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How does one prevent damage as a consequence of ethylene?

Application of Ethylene BusterEthylene (C2H4), also called ethene, is a colorless and odorless natural plant hormone that appears in internally (in plants) as well as externally (in the air). It influences the development and growth of plants, including aging of leaves, ripening of fruit and the germination of seeds. Ethylene is important for the growth of a crop, but too high a quantity may lead to damage. For that reason it is important to monitor and control the amount of ethylene in the greenhouse or truck. 

Sources of ethylene

The greatest source of ethylene in the greenhouse, in principle is the crop, although the crop itself never produces a harmful amount of ethylene. A harmful amount occurs when also other sources produce ethylene. The most common sources are:
  • Not properly functioning or insufficiently ventilated heaters
  • Exhaust gases of combustion engines like the boiler or ketel or CHP
  • Leaking gaspipes
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Rotting plant material

Health risks

Ethylene is harmful for the crop, but in principle it is not hazardous to the health of humans. What is harmful to the health is a high content of carbon monoxide, which often results from an increased concentration of ethylene. 

Consequence: an excess of ethylene

Too high an amount of ethylene can as such cause damage. For example, necrosis or chlorosis may arise on the leaf, accelerated aging of flowers takes place too fast, which makes the flowers wilt, deformation of leaves and/or flowers can take place and growth can be impeded. 
Not every crop will react in the same way to an excess of ethylene. The reaction depends on different factors, including the concentration of ethylene, the duration of the exposure and the greenhouse temperature. In addition every kind of plant is different and also there are differences in growth stages.

Use in cultivations

In order to prevent buds or flowers from dropping or deterioration of the shelf life, you can apply Ethylene Buster. This is an anti-ethylene product with the active ingrediënt 1-MCP. The agent is sprayed into an enclosed space as a result of which the gas attaches to the ethylene receptors. As a result, flowers stay fresh longer and also plants have a longer shelf life. Ethylene Buster can be used for various applications:
  • Floricultural crops: Ethylene Buster is used to enhance the opening of the buds and life in the vase. In addition, premature wilting or dropping of buds, leaf and flowers is being prevented. 
  • Tulip bulbs: Ethylene Buster is applied to prevent damage by ethylene, for example adhesion (blended scales). 
For both application Ethylene Buster must be applied immediately after the harvest. Furthermore it is important to carry out the treatment in an airtight storage space. Assess here whether your crop is sensitive to ethylene. 

Roadmap application of Ethylene Buster

Always first check if the treatment area is well close and if the internal ventilation is on. The product consists of one strip containing 10 tablets with an activator. Carry out the following steps when you want to apply Ethylene Buster:
  1. Open the bag and leave the vessel with the active solution in the foam block. The remove the cap;
  2. Take the packaging with two blue active tablets from the foam block; 
  3. Place the two tablets in the overturned cap. Note: always use two tablets;
  4. Take the correct green Ethylene Buster from the blister package (see table below)
  5. Place the green tablets in the overturned cap, next to the two blue tablets;
  6. Pull the sealing film from the vessel with the active solution. Make sure that you do not spill any active solution;
  7. Add both colors to the vessel with the active solution;
  8. Screw the cap back on again;
  9. Place the vessel with active solution into the foam block on a stable and even surface. For example on the floor of the space;
  10. Finally you close the door within 2 minutes and keep it closed for at least 4 hours for flowers and 12 hours for tulip bulbs. Always keep the internal ventilation on for good air circulation. 
Required number of green Ethylene Buster tablets
CultivationRequired number of green Ethylene Buster tablets 
Floricultural cropsUse 1 green tablet per 10 mᵌ. If the volume to be treated is smaller than 100 mᵌ, the number of tablets must be rounded off. For example:
  • If 3.47 tablets were calculated, round off to 3 tablets
  • If 3.53 tablets were calculated, round off to 4 tablets. 
In case the volume to be treated exceeds 100 mᵌ, always round down the number of tablets. 
Tulip bulbs Use 1 green tablet per 15 mᵌ. If the volume to be treated is smaller than 105 mᵌ, the number of tablets must be rounded off. For example:
  • If 3.47 tablets were calculated, round off to 3 tablets
  • If 3.53 tablets were calculated, round off to 4 tablets. 
If the volume to be treated exceeds 105 mᵌ, always round the number of tablets down.

  • Never use more than 10 green Ethylene Buster per vessel. If you require more then divide across 2 or more vessels, each with 2 blue tablets. 
  • Always thoroughly ventilate the treated space after the process and keep out of the space during ventilation. 
  • If you use more than one active set, then prepare all sets for use.
Always consult the safety sheet when using Ethylene Buster. 

Specialists Ethylene Buster
Questions about applying Ethylene Buster

Do you have questions about the use of Ethylene Buster, or would you like customized advice? Then contact one of our crop care product specialists, or submit your question using the form below. We will contact you as soon as possible - even within 24 hours on workdays.

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