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Old 04-10-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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I cut a few daffs when the yellow was just starting to show, and they did open in the vase but looked a little wilted immediately. Do you have to wait longer to cut them, or is there something I should put in the water or what?

BTW I put some grape hyacinths in the same vase, and they're doing fine. I guess GH's are something that the gunk from cut daffs doesn't affect?
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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I've been to daffodil shows and classes on growing and naming types of daffodils. All the daffodils were in vases in both settings. I have to assume there probably is a trick to cutting them right. I've never cut any of mine for a vase so I had to look around for some advice. All I could find is not to use scissors and cut at a 45 degree angle with a very sharp knife.

Here is an example of the how to offered for showing daffodils:
Grooming Daffodils for the Show Bench
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:48 PM
 
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I did use scissors. Hmmm. The only really sharp thing I have is a box cutter thingy. I'll try that next. Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
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I coincidentally was reading a gardening blog, and I found information about the daffodils. It turns out the stems produce a substance which can cause wilting of other stems in the vase. It seems the way to prevent it is to try to leach out the substance?

I can't remember which page the information was on, but you should be able to search the blog here: joene's garden: Gardening thoughtfully in south-central Connecticut: Page 6

I think it was "oxalic acid," so you may also get ideas about how to keep the flowers alive in a bunch by searching online. Perhaps single stems in bud vases would be a better bet for cut daffodils.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinkytoes View Post
I coincidentally was reading a gardening blog, and I found information about the daffodils. It turns out the stems produce a substance which can cause wilting of other stems in the vase. It seems the way to prevent it is to try to leach out the substance?

I can't remember which page the information was on, but you should be able to search the blog here: joene's garden: Gardening thoughtfully in south-central Connecticut: Page 6

I think it was "oxalic acid," so you may also get ideas about how to keep the flowers alive in a bunch by searching online. Perhaps single stems in bud vases would be a better bet for cut daffodils.
Did you actually read the whole thing? It is not what the author of the blog wrote. The title of her article was Cut Daffodils Don’t Play Well with Other Flowers One daffodil cannot make the other wilt if they contain the same compounds in their stems! This defies all common sense and logic. Exactly how does one "leach" out the oxalic acid, crystals or other oxalates? It would have been nice for you to follow up on that since you may have found there was no such thing and not passed along erroneous suggestions.


Some flowering stems will be adversely effected by higher concentrations when exposed to oxalic acid in a vase so sometimes mixed arrangements don't work. Oxalic acid in sap also is a common problem for people cutting flowers barehanded because it can cause skin irritation. There is no known "leaching" technique which doesn't involve destroying the plant for vase use.

Just to be clear, it is not a dangerous chemical. It is used as a natural miticide by European bee keepers. Cut flowers like Calla lilies contain it, as do daffodils and it is common to many plants in much smaller doses. Rhubarb is fairly high in it and this is one of the reason it must be handled the way it is for making it edible and not cause kidney stones. Spinach contains it as well. Black tea even has some in it but in dilute enough amounts not to be dangerous. It is naturally occurring in the human body, too.

Last edited by Rance; 04-14-2012 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:57 AM
 
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To the OP. I checked with a friend in the local Daffodil Society and she says that simply squeezing the bottom of the stem with fingers (and fingernails) and snapping it off works well for quick "harvesting" but that her preferred method is a very sharp paring or gardener's knife, cutting at an angle -not flat- and immediately plunging the stem in room temperature water (she has a pail for this that she carries out into the garden). She changes the water to cooler water in the vase after she comes in and most often any slightly deflated looking flowers seem to perk up again. She also says she cleans her knife between cuttings with cleaning dunks (dipping the knife in a jar filled with rubbing alcohol or with a 10% bleach solution that she carries with her). This is commonly done in the garden to stop unintentional spread of any disease in any plant or shrub. She also mentioned the best time to harvest was just as the daff was just opening not when they were fully open for a day or two, so you might have been doing that a day too early. Once they are in the vase keep them in a cool place out of direct sun -but diffuse sunlight is alright. The sun can cause them to wilt and I suspect maybe make the flower go through its bloom phase faster. I hope that gives you more ideas on cutting yours.

Mod Cut

Last edited by Rance; 04-14-2012 at 10:44 AM.. Reason: Drama
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