How to Care for Cut Narcissus

Enjoying Maximum Vase Life for the Queens of Spring: How to Care for Cut Narcissus

Isn’t it wonderful to finally see the sun peeking out here in the Comox Valley? It felt like the rain hung on longer than usual this month and when the sun finally burst through the clouds this week it was so satisfying to see the first of our narcissus start to open up here on our flower farm. If you have received a bouquet of cut narcissus, (our Seasonal Selection subscribers have some coming in April!) or if you have some of these beautiful flowers starting to stretch their stems up in your garden it’s important that you know how to care for them properly. Once brought inside, narcissus will last longer if you follow some simple tips. In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to take care of these Queens of spring to ensure that they stay fresh and vibrant for as long as possible!

Daffodils, or narcissus are some of the first cut flowers to bloom in the spring.  When harvested at the right time ( we call it the gooseneck stage, where the bud is fully coloured but the petals have not started to open) you can expect  5-7 days of vase life.  Whether you’ve received a fresh, hand-wrapped bouquet delivered to your doorstep, or you’ve stepped out into your garden, snips in hand, the first thing these flowers need once they’ve been brought into the house is rest.  Place the stems in a vessel of cool water and let them acclimatize to your home for a couple of hours out of direct sunlight.   This will allow them to hydrate properly.  

There is a sap that runs through the stems of narcissus that can be quite irritating if it gets on your skin so we always make sure we’re harvesting in long sleeves.  When narcissus are placed in a vase with other flowers this sap can poison the flowers around them, drastically reducing their vase life.  However, there is a simple solution to ensure this doesn’t happen; after you’ve harvested your narcissus and they’ve had a chance to rest in some cool water for a couple; of hours, trim the stems to the desired length for your vase and then dip them into a cup of boiling water for 10 seconds.  This will seal off the end and stop the sap from oozing out while still allowing the flower to drink water from your vase. Once you’ve seared the stems you can combine your narcissus with hyacinth, tulips, flowering branches from the orchard, whatever speaks to you.  

If you REALLY want to go for maximum vase life consider removing your flowers from their vase and trimming an inch off of them every couple of days making sure you re-sear the ends of your narcissus before you put them back in water.  As flowers age the stem naturally seals themselves as a way of protecting the flower against infection or disease.  This in turn makes it difficult for the flower to absorb adequate water which can result in premature fading and death.  Make sure you change out the water every couple of days so your farm fresh flowers have fresh water to drink and when you’re deciding on a location in your home, keep them out of direct sunlight which can dry out or even burn the petals.  

The flowers that we grow inspire my creativity every day and it’s our wish that they do the same for you.  Don’t be afraid to deconstruct your bouquet and play around with its form.  We’d love to see what you come up with!

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