The two photos above should not be a shock to floral designers, horticulturists or gardeners for the most part. But if it is, fear not – I’m going to give you my quick run down on what I know about Botrytis 🙂
SO, WHAT IS BOTRYTIS ??
This gray mold is defined as Botrytis which may affect the leaves, move into the stem and to the head of the flower. It generally affects plants or flowers under stress, in humid conditions and where there is overcrowding. (i.e: squeezing “X” amount of bunches of Roses into a bucket that have no room to breathe once packages are open)
What should you be looking for ??
- Spotting or discoloration on leaves or petals (i.e.: inside of Roses)
- Bent floral heads
- Dropping leaves
- Rotting buds
- Flower heads that will not open
NOW, HOW CAN THIS BE PREVENTED ??
During the first signs of Botrytis, clip off all affected leaves and blooms and CLEAN your clippers to prevent spreading this fungus to healthy flowers. Clean out the bucket (leaves and blooms that may have fallen into water) Check the water level in the bucket and make sure the water is CLEAN – if it looks questionable, ask yourself if you would drink it. Most times if the answer is no, your flowers don’t want to be drinking it either.
Do not overcrowd flowers in buckets! Take wrappers, plastic and cardboard off to prevent any moisture from getting locked in. ALLOW YOUR FLOWERS TO BREATHE !
Do not purchase flowers that show early signs of Botrytis.
Re-think your decision about misting your flowers with water. Just because it is okay in nature, doesn’t always mean it is okay inside the flower shop or your home. In nature, the flowers eventually break down and feed the plant.
PRACTICE GOOD FLORAL HYGENE – YOUR FLOWERS WILL THANK YOU 🙂