USDA Study: Longer-lasting Cut Flowers

DAVIS, Calif., April 6 (UPI) — United States Department of Agriculture scientists say they’re developing technology that may significantly extend the life of cut flowers and potted plants.

The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service project is led by plant physiologist Cai-Zhong Jiang in collaboration with Michael Reid of the University of California-Davis.

Jiang, Reid and co-researchers said they’ve found spraying low concentrations of a compound known as thidiazuron, nicknamed TDZ, significantly and sometimes spectacularly extends the life of potted plants’ leaves and flowers.

TDZ, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring plant compound known as a cytokinin, is not new, the researchers said. But preliminary studies with cut flowers, reported by Reid and co-researchers in 2000, were the first to demonstrate the value of TDZ for a commercial floricultural species — in that case, alstroemeria.

The cyclamen experiments conducted by Jiang and collaborators are the first to show the leaf-saving and blossom-boosting effects of TDZ with potted floricultural plants.

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