Sunday, October 7, 2012

Floralife Research - Hydrangeas

Floralife Research Update Masthead featuring Garry Legnani, PhD.
August 2012
Floralife, a division of Smithers-Oasis Company
Oasis® Maxlife Combined with Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300

Prolongs the life of cut hydrangea

Few cut flowers provide a greater visual impact than Hydrangeas, contrasting a large but delicate floral display with lush green foliage. Unfortunately, the large number of individual flowers, high foliage surface area, and thick woody stems make them an easy target for premature wilting. Cut Hydrangeas have a reputation of lasting only a few days in a vase or floral foam arrangements when using plain water particularly if adequate hydration is not maintained.

Our previous studies have shown that OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife prolongs the life of Gerbera Daisy, another cut flower with a poor reputation in foam arrangements due to challenges with hydration. Based on these results we wanted to evaluate the performance of cut Hydrangeas in OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife. In addition, we wanted to see how the Hydrangeas performed in OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife soaked in plain water vs. how it performed soaked in a solution of Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300.


    1. White Hydrangeas were received from a local wholesaler.
    2. All stems were recut on arrival and placed in tap water (60 ppm alkalinity) in the flower cooler (2 degrees C) for 24 hours.
    3. For the foam treatment, OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife bricks were soaked in either:
      a. Plain tap water (120 ppm alkalinity)
      b. A solution made with Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300
      (note: Both foams were placed in design trays)
    4. All stems were recut and inserted to a depth of 6 to 7 cm in the foam brick.
    5. Design tray reservoirs were filled with the treatment soak solutions at the beginning of the study, but no additional solution was added for the remainder of the test.
    6. For vase treatments, we prepared:
      a. A vase with 500 ml of plain water.
      b. A vase with 1 L properly dosed solution of Flower Food 300 and water.
    7. Flower stems were recut and immediately placed in vase solutions. Additional solution was added to maintain the 500 ml volume throughout the test.
    8. Vase and foam treatments were placed on tables in the postharvest lab in a completely randomized design (12 hours of fluorescent lighting at a constant temperature of 20 degrees C).
    9. Flower life (in days) was determined subjectively when wilting was clearly visible.
    10. Each foam and vase treatment was repeated 3 times with each repetition containing 3 stems.
    11. Flower life averages were determined for each treatment and analyzed using Statistica Software to determine statistical significance.

Results and Discussion
Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 significantly increased flower life in the vase and OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife treatments. Results indicate that cut Hydrangeas are very responsive to flower food and it is speculated that the Maxlife technology helps facilitate the uptake of flower food in the floral foam arrangement. This study demonstrates that cut Hydrangeas can last an average of 8 days in a floral foam arrangement when combining OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife and Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 technologies. Chart showing the benefits of Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 and OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife on flower life
OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife saturated in Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 resulted in an average flower life of 8 days compared to only 4.5 days in Maxlife + plain tap water. The Maxlife + Flower Food Clear 300 treatment performed as well statistically with flower food in a vase even though no additional water was added to the foam treatments.
Note: For best results on getting fully saturated foam, always place foam in the soaking solution broad side down with the imprinted logo on the top surface. This is because the foam cell structure is such that it soaks best from the bottom up.

Photos showing the benefits of using OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife
Photos showing the benefits of Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 in vases with flowers


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