Drying, a sustainable way of bringing diversity in the ornamental sector

M. Malakar, M. Beruto, S. Jayasavitha, S. Sankavi, S. Sivabalan
Floriculture is a fashion-oriented industry and innovation is an important driven factor. Today, dried flowers are making a comeback. They are definitely trending now, but they are also a great way to add value to the ornamental sector. In the current investigation, we focused on the best protocols to obtain dried flowers of bunny rose (Rosa chinensis × R. hybrida) ‘Rimosa®-79’ (red colored) and ‘Golden Bunny’ (yellow colored) and Crossandra infundibuliformis Salisb. ‘Delhi Princess’ (orange colored). Moreover, we pursued the standardization of the leaf skeletonization process and the subsequent bleaching for Polyalthia longifolia (Sonn.) Thwaites ‘Pendula’. Different drying methods have been tested viz., air drying (AD), embedded drying (ED) and microwave-drying (MD). The best drying procedure for bunny rose cultivars was observed when ED with white sand as desiccant was applied for 3 days under ambient conditions. The AD method applied for 15 days yielded the best quality of the final product for Crossandra dried flowers. The anthocyanin and carotene content were 1.59 and 1.48 mg g‑1 for ‘Rimosa®-79’ and ‘Golden Bunny’, respectively. Desiccated Crossandra flowers had a pigment content of 2.92 mg g‑1. To get skeletonized leaves of Polyalthia the best tissue digestion treatment was obtained by using 5% sodium hydroxide for 60-90 min. Treatment of the leaf skeletons for 30 min in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (2% v/v) and sodium carbonate (2% w/v) with a few drops of lemon essential oil added allowed to yield fully bleached leaf skeletons. Conclusively, the drying techniques can provide diversity and sustainability in the ornamental sector. However, the best method to dry flowers should be adapted according to the species and the final product to market. Breeders addressed to species used also as dried flowers should be aware of it and incorporate these issues in their selection program.
Malakar, M., Beruto, M., Jayasavitha, S., Sankavi, S. and Sivabalan, S. (2023). Drying, a sustainable way of bringing diversity in the ornamental sector. Acta Hortic. 1383, 279-288
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1383.34
dehydration, eco-friendly, desiccant, value-added, minor ornamentals

Acta Horticulturae