Vapor Gardtm cold protection for Phalaenopsis orchid flowers in cold storage

Robert T. McMillan Jr., James Ford


Phalaenopsis species are grown for their attractive flowers. Phalaenopsis can stand temperatures of 60 °F (16 °C) but not freezing. All of the known means of protecting the Phalaenopsis in shipment and cold storage, such as cold barrier papers and insulated cartons were tried without success. Thus, chemical means were considered as a possibility since previous studies by Miller Chemical & Fertilizer Corporation’s Vapor GardTM had shown that their application in the field provided cold protection. Vapor GardTM treated Phalaenopsis at three percentages—one percent, two percent, and four percent levels of Vapor GardTM were selected for the trial. The Phalaenopsis completely immersed in the three percent levels of Vapor GardTM, with a control of immersing the plant only in water. The immersing of the treated plants was carried out in a 20-gallon plastic container. All of the Vapor GardTM treatments were allowed to air dry prior to refrigeration. The orchids were placed in cold storage at 42 °F (5 °C) to test the Phalaenopsis flowers protection from 42 °F (5 °C) chilling. Evaluations were conducted after 48 hours. The results of the trial significantly showed that Vapor GardTM  at two percent provided excellent protection of the Phalaenopsis flowers after 14 days.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283