refrigerators, bulbs, & ethylene gas

John Bryan
Fri, 17 Sep 2004 15:08:35 PDT
Dear Judy;

From personal experience, I can tell you that tulips placed in the
vegetable drawers of a fridge, with apples also in the same fridge, just
did not perform well. From the same batch of bulbs, i.e. same amount of
time in the fridge, but without apples, performed well. If it was not
the ethylene gas, what could it have been. Yes there are many myths
about, but I do not think this is one. Do different cultivars of apples
give off differing amounts of gas? Are some cultivars of tulips not
subject to the problem? I am afraid I would be skeptical about the
comments of one bulb researcher was this a controlled experiment, a
research project? Was the length of time documented? Where were the
results published? You refer to facts, can you give me more information
on this as it is important for those living in warmer climes where we
are obliged to cool the bulbs. Cheers, John E. Bryan

Judy Glattstein wrote:
> Myth busters of the world, unite! This has been an accepted piece of garden
> lore for at least as long as I've been gardening. However, it seems we have
> been worrying needlessly.
> According to information I received from a researcher in Holland, the amount
> of ethylene gas given off by fruit such as apples is relatively small.
> Further, refrigerator temperatures of 38° to 42° Fahrenheit reduces the
> production of ethylene gas, and also slows the bulbs' metabolism, further
> limiting the influence of the gas in the flower embryo within the bulbs. He
> seemed to think that the "ethylene gas blights bulbs' flowers" is just not
> supported by the facts.
> I discuss this at somewhat greater length/ more detail in "Bulbs for Garden
> Habitats" which will, God willing and the creeks don't rise, be released by
> Timber Press in May 2005.
> Judy in New Jersey where the creek, uninfluenced by hurricanes, has not yet
> risen.
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