Flowers, leaves and buds drop basically to protect the flower i.e.from desiccation. The most well-known reason for flowers,leaves and buds to drop is the result of exposure to ethylene,from inside the flower or outside sources. As a reaction to cutting/harvesting, the process of aging starts in the flower. The aging plant growth regulator produced in th e flower is ethylene.In order to fulfill its task of continuation of the species, the flower regenerates as quickly as possible by producing higher concentrations of ethylene. Especially when circumstances become sub-optimal, which they do in the post-harvest period,the flower starts to produce excessive amounts of ethylene. If ethylene is supplied from an outside source, the process of aging is accelerated too. The flower absorbs this outside ethylene,which in its turn acts as an accelerator of the internal aging process. At high concentrations it becomes killing to the flower.In addition, petal drop, leaf drop and shrinking flowers are symptoms of exceeding the acceptable ethylene concentrations in the flower.


Ethylene sources are i.e.:

  • ripening fruit
  • exhaust from combustion engines
  • smoke, industrial or from cigarettes
  • yeast, bacteria and fungi

Ethylene-sensitive flowers showing flower, leaf and bud drop are i.e.:

  • Aconitum
  • Agapanthus
  • Alstroemeria
  • Antirrhinum
  • Asclepias
  • Bouvardia
  • Cattleya
  • Chelone
  • Crocosmia
  • Cymbidium
  • Delphinium
  • Dendrobium
  • Dianthus
  • Euphorbia
  • Freesia
  • Iris
  • Kniphofia
  • Lathyrus
  • Lilium (Asiatic)
  • Paphilopedium
  • Phalenopsis
  • Phlox
  • Physostegia
  • Tritelaria

How can you identify ethylene damage in flowers?

  • Petal color appears bluish (obvious in roses, carnations)
  • Shattering florets in delphiniums, wax flower, limonium or snap dragons. Lots of petals in bottom of sleeves:
  • Buds and leaves fall off stems when flowers are handled
  • Asiatic and LA hybrid lily buds appear crepe-y or shriveled. Immature buds fall off
  • Stock blooms appear shriveled and transparent
  • Alstro flowers appear transparent
  • White spray Dendrobian orchids appear a weird color of chartreuse green

What can you do to prevent ethylene damage?

Products based on silver thiosulphate (STS), like Chrysal AVB,protect ethylene-sensitive flowers against the negative effects of ethylene. This product should be used at grower level. When correctly applied, the flowers are protected throughout the whole floral chain. Also important is the use of Chrysal Clear Professional at trade level and Chrysal Clear cut flower food at consumer level to keep the flowers in optimal condition and thus less susceptible to ethylene damage.

Chrysal also has several products that help with Ethylene at the transportation level as well as at the Wholesale/ Retail level.  Click here for a video about Chrysal Ethylene Buster.

Unequal Opening

During vase life evaluation of mixed bouquets the individual flowers are not necessarly in the same mature stage. Gerbera, Carnations or Chrysanthmum are already open, while others like Roses, Iris’ and lilies are still in an immature stage.  What is the reason behind this unequal opening?  Just like when you are picking out an outfit you usually shop around different stores or maybe you shopped at the same store but definitely a different department.  Same applies to mixed bouquets, not all the flowers are grown together and some varieties look great together but mature at different times.


Which factors influence the flower development from bud to fully open flowers?

1.  Harvest Stage: Flowers such as Chrysanthemums, Carnations and Gerberas are harvested already in an open stage.  So when present in a mixed bouquet they will be the most developed flower/

2.  Need for food: Some flowers such as Roses and Eustoma, react positively when flower food is used because of their immature stage and as such need a lot of food to develop to a full flowering stage.

3.  Vase Water pollution: Vase water without any flower food will quickly be polltued with micro-organisms.  Some flowers such as Roses, Gerbera and a lot of summer flowers are very sentive for pollution.  When this occurs, flower development will be reduced or totally cease.  Other flowers, such as spray carnations are less sensitive to pollution and if these are mixed within a mixed bouquet they will develop better compared to the Roses.



What can Chrysal do to get more equal flowering mixed bouquets?

  • Trade: By Using Chrysal Clear Professional during the transport and display phase the trade can prevent unequal development.
  • Consumer: By using Chrysal Clear Cut Flower Food the flower development will be even more.


Both Chrysal products also slow down the development of pollution.

Click to watch how a mixed bouquet performs with & without Chrysal Flower Food


Once flowers are cut/harvested they are deprived of water, food and growth regulators naturally supplied by the mother plant.  In order for the flowers to develop in a natural way, we have to continue to supply the flowers these ingredients dissolved in water every time the flowers are hydrated at the grower, wholesaler, retailer or in the vase of the consumer.  Cut flower foods contain all the necessary ingredients for the natural development of stems, leaves and flower petals, as well as for size, color and scent.

In Chrysal’s product development we aim to mimic the natural flower development.

How to use pH strips

Normal tap water has a pH range of 6-9.  The ideal pH range for your floral bucket and vase water is between 3.5-5.0.  It is important for your floral water to have a lower pH reading of 3.5-5.0 because flowers like the acidity and will have more water uptake.

Chrysal Professional products are specially designed to lower the pH of tap water to a flower friendly range, between 3.5-5.0 when mixed correctly  Chrysal Treatments also help to control the water quality by maintaining the clarity and inhibiting the odor of bucket water for up to six days.

pH levels below 3.5 can cause stem discoloration.

pH levels above 5.0 can cause increased water problems.


Directions for Use:

1.  Dip one test strip into your floral bucket water that has been processed with a Chrysal treatment.

2.  Hold the test strip under water until the color on the test strip stops changing colors.  This should take less than 5 seconds.

3.  Match the used test strip examples on the outside of the test strip package to find the pH reading.

4.  If the pH readings are below 3.5 or above 5.0, we recommend that you reprocess your floral solution.

5.  Randomly test your bucket water at least once a week to confirm that you are dosing correctly.

6.  Make sure that you are using the correct amount of water when filling your buckets.  Too much or too little water can drastically affect your pH reading.

Here’s a video on why measuring your floral bucket pH is important:

How to measure ph