Flowers are expensive. They cost much more than the average vegetable. But, as every flower grower knows, it’s the quality that determines the value. Growers strive to get the right shape, vivid colors, and avoid blemishes or deformities.
To get the highest quality, most growers grow flowers in protected environments, such as greenhouses or glasshouses. This allows them to control their growing conditions, reducing the negative impact of weather, minimizing pest outbreaks, and increasing the consistency of the flowers.
But, as flowers constantly evaporate water, growing in closed spaces means humidity is always on the rise.
How Humidity Affects Flower Development
Humidity, like any other climate parameter, has a huge impact on how plants grow. Every plant has an optimal humidity range (measured as relative humidity). So, if growers want to get the most out of their flowers, keeping a steady, ideal humidity level is extremely important.
One of the most important roles humidity plays, is regulating nutrient transport, ultimately determining the flowers’ metabolism rate.
To grow and develop, flowers need nutrients, which are found in the soil in which they’re grown. They absorb these nutrients by taking in water, through the roots, and delivering them to the right cells.
But how do plants take in water? They rely on a force called the xylem pull. This pull doesn’t start in the roots. Rather, it starts in the leaves, in cells known as stomata, which constantly transpire water. When the water is released to the air, as vapor, it creates a pull, which allows water to travel up the roots and through the plant.
This is where humidity comes in. If relative humidity is high, meaning the air is close to saturation, and can’t hold any more water, the rate of transpiration will slow down, or even stop completely. This, in turn, would slow down or even stop the flowers’ metabolism.
So, for flowers to grow optimally, they require comfortable humidity levels. If humidity isn’t within this ideal range, flowers grow smaller, less vibrant, less consistent, and less healthy.
High Humidity Causes Disease Outbreaks
Humidity has another negative impact, one which flower growers are very familiar with – diseases. High humidity causes many of the most common and most destructive flower diseases, such as botrytis and powdery mildew.
Often, these diseases are brought on by the presence of water, which appears when relative humidity reaches 100% (commonly referred to as the dew point). But once molds start to take hold, removing the water may not be enough to stop the spread. Fungal diseases like botrytis will continue to create spores and spread after the initial outbreak, even without water.
Needless to say, molds and diseases can cause flowers to shrivel and die, or to grow smaller, and of lower quality. Controlling humidity at all times, and never reaching 100% relative humidity, is the only way to prevent these diseases, without the use of fungicides.
Using Dehumidification to Control Humidity in Flower Cultivation
The most effective way to reduce humidity and maintain optimal levels, is by using dehumidification.
Traditionally, greenhouse operators reduce humidity by opening vents and windows, releasing the humid air to the outdoors. When conditions outside are comfortable, both in terms of temperature and humidity, this method is very useful.
But, when conditions outside aren’t ideal, meaning low temperatures, high humidity, or rain, using ventilation may not achieve the desired humidity reduction. This if often the case during the night.
More importantly, under these circumstances, this method is highly inefficient in terms of energy, making it both wasteful and costly.
Flower growers invest a lot of energy in heating, to maintain the right temperatures for the flowers to grow healthy and beautiful. But releasing humid air also releases heat, which means growers must re-heat. This is a huge expense for many flower growers, one they can completely avoid.
The Benefits of Using Dehumidification in Flower Greenhouses
By using dehumidifiers, growers can reduce and maintain relative humidity in their greenhouse, with full precision, at all times. Without losing heat through ventilation.
Controlling the environment from inside, without releasing air, has various benefits:
- Gain complete control over the environment, including temperature and humidity
- Cut energy use
- Save water
- Increase CO2 retention
- Grow healthier, more vibrant flowers
- Grow consistent, uniform flowers
- Increase yields
By closing the greenhouse and using DryGair inside, you can maintain the best conditions for your flowers, at all times.
Read our Flower Case Study to learn more about how DryGair’s solution improves flower cultivation, and reduces growing expenses.