Floralife Research Updates are a valuable source of flower knowledge aimed at helping growers, transporters, wholesalers and retailers get the most from their investment, and present healthy, long-lasting flowers to the consumer. Let’s take a look at a recent vase life essay, “Hydration Pretreatment of Mixed Flower Bouquets with Floralife® HydraFlor® Clear ULTRA 100.”
This Research Update, by Ernesto Fonseca, Technical & Commercial Manager for Oasis Floralife Colombia, sets up the following experiment: Measuring the vase life of flowers placed directly in water vs. a hydrating solution of Calcium Hypochlorite vs. Floralife® HydraFlor® Clear ULTRA 100.
First off, hydrating solutions…what do they do? Hydrating solutions – as our HydraFlor® web page will tell you – “improve the flow of water through the flower stems by clearing air and natural compounds blocking the stem’s passageways. It lowers pH and surfactants thus increasing water uptake.” Better water uptake usually translates to longer vase life. Typically used by larger operations processing a large number of stems*, these pre-treatments last about an hour before the flowers then go into a flower food solution.
Second, what is Calcium Hypochlorite? It’s a somewhat common substitute for hydrating products such as HydraFlor®. However, as you will learn in the Research Update, “It is well known that calcium hypochlorite is toxic and can produce a discoloration in the flower. It is also a highly volatile substance, which results in loss of its properties.”
The Experiment: Which will help promote the longest vase life: water, calcium hypochlorite or HydraFlor®? Our researchers placed Alstroemeria, roses, carnations and pompons in each solution for one hour, and then transferred them to a flower food solution.
The Results: …varied by cultivar, but the story was the same across the board: HydraFlor® Clear ULTRA 100 provided the longest vase life by a comfortable margin. For example, Alstroemeria lasted 8 days when pretreated with water, 10 days with calcium hypochlorite, and 12 days in HydraFlor®. Overall, “HydraFlor® Clear ULTRA 100 had 29% more vase longevity than Calcium Hypochlorite and 43% more than the Control (water) in the mixed bouquet.”
Whether you are a grower, transporter, wholesaler or retailer, vase life matters! So why not use the hydrating solution shown to be most effective at promoting these results? There is much more in the Research Update, so check it out! How about you? Have you tried HydraFlor®? Did you see results? Let us know in the comments below!
( *A faster-paced retail outlet processing fewer stems will get similar results from Floralife’s Quick Dip 100.)