Effects of Water Balance on Cut Flower Postharvest Performance

Once a flower is harvested and removed from the mother plant for cut flower use, many physiological and biochemical changes are triggered within the cut flower that need to be carefully monitored and corrected for optimum quality and longevity. Three main areas of focus should be:

  1. Water Balance: Flowers continue to lose water through the stomates on leaves (especially at higher temperature and low humidity conditions). If the lost water is not replenished through the cut end of the stem, the water balance will be disturbed.
  2. Nutrient Balance: Due to the low light environment that cut flowers are exposed to after harvest, they make negligible amounts of food via photosynthesis.  Therefore, the food needed for proper functioning of cut flower should be supplied externally.
  3. Hormone Balance: Hormones are essential signal molecules needed for maintaining proper functioning of plants. Once the flower is harvested, the sources of hormones to the flower are lost.  Also, the stress due to the cut accelerates hormone imbalance.  Correcting these imbalances is necessary for maintaining the quality.

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