Research matters ... transporting Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis plants are now routinely shipped between continents because they are often propagated in one country but grown and sold in another.

In most cases, the plants are transported in the dark and sometimes they are also transported with bare roots because of quarantine requirements.

In the present experiments, plants of the white-flowered clone Sogo Yukidian 'V3' of flowering size and with a leaf length of up to 40cm were grown in 10.5cm clear plastic pots filled with sphagnum moss. One group was placed in a dark chamber at 20 degsC for 21 days while another was stored similarly but for different numbers of days and with or without the sphagnum moss. A third group was stored for 21 days but was brought out into various light levels.

After 21 days' storage, it was six to nine days before the plants' normal growth activities recovered fully, but storage for fewer than 21 days was less harmful. Bare-root storage increased the number of yellowed leaves and lowered plant quality.

Transfer from darkness into either high or low light was harmful but transfer into a modest light level - ie with some shading - or into a gradually increasing light level was beneficial.

Effects of Simulated Dark Shipping on Photosynthetic Status and Post-Shipping Performance in Phalaenopsis Sogo Yukidian 'V3' by Hou, Setter and Chang (2010). Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 135 (2): 183-190. Members of the ISHS can view the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science from the website www.ishs.org.


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