Real World Gardener Ethylene and Cut Flowers in Talking Flowers

November 7th, 2018


Ethylene and Cut Flowers

How many times have you placed some unripe fruit in a brown paper bag with say a banana or ripe apple?

Why are you doing this exactly?

Because the ethylene gas releases from the ripe fruit, speeds up the ripening process of the unripe fruit.

You don’t even have to place them in a paper bag because in the same fruit bowl, the process will happen, just a bit slower.

Guess what, flowers go off faster next to the fruit bowl.


We’ve mentioned it before in Talking Flowers, but some flowers are more sensitive than others don’t you know?


  • By the way, Ethylene molecules are small enough to migrate through plastic and cardboard, so just closing up the box of fruit in the fridge doesn’t contain the gas.
  • Did you know that Ethylene is a stress hormone and it is released in response to rough handling, dehydration, chill damage and disease ?
  • But where does it come from?
  • There's two ways: internally — in fruits, flowers and veggies as a stress response; and externally — from rotting green trash, car exhaust, air pollution, cigarette smoke, inefficient space heaters, propane forklifts and/or floor polishers.
  • Why I mention the forklifts, because maybe they’ve got them at flower markets?

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini from

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