Long Stems

September 8, 2009

Category: Growing Daffodils

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I forgot who sent this photo, but I’d like to inquire if all your daffodils have a stem this long???? Surely not; so what do you do during the growing to encourage the stems to grow longer?? I know that I have seen an occasional long stemmed daffodil grown in the USA appear on daffnet at times, but this is an exception.

Thanks for a reply; I’m sure everyone in the US would like to know the answer.

— Ralph Sowell 330 Commerce Park Drive Jackson, MS 39213


6 responses to “Long Stems”

  1. Nancy Kolson says:
    Dear Ralph,
    When we were on the 2004 World Daffodil Tour in Australia, we saw stems that were twice that long at the Blyth Bulb Farm.  I was very amazed at the growth they get down under.
    Many of us took pictures of the older Mr. Blyth holding foliage up to his shoulder!
    Nancy Kolson
  2. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:

    Ralph, Several things effect the length of stems:- 1) The plant genetics – some have naturally longer stems than others in similar conditions. 2) Generally the longer, the slower the build up to the spring the longer the stem. A rush from winter cold to summer heat forces the flowers out before the stems have time to reach potential 3) Side and overhead protection of blooms causes the stems to grow longer in search of light. I’m sure other factors such as soil fertility and moisture level also have an important bearing – and those New Zealand flowers have such ideal conditions they just don’t know when to stop growing!! Brian Duncan

  3. John McLennan, New Zealand John Mclennan says:

    Hi Daffnetters, The photo of premier blooms and the champiom bloom 4 Y – R Ballistic are from our Otaki show last weekend. The camera never lies — BUT — its all about angles. As would be expected , there were no short stemmed blooms on the top table ; however , I was crouching a little and shooting slightly up to bring in the top level flower Ballistic . Probably the tallest bloom on the table was the 3Y – O , Ome Omy, which is always tall and was about 20 inches above the vase. It is the redcup on the left. Ballistic was on about a 16 inch stem ; very thick and strong and a very strong neck as it was a very heavy , full flower .It had , as the photo shows , a very proud stance , looking the judge right in the eye . Our Central region growers usually feel that the Waikato and Taranaki growers , both from areas with considerably heavier rainfall, have an advantage on us when it comes to stem length .Our higher sunshine hours usually give us other benifits , particularly earlyness.
    A few enquiries about SNOWY HECTOR , — 4 W – W . It is an unregistered seedling of mine ; can,t remember the breeding offhand . I was in the Wellington flower market early this morning , watching my flowers being auctioned, talking to the staff and the buyers ; always trying to see what is fashionable and trying to pick any preferences or market trends . I had about 100 bunches of doubles , including 10 bunches of Snowy Hector and some tall Y – R,s W – P,s and bright Y – Y,s . Top price , by over 10% , was the 10 Snowy Hectors , and I was approached by the buyer asking if I would still have any of it on the floor next week . The answer was yes but the numbers may be lower as we are finishing fast . I was told it had been top price for the last 3 markets . It,s not a glossy white finished flower, however its strength is that it opens very clean white , not a hint of yellow ; also has a good stem and neck .Stocks are building up as it was a 1993 sdlg . Chatting to the auctioneer about the sales is something I should do more often ; I have changed A uction Houses for the first time in 30 years ; a bit of local politics involved ; my previous man was an excellent communicator but was made redundant — I,m getting to know the new floor .
    Had a long day — cheers John.

  4. Kathy Welsh says:
    Interesting that you are suggesting that these really long stems are a good thing.  I think they are too long and not pleasing to the eye.  I usually cut my stems when exhibiting when they are so long.  In the ADS Judges’ Handbook it says that the length of the stem should be proportionate to the size of the bloom.  To me these really long stems look funny.  Obviously this is just my opinion.


  5. Chriss Rainey says:

    I agree with Kathy.  They appear out of proportion.  Many miniature cultivars grow on long stems and we’d never consider exhibiting them with a stem that was not in proportion to the bloom.  I think the same aesthetics should be considered with standards. 
    When I have felt it was necessary to protect blooms, I have erected a temporary windscreen and shade of shade cloth over my long standard bed.  I also plant close together.  I think under these circumstances the stems do grow longer.  They are reaching. 

  6. Phyllis Hess says:

    LOL love the description of mini’s with long stems and I agree!!
    Phyllis Hess