Information for flower traders / distributors
A few years ago four high school students have done profound research in cut flower Celosia. From their report came a number of conclusions and recommendations, one of them was to put more info on the internet and hence this page.
Cut flower Celosia is a stunning decorative product with a good vase life, if a few conditions are for-filled to take care that the flower reaches the consumers in optimal condition and shape. Therefor attention is needed to matters that can reduce the decorative value and vase life, such as : breaking off ( especially with comb – Celosia ), forming of fungi and reduced vase life caused by “dirty” water or the use of – for cut flowers – unsuitable pot / garden varieties.
For distributing companies:
1 – In cooperation with the Dutch auctions the regulations for growers to deliver their flowers have been changed and control on the correct use of chlorine tablets is sharpened. The vase life of Celosia reduces quickly when bacteria get the chance to grow in the water and the stem, leafs turn yellow and finally the water and the stem are slimy.
- The recommended maximum length is brought to 75 cm / 30” to give the flowers better support from the frame on the bucket. Result : 75 % less broken heads in the handling on the auction.
- Some growers use self made cardboard collars – with their name and logo on it – instead of a plastic frame on the bucket. The auction isn’t happy with that, these collars are sharp in handling and create a lot of waste, because it isn’t reuseable. And one time use isn’t good for the environment as well, but the auction can’t forbid it.
- To reduce evaporation and building up of humidity all growers remove the leafs from the under part ( ¼ to 1/3 ) of the stem.
- Next to that they all use “hot needle” sleeves for the same purpose. Result : Big reduction of complaints from distributing companies.
All these measures have lead to more satisfied distributors and hence better prices on the auctions.
A strophe citing from the students report :
- “If Celosia is brought directly from the greenhouse to a vase, they remain in good shape for at least two weeks, so it’s possible to have Celosia’s with a good vase life. Only the temperature changes in the trade chain are causing trouble for the product. From the packing room into a truck. From the truck into a cool store on the auction. After delivery on the auction at a distributing company again in a cooled truck or cool storage. And at the florist shop again in a cool room after transport. This logistic process must be better organized, so the product reaches the consumer in a better condition.
- Prevented must be that the product becomes wet over and over again by condense !
- Next to that it’s necessary to keep the water fresh, bacteria shouldn’t get a chance to grow.
- A proper use of chloride tablets and control on that is important.
- The sleeve that is used must be different, Celosia evaporates a lot. The humidity in the sleeve can damage the leafs and / or the flowers. Celosia without a sleeve is not recommendable because off the risk of breaking stems. The best solution is “hot needle” sleeves that “breathe” more or less.
- The head of the flowers not in the sleeve, but a little bit above it to keep the flowers dry.
- Length on max. 75 cm / 30” gives the flowers better support in handling.
- Remove the leafs on the lower part of the stem to reduce condense.
- Distributing companies are positive about Celosia, if the problems are ( mostly ) solved they can sell much more”.
So far the text from the report of the students.
Of course this text is suited to the Dutch situation where distributors are working with an auction. When Celosia is transported by air the situation changes. Then flowers have to be pre-cooled before loading in an aircraft to avoid temperature in the box getting to high. We don’t want to open a box at arrival to find out that “the steam comes out”. It depends on the situation and transport distance how to deal with this matter. More info on this subject is available on request.
From the side of the breeders, the growers and the auction we do everything possible to bring Celosia in the best way into the trade chain. The auctions have already given information about the new regulations in a newsletter to the distributing companies. But the further in the trade chain, the more difficult it is to do some steering. Hence this website is created.