What is bent-neck in roses and how can you avoid it?
Premature harvesting is the core problem of bent-neck in roses. The stem right under the bud is not strong enough to carry the weight of the growing bud/flower. When the stem bends in this way, the vascular bundles are pinched shut and the flower’s water supply is cut off. The leaves, on the other hand, remain healthy. Premature harvesting also makes the tissue more sensitive to lack of water.
Research has shown that flowers harvested at a more mature stage will not wilt as quickly as flowers that are harvested prematurely. If loss of moisture due to evaporation is insufficiently compensated for by water absorption, the stem will bend at the most vulnerable/softest and least woody point, especially when vascular blockage also plays a role. Another reason often mentioned is a shortage of lime during the Rosa’s growth.
The degree of susceptibility to bent-neck varies among cultivars. Excessive artificial lengthening of daylight hours in the greenhouse, during winter months, can cause the stomata to lose their ability to close. Evaporation will then continue at a rapid pace, particularly at high temperatures in the stores and at the home of the customer.
Once the flower has been prematurely harvested nothing can be done to undo this. Unfortunately, the only thing to do with a bent-neck rose is to throw it out.
What can you do to avoid bent-neck?
- Harvest the roses at the appropriate level of maturity
- Cut at least 5 cm off the stem to remove blockages
- Use post-harvest products such as Chrysal RVB Clear Intensive at the grower level, immediately upon harvest.
- Use Chrysal Professional 2 during transport and retail phase
- Chrysal Rosa flower food will feed and strengthen the flower and decrease the chances of manifesting bent-neck