Yogyakarta- Approaching holiday, many people do a lot of preparation, including decorating the house with fragrant and fresh flowers. Arranging flowers in a vase needs creativity in order that the flowers don't look monotonous. Sedap Malam flower (Polianthes Tuberosa) is one kind of flowers that attracts people for decoration since the flower is able to spread good smell. Especially in the night, the smell is stronger. However, the flower has a drawback. It is easily perishable.
According to Ir. Titiek Widyastuti, MSi, the lecturer at Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta (UMY) at the Faculty of Agriculture, there are many ways to keep the flower's freshness. One of the ways is coloring the white flower, so it has new fresher look.
As a horticultural comodity, the flower relies on its interesting look or physical form. "The flower's look and longevity is determined by many factors. One main factor is handling process, starting from pre to post harvest. The quality of flower will look if the flower remains fresh and beautiful after being cut from the parent plant. Besides, the flower has persona and visual beauty," she said at UMY integrated campus on Thursday (25/8).
Tititk said that coloring the flower's white color can keep the flower's longevity. "Coloring can be done by dipping the flower into liquid material, spraying using micro-sprayer, or soaking the stem. Nevertheless, coloring by soaking the stem is the easiest and most natural way. Besides, the technique is vey easy, cheap, and it doesn't need long time," she added.
Titiek also explained the coloring process. "First, put off the leaves of fresh flower. Then, cut the stem. After that be ready with colorful liquid. Food coloring can be used because it is safer. Then dip the stem into the liquid. Finally, different color of the flower can be created."
Concerning the coloring and the length of soaking, Titiek said that no all food coloring available in the market could give good responses. "To make the response faster, add sugar or citrid acid. Sugar and citrid acid can keep the flower fresh. The length of soaking depends on the flower condition and the kind of coloring used. It can be done from 3 to 5 hours," she added.
Titiek also says the flower's colors produced are influenced by the kind of coloring, concentration, and the length of soaking. "The longer the soaking and the higher the concentration of coloring, the darker the flower will be," she added.
(trans by hamzah - uhamka)