Modelling the quality of potted plants after dark storage

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Prolonged dark storage affects the quality of potted plants. A model was designed to quantify the effect of storage time and temperature on the display life of potted plants, such that logistics can be optimized, resulting in increased remaining quality and less rejected plants. Experiments were carried out with two Phalaenopsis cultivars, two Anthurium cultivars and two Cyclamen cultivars, the latter with two colour variants per cultivar. Plants were stored for different storage times at different temperatures. The aim of the chosen times and temperatures was to determine the quality effect of transport at optimal and suboptimal temperatures. After storage, plants were stored at 20 °C for 14 days, for simulating a display period. Different quality aspects were scored immediately after storage and after 7 and 14 days of display.

For each cultivar, a model was fitted consisting of a logistic function for representing the storage-time dependency of quality. In order to cope with both senescence symptoms at higher temperatures and chilling injury at lower temperatures, two non-interfering Arrhenius equations were incorporated. Because the effects of chilling exposure are commonly manifest only when the chilled plants are returned to ambient temperatures, the quality of Phalaenopsis and Anthurium plants measured immediately after storage at low temperatures was not taken into account. The behaviour of the Phalaenopsis and the Anthurium cultivars was well described by their models. The coefficients of determination based on the unexplained variation due to lack of fit were in the range of 0.89–0.99.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
JournalPostharvest Biology and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Chilling injury
  • Modelling
  • Potted plants
  • Quality
  • Senescence
  • Storage


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