Defining optimal conditions for bud storate and opening of Sim carnation in Australia
Sim carnation has the ability to withstand prolonged storage at 0-1°C in bud form with appropriate chemical pretreatments. Buds can be opened with sucrose solutions after storage and acceptable vase-life periods achieved. In Australia, growers have reported erratic results with carnation bud-storage. Variables relate to condition of stock plants, developmental stage of bud that is stored, and conditions applied during the opening period. This trial was established to store carnations produced during the spring flush period when overproduction depresses markets. Carnation buds were harvested in 3 stages of development and stored for 2 and 4 month periods. After storage, buds were opened at shed temperatures of either 180 or 250C in 2 bud-opening solutions. Results showed that an opening temperature of 250C and 10% sucrose solution is clearly superior to 180C opening temperature and Chrysal solution. These 2 variables are considered to be the most important factors which influence the days to open buds and total vase-life of flowers at all stages of development and both storage times. Buds stored for 4 months opened quicker than those stored for 2 months, although total vase-life was less. Tighter bud stages are recommended for longer storage periods as a degree of maturation occurs during storage. Growers can safely use 2 or 4 month storage periods to target specific markets, if shed conditions are optimal during bud opening.