EFFECTS OF LOW TEMPERATURES ON ORNAMENTAL PLANTS
Members of the plant kingdom have adapted to nearly all terrestrial climates, from the moist heat of the tropics or searing heat of the desert to the permanent ice of the Arctic. Each species functions optimally within a relatively narrow temperature ‘window’, that often relates to the climate in the species' native habitat. Although the logarithmic relationship between plant metabolism and temperature is the basis for the widespread use of rapid cooling and refrigerated storage for extending the life of many perishable products, particularly ephemeral items such as cut flowers, the safe low temperature obviously depends on the lower limit of the temperature window. While dormant nursery plants of arctic species may resist temperatures well below the freezing point for long periods, temperate cut flowers must be held above 0°C. Most foliage plants, and many tropical flowers suffer chilling injury at temperatures below 7 to 10°C. The bases of these differences in temperature response, and the possibilities for changing them to extend the storage life of ornamental species are discussed.
Reid, M. S. (1991). EFFECTS OF LOW TEMPERATURES ON ORNAMENTAL PLANTS. Acta Hortic. 298, 215-224