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How to make cut daffodils last longer.

How to make cut daffodils last longer

It's daffodil-picking time in many areas ofthe West this month and next. These bright spring flowers make appealing bouquets, but often gardeners are disappointed that the blooms don't last longer than two or three days. With a little extra care, however, you can make your daffodil bouquets last up to four or five days.

Make sure you start with fresh, full blossomsthat do not show any signs of wilting. If the petals are starting to look transparent on the edges, or are crumpling even slightly, the flower is past its prime. You should leave these declining blooms in the garden since they will add color to your daffodil bed for a few days more. Snip off any flowers that have wilted completely.

Rain can batter the flowers, so if a heavyrainstorm is predicted, make sure you pick your daffodil bouquets before the downpour. After a rain, you may find few perfect flowers.

If weather is warm and sunny, you shouldcut the blossoms in the early morning. Later in the day, the plants may be somewhat water-stressed, and the flowers will not be in peak condition. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears or flower snips to avoid crushing the stems as you cut.

Tricks to extend vase life

As shown in the photographs below, theflowers will last nearly twice as long indoors if they get the right treatment.

After you bring them indoors--or even asyou gather your daffodils--immediately place the stems in a bucket of water. Fill a vase with a solution of commercial flower preservative and warm water according to package directions, or use a mixture of 1 part lemon-lime soda (not a diet kind) to 2 parts warm water.

Before arranging, snip off the bottom 1/2inch of each stem while holding it under water (a wide bowl of water will work for this). Immediately transfer the bloom to the vase.

Your bouquet will last even longer if youkeep it in a cool spot away from heater vents or direct sun. You can also put it in the refrigerator overnight to help keep it fresh longer. If you have a frost-free refrigerator, cover the flowers with a plastic bag so they won't be damaged by the low humidity.

Photo: Large trumpets and 10-inch stems make"Fortissimo' daffodils ideal for cutting. She looks for flowers at their freshest, with no signs of wilting or translucency

Photo: They started out looking the same: bouquet in left vase isin plain water; other bouquet is in floral preservative solution and had stems recut under water. In second picture, four days later, only the flowers with the special treatment still look good. They lasted one more day
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Mar 1, 1987
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