Harvesting your daffodils at the "goose-neck" stage will ensure the longest vase life for those beautiful spring blooms.
A sure sign that springtime is just around the corner is the arrival of daffodils popping up from the earth. After months of frigid temps and seemingly lifeless vegetation, they are a welcome sight for flower enthusiasts, everywhere.
A member of the Narcissus genus, daffodils arrive in the early spring, showing off their beautiful blooms before the rest of the flowers seem to wake up from their winter slumber. There are more than 50 species within this genus, and even more species of daffodils to be discovered within that. Available in a range of fragrance, color, and even bloom size, they are the perfect flowers for brightening up any landscape- or, kitchen table.
When we harvest any cut-flower, the goal is to have the longest vase life possible for that variety. With daffodils, that means harvesting before the buds have bloomed, in the stage commonly known as the "goose-neck" stage. This term is a funny one to hear, but if you look at the daffodil closely, you can see why it has been assigned this name.
In this stage, you can see that the buds have appeared- this looks a little different depending upon the variety of daffodil-, you can see evidence of color about to burst through, and you can see the bud, itself, sort of drooping at a little bit of an angle due to it's increasing weight. Blooms that are harvested at this stage should give you a solid week of healthy vase life, bursting open within a few days.
While harvesting your daffodils, you might notice the oozy sap that is coming from their stems. For this reason, it is recommended that you wear gloves to avoid any possible skin irritation that the slime may cause. For longer stems to use in your arrangements, try gently pulling upward from the base of the stem. You can also cut them free by using a pair of garden scissors.
Once you have harvested your daffodils, you want to let them soak in cool water for at least three hours. The sap that they emit, is not only a possible skin irritant but is also toxic to other flower varieties when used together in arrangements. It will significantly decrease the other flower's vase life if they are exposed. Letting them soak allows for the stems to callus over, and cease oozing out the slimy sap. You mustn't cut them after this process-unless you intend to start it over once more- because you will have restarted the sap oozing out of the bottom.
If you do not have the time to soak your stems, an arrangement of just those flowers within the narcissus genus will still be a beautiful bundle to share with someone else! With so many species within the genus, you will end up with a gorgeous blend of different flowers that compliment each other, wonderfully.
Whether they are wrapped in a paper bundle, or placed into a vase, daffodils are a great way to share the joy of springtime with others.
Thanks for reading, and we look forward to sharing more info with you as we learn as we grow!
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