The Little Garden Club of Rye
Daffodil tipsTIPS FOR KEEPING DAFFODILS FRESH FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD
Daffodils may be kept fresh for an extended period of time - up to two weeks or even longer. This method may also be used for other types of flowers.
Any type of fridge may be used (it does not have to be the old fashioned type which needs to be defrosted, although this would be the best, if you still have one). However, whatever kind of fridge is used, there must be no fruit or vegetables stored in the fridge. All fruits and vegetables emit ethylene gas, which kills flowers. It is preferable that there be no food of any kind in the fridge, but bottled drinks, wine or beer may be stored at the same time.
Pick your flowers early in the morning or in the evening when they are cooler and more moist. Place into a bucket of warm water. An inch or so of water will do. Cut or pluck the stems as long as possible, because more cutting of the stem will be necessary later on. Using a sharpie pen, or regular waterproof ball point pen, write the name of the variety there and then on the stem as you pick. This is MOST IMPORTANT, because you will not remember the variety name when you get inside with a bucket full of flowers.
Clean and gently correct the pose, if necessary, of the flowers, re-cut the stems a little, and place into clean beer or soda bottles. Fill the bottles with cool water, daffodils drink through the length of their stems, and place into the fridge. Do not crush the flowers up together because this may alter the pose or bruise the petals.
The air inside a fridge is very dry, so you will need to boost up the humidity. This may be done either by placing wet towels on the shelves and misting them regularly, or more easily by placing trays full of water in the fridge and putting the bottles of flowers into the standing water in the trays. Mist the bottles and the sides of the fridge daily, but do not mist the flowers themselves as this may encourage mold spots on the petals. If your tap water is very chlorinated try to use purer water. A large bottle of Poland Spring would do. Experiment first before buying bottled water. Humidity is the goal but not soaking wet flowers.
Turn down the temperature regulator to as low as possible but above freezing. Flowers store best at about 38 to 40 degrees F.
Re-cut the stems again a little bit before staging for a show. The taller the flower stands in the test tube or show container, the better. Carry the daffodils to the show in the beer bottles in their six-pack, two or three bottles per six-pack to avoid crushing the petals. Wedging the daffodils with sprigs of boxwood in the beer bottles at this stage will mean that you have them already half staged for the show.
There are many examples of daffodils stored using this method going on to win blue ribbons after spending three weeks in the fridge.