Many years ago I had the privilege of attending a seminar by a floral designer where he challenged the group to pay more attention to what was being discarded. He said he could walk into the average floral shop and make several nice designs by using only the remains in the trash can. Today we find ourselves asking the same questions. When we look at the shrink (trash) in the floral department, could a portion of that be saved and made sellable? Can we turn the trash into cash?
On numerous occasions I walked into the floral department at the local grocery or home center and found the Phalaenopsis Orchids with limp, lifeless blooms and buds the cause of which is avoidable. This type of damage is due to ethylene exposure.
What is ethylene?
Ethylene is an ageing hormone which has two sources; the flower and plant’s own production (internal) and external ethylene sources. Stress during transport, caused by dark conditions, temperature fluctuations, water shortage, being bounced on a bumpy road, causes increased internal stress. Exhaust fumes, fruits, and vegetables, along with other factors all cause increased external ethylene exposure. And the floral department is typically next to the produce department in most grocery stores where the ethylene levels are the highest in the store.
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