Leaf yellowing associated with early senescence is a major problem associated with cut decorative leaves and flowers of many tropical plant species. Effect of postharvest application of benzylaminopurine (BAP), gibberellic acid (GA3), silver-thiosulphate (STS) and silver nitrate (AgNO3) on vase life of cut leaves of three Dracaena species Dracaena marginata ‘bi colour’, Dracaena sanderiana ‘white’ and Dracaena deremensis were investigated. Deionized water (DIW) was used as the control. All the BAP treatments (25, 50 and 100 μM) applied either as 10 minutes immersion or as 24 h pulse improved the vase life of all three species examined. Application of STS (2 mM) and AgNO3 ( 10 mM Ag ions) did not increase the vase life of D. marginata ‘bi colour’ and D. sanderiana ‘white’ significantly while GA3 (50, 100 and 250 μM) either as a pulse or immersion, significantly reduced the postharvest life of D. deremensis compared to untreated leaves. Results suggest that the application of 25 μM BAP as a pulse treatment for 24 h can be recommended to prolong the postharvest life through delayed leaf senescence and thus enhance the marketability of cut leaves of Dracaena marginata ‘bi colour’, Dracaena sanderiana ‘white’ and Dracaena deremensis.
Key words: postharvest life; Dracaena marginata ‘bi colour’; Dracaena sanderiana ‘white’; Dracaena deremensis; marketability
CJSBS 2011; 40(2): 157-162