In the United States, flowers are shipped through various marketing channels at temperatures that are often too high. Damage to plant products can result, causing reduced vase life, disappointed customers and decreased profits.Australian floriculture can also benefit from attention to this critical issue. While the information here is presented from the US perspective, the Australian industry can take advantage of these lessons and examine its own approach to cold chain management.
Excess temperature can affect stem bending flower opening, petal wilting and flower fall. It can cause plants to be more sensitive to ethylene and can lead to increased respiration rates and heat production. Botrytis, a common and destructive fungus found on most flower species, is also encouraged at higher temperatures.
Cut flowers and potted plants often do not originate in close proximity to consumers. Transport distances and the high perishability of the products make temperature regulation critical to ensure that quality products reach the consumer.