Heliconia (Heliconiaceae) includes a number of species showing potential as commercial cut flower crops (1). H. Psittacorum and some of its hybrids (e.g., ‘Golden Torch’) are particularly promising because of their attractive flowers, long straight clean peduncles, prolific year round flower production, excellent postharvest characteristics, and few pest problems. The inflorescences can be used in a manner similar to those of bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia reginae), but they are less massive and are therefore, easily incorporated into smaller floral arrangements.
Heliconia stricta Huber `Dwarf Jamaican' were grown in 10-liter containers under full sun or 50% shade for 1 year, and H. caribaea Lamarck `Purpurea' were grown in an open field for 2.5 years. Rhizomes were soaked for 1 hour before planting or plants were sprayed with 30 μm DCPTA after two leaves had emerged. Heliconia stricta grown under full sun produced more inflorescences than those grown under 50% shade, and DCPTA-treated plants grown under shade produced more pseudostems and were taller than control plants. DCPTA-treated H. caribaea produced more pseudostems per plant than control plants during their first year, but differences in the number of pseudostems and inflorescences during subsequent years were not significant. Chemical name used: 2-(3,4-dichlorophenoxy)triethylamine (DCPTA).
More than three dozen species of Heliconia have entered the cut flower trade since the expanded interest in bold tropical cut flowers began in the early 1980s. Most were wild-collected originally with little information on their habitats or season of bloom. A natural flowering season for some species can be found in the taxonomic literature, but it may be influenced locally by rainfall and drought periods as well as by photoperiod and therefore not reliable in indicating production periods in Hawaii. Sales records from 1984 through 1990 or several heliconia growers on Oahu reflected not only the quantities produced but also the time and duration of the blooming season. Such information is helpful in coordinating with the flower markets. Heliconia species of commercial interest with strong seasonal flowering periods are noted: angusta, bihai, caribaea, caribaea X bihai, collinsiana, farinosa, lingulata, rostrata, sampaioana, stricta, subulata, wagneriana.
Specialty cut flowers may be suited to sustainable production system in the tropics and an agroforestry approach was developed to add a commercial value to unused forest areas. Ginger lily (Alpinia purpurata), a specialty tropical cut flower, was planted under a sustainable alley cropping system with moringa (Moringa oleifera), to evaluate the biophysical interactions between system components. Moringa trees were planted in rows 5 m apart and were 5 years old at the time ginger lilies were planted on 1 June 2005. Two rows of ginger lilies spaced 0.6 m in row and 1.7 m between rows were planted on a 1-foot-high bed between moringa rows when trees were about 6 m tall. Alley plot length was 10 m. After a month, plant establishment was 96%. In July, the moringa trees were pruned down to 1.5 m and the biomass (foliage) was used as green manure. Ginger lilies were also mulched with straw. Plots were gradually shaded as moringa shoots developed reducing the photosynthetic photon flux to 40% of direct sun light in September and to 15% four months later. Six months after planting, height and number of shoots in shaded ginger lilies were 58% and 30% of plants in full sun, respectively. Ginger lilies began to flower 5 months after planting in the sunny plots, but no flowers were produced after 7 months in the shady plots. Since soil and tissue nitrate-N was the same between treatments, moringa biomass appears to be insufficient to increase the nutrient status of the crop. In addition, the low light intensity in the alley appears to be suboptimal for growth and production of ginger lilies.
minorities in the cut flower market, among which cut daffodils or cut iris or cut tulips rank among the top followed by cut lilies, cut gladioli or cut snapdragons, and cut orchids or tropical cut flowers. Summary statistics and descriptions of the
Anthurium ( Anthurium andraeanum Lind.) is one of the important cut flowers in the global tropical cut flower market ( Pizano, 2005 ). Recently it has become a popular cut flower in Taiwan, and its cultivation acreage and yield have increased