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c@ Necrosis of Bromeliads During Storage and Shipping- .
R. T. Poole, R. W. Henley and C. A. Conover' Librari
University of Florida, IFAS JAN 2 I
Central Florida Research and Education Center-Apopka
S 2807 Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703 ,, Fl.'
CFREC-Apopka Research Report, RH-90-21
Florida foliage plant growers currently produce many diverse genera
from the Bromeliaceae family for sale to national and, to a lesser extent,
international markets. When plants are sold nationally, shipping and
storage time is usually limited to 3-7 days, but when sending products
overseas, shipping and storage time can take 2 to 4 weeks. Many central
Florida bromeliad producers are finding necrotic spots on the foliage
which develop a few hours after packaging and shipping. These necrotic
areas most often occur at the bend or arch in the leaf blade, where leaf
structure is most stressed; but damage can develop to a lesser degree over
the entire leaf. The following research examines the effects of storage
temperature and duration on foliage deterioration of two widely produced
species of bromeliads.
This experiment was initiated on 2 October 1989, when salable,
necrosis free plants of Aechmea fasciata (silver vase) and Noregelia
carolinae 'Tricolor' (tricolor blushing bromeliad) growing in 6 and 5-inch
pots respectively, were obtained from commercial growers. Plants were
stored in coolers maintained at 50, 59 or 680F for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks.
B Plant grades were determined 30 November 1989 using a scale of 1-5 with 1 =
excellent quality plant material with no necrosis, 3 = some necrosis but
still salable and 5 = severe necrosis, unsalable plant material.
Although all plants tested were still in salable condition when this
experiment concluded, storage temperature and duration had a significant
effect on foliage deterioration. Silver vase developed most necrosis when
stored at 500F, the lowest storage temperature tested, but foliage showed
little damage when held at 680F, the highest temperature tested.
Decreasing storage temperature had the opposite effect on 'Tricolor'
foliage which incurred least damage when held at 500F and developed the
most necrotic areas when stored at 680F (Table 1). Both species tested
developed more necrosis as storage time increased from 1 to 4 weeks. Only
necrosis on silver vase was affected by interaction of storage temperature
and duration. Plants developed less necrosis when stored at any
temperature for 2 weeks or less, and displayed the most injury when stored
for 3 to 4 weeks at 500F (Table 2).
Results of this test indicate that the plants of different genera
utilized in this experiment responded differently to various storage
temperatures. However, all plants tested showed increased foliage damage
at any temperature as storage duration exceeded two weeks time. It is
IProfessor of Plant Physiology, Professor and Foliage Extension Specialist,
and Professor and Center Director, respectively. Central Florida Research
Ah and Education Center, 2807 Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703.
generally true of many foliage plant species that best quality is
maintained when shipping duration does not exceed two weeks.
1. Conover, C.A. 1980. Maintaining foliage plant quality during
truck transit. Florist's Review 165(4290):31,69.
2. Conover, C.A. and R.T. Poole.
long-term shipping of foliage
1983. Environmental factors influencing
plants. ARC-Apopka Res. Rpt. RH-1983-3,
3. Conover, C.A. and R.T. Poole. 1985. Influence of temperature and
duration on simulated shipping of small potted foliage plants. Proc.
Fla. State Hort. Soc. 97:280-282.
Table 1. Effects of various storage temperatures and duration of
storage on plant grade of Aechmea fasciata and Noregelia
carolinae 'Tricolor', 30 October 1989.
Temp Plant Gradez
(F) Aechmea fasicata Noregelia carolinae 'Tricolor'
50 1.8 1.3
59 1.1 1.4
68 1.1 2.0
linear ** **
one week 1.0 1.1
two weeks 1.0 1.4
three weeks 1.7 1.6
four weeks 1.6 2.2
linear ** **
quadratic ns ns
cubic ns ns
ZPlants graded on a scale of 1 = no necrosis, 3 = some necrosis, but
still salable and 5 = severe necrosis, unsalable.
Yns, *, ** Nonsignificant or significant at P = 0.05 or 0.01
Table 2. Interaction of storage temperature and duration affect
necrosis of Aechmea fasciata, 3 November 1989.
Temp Storage Duration
(F) 1 week 2 weeks 3 weeks 4 weeks
50 1.0 1.0 2.5 2.5
59 1.0 1.0 1.2 1.0
68 1.0 1.0 1.2 1.2
ZResults significant at the 0.05% level.
YPlants graded on a scale of 1-5 with 1 = no necrosis, 3 = some necrosis
but still salable and 5 severe necrosis, plant unsalable.