Handling and Shipping of Horticultural Products
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You are a wholesale buyer of plants and are evaluating the quality of 5-inch flowering, potted herbaceous plants for sale in the retail market. The market demands well-rooted, appropriately proportioned, healthy flowering potted plants that will have a long postharvest life. Which set of descriptions identifies the quality characteristics you would look for in your selection of plants?
The branching roots are visible on the outer root ball, lateral shoots are of equal length, compact internodes and 30% of the flowers are still in bud stage.
The plant has lateral shoots of variable lengths, the roots are dark brown, 30% of the flowers are showing pollen and the flowers are all equal in size.
The described plant is not symmetrical, its roots appear dead, 1/3 of its flowers are dehiscing pollen, and the remainder of the flowers are already open, i.e. “equal in size.”
The flowers are distributed uniformly above and below the foliage, the volume of roots equals the volume of shoots, the plant is taller than it is wide and the lower leaves are larger than the upper leaves.
Flowers should be displayed above the foliage, not hidden beneath it. The described plant is too small (“equal to the volume of roots”). Proportion dictates that the pot (root volume) should be ≤1/3 of the total height (plant + pot). Generally, a well-proportioned flowering herbaceous plant will be as tall as it is wide; however, this is variable by species. A plant that is too tall may have been grown too tight on the bench.
The area of leaves equals the area of flowers, roots are encircling the root ball, the internodes at the top of the plant are longer than the internodes at the base and the plant shape is round.
Generally the area of leaves is greater than the area of flowers. The described plant has likely lost foliage, probably because of tight bench spacing. Although the plant is symmetrical (“round”), the upper internodes are stretched, indicating that the plant has been grown under less than optimal conditions, probably tight bench spacing or high positive DIF.
Question 1 Explanation:
Flowering, potted herbaceous plants should have a healthy root system. The upper portion of the plants should be symmetrical, uniform, and proportional to the pot. Compact internodes indicate that the plants were grown under optimal conditions. For optimal display in the garden center and in the consumer’s garden or home, the plant should have 1/3 of its flowers open, 1/3 beginning to show color, and 1/3 in tight bud.
Which of the following should be included on a consumer’s invoice that will accompany a delivery?
the consumer’s quantity ordered and shipped, species ordered and shipped
the consumer’s quantity ordered and your company’s profit margin
The invoice should not show one's profit margin.
your company’s unit cost and your company’s profit margin
The invoice should not show this information.
your company’s unit cost and the species ordered
The invoice should show the price (retail, wholesale, or discounted as appropriate), but not the cost.
Question 2 Explanation:
The invoice should show the consumer's quantity ordered and shipped, species ordered and shipped.
How would a hibiscus grower prevent flower abscission during shipping?
allow plants to dry before shipping
Although watering plants immediately prior to loading on the truck is not recommended, the plants should be well-hydrated in order not to wilt during shipping.
no lighting required
The shipping truck should be both cooled and allow daylight to enter.
apply a quick release fertilizer before shipping
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cool temperature and allow daylight to enter the truck
Question 3 Explanation:
Proper shipping conditions should include both cool (50-61°F) and lighted conditions (but not far-red light as it accelerates flower bud abscission) for short duration (less than 3 days).
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