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Show #08/7108. Designing And Care Of Daffodils

Using Daffodils For Cut Flowers

As gardeners, we love bringing nature inside the house. And cut flowers are one of the things that is exciting about the way we interact with the garden throughout the year. Eric thinks many people may not know that bulbs, specifically daffodils and tulips, really do make great cut flowers. Jim wholeheartedly agrees, they're the best. People love daffodils for cut flowers as well as tulips because they give you a long time to bloom in the house if you just cut them properly. Eric would like for Jim to talk about some of the considerations that we might have from a standpoint of success using bulbs as cut flowers. What Jim finds is that most people do not realize you do not cut a daffodil or tulip up higher. You have to snap it at the base. If you snap it where it's white, this will keep the sap inside the stem. Daffodils and tulips draw water and nutrients up from the white part up into the stem. If you cut it with a pair of pruners, it drains all the water out. So the life expectancy in a vase is shortened by probably half the period of time. So it's real good to go all the way to the base and snap it plus you're going to have a long stem. Next put those in a vase for about three hours. Leave them there. Give them time to soak up the water that's in the vase. After about three hours one can make a cut because they've taken up enough water to last for 10 days in the vase. The sap has calcium oxalate in it, which forms these little small bundles of crystals. And those crystals are what help lock the sap in long enough to take up more water. Eric mentions that calcium oxalate basically acts as a toxin for other cut flowers too. So it is important when we're using daffodils in combination with other flowers to give them that time on their own in a vase so that they're drawing up new water. Because otherwise they'll basically shorten the life the other plants that we're using in that arrangement. It will kill the flowers that are already in the vase because we've got to condition them first. If you put daffodils in right away all that poison goes into the water that the other flowers are drawing up.


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By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

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