Effect of Pulsing and Wet Cold Storage on the Quality and Vase Life of Cut Gladiolus (Gladiolus grandiflorus L.) ‘Fado’

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Biochemistry, Egerton University, P.O.Box 536 – 20115, Egerton, Kenya

2 Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University, P.O.Box 536 – 20115, Egerton, Kenya


Floriculture is among Kenya’s top foreign exchange earners. Gladiolus is one of the four famous cut flowers in the world whose popularity in Kenya is attributed to its heat tolerance, many spike forms and color combinations. However, the perishable nature of the flower renders it vulnerable to huge post-harvest losses. The study aimed to evaluate pulsing effect of cut Gladiolus grandiflorus ‘Fado’ with 600 ppm 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate plus 5 % sucrose prior to wet cold storage duration (0 – 5 days) on quality and vase life against the control (distilled water). The Gladiolus were grown in the open field from corms at the Horticulture Research and Teaching Field, in the Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University, Kenya, during two successive seasons. A two by six factorial experiment embedded in a completely randomized design with four replicates was adopted. Pro GLM model in two way ANOVA was used to determine differences using Tukey’s test at 5 % level of significance. Pulsing treatment had significant effects on the Gladiolus quality parameters including: Fresh weight (P = 0.0031; 82.214 ± 0.7934 g) as compared to the control; dry weight (P = 0.0272); interactive effect of the pulsing and cold storage duration treatments (P = 0.0004); maximum vase life (11.5 ± 0.287 days) and opened florets (11 ± 0.15). The highest number of unopened buds (5.18 ± 0.212) were recorded in the control which also had least mean water uptake (23.87± 0.26 ml) as compared with the pulsed and cold stored spikes (31.98 ± 0.193 ml). Pulsed cold stored Gladiolus preserved quality up to 4 days. The knowledge gained from this study will augment existing technologies in improving quality and market value of this cut flower.


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