When Daffodils Come Earlier Than Show Dates

March 5, 2012
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Categories: Daffodil Types, Show Results, Standards

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The following has become a standard part of our Minnesota Show Schedule. It
was developed by many of our members, but I can’t take credit for any of it.

Edie Godfrey

Keeping Daffodils in a Refrigerator for an Extended Period of Time

Daffodils can be kept in a refrigerator for 4-5 weeks if necessary. It is
certainly not recommended, but sometimes is necessary if spring comes much
earlier than the show.

1. Keep the humidity high in modern frost-free refrigerators. Use
trays of water and/or wet towels. Option: create a ‘tent’ with sticks and a
plastic bag around the flowers to retain humidity. The sticks hold the
plastic away from the petals.

2. Keep temperature in the 34-36 degree range, as low as possible
without freezing the blooms. A refrigerator thermometer is a must.

3. Put blooms in deep containers, covering as much of the stem as
possible. Daffodils lose water through their stems, not the petals.

4. MOST IMPORTANT: Do not store any fruit or aging produce in the same
refrigerator! Methane gasses from ripening fruit will kill daffodils.

5. If a daffodil dies in the refrigerator, remove it as soon as found.
If the flower wilts, re-cut the stem to open the pores and replace in fresh
water.

6. Take out of the refrigerator the day before if:
* The flower is not fully mature (e.g. color not fully developed).
* The flower is not fully open (“hooded”).
* The flower is looking downward (and that is not its natural pose) – place
a light
behind the bloom to get it to raise its head. It is easier to adjust the
pose downward
but hard to raise the head of the flower.
In all these cases, make sure it has 6 petals, no nicks in the petals, and
that the cup/corona is in good shape.

7. Before refrigerating, clean off any dirt or stains. Use a damp
q-tip or soft brush. Look at the back as well as the front of the petals,
and inside the cup. Stains and dirt are almost impossible to get off after
refrigeration.

8. Pick in the morning if possible.

9. Pick flowers if temperatures are predicted to go below 22 degrees.

10. Division 6 flowers tend to last the longest in refrigeration.

11. Daffodils that have yellow petals / yellow cups and yellow petals / red
cups do not need sunlight to complete their development – they can be picked
before they are completely open.

12. Flowers that are reverse bicolor, have lemony colored petals, or have
pink cups need sunlight to complete development. They must be left on the
plant in the ground to completely mature.

One response to “When Daffodils Come Earlier Than Show Dates”

  1. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi Loyce McKenzie says:

    Thank you, Edie, for sharing a very helpful list,
    and
    for reminding us that “too early” can be a problem for any region, not just those of us in
    the Deep South presently worrying over a season almost already gone by.

    I would hope Kathy Welsh is reading this..she wrote, a couple of years ago, I think, that in some of her experience, cutting an open pink-cup and refrigerating actually deepened its color. Kathy, is this correct remembering? And what have others experienced about this? (sounds like a good topic for a small experiment.)

    Loyce McKenzie
    Zone 8–our show is March 17, and we’re at least 3 weeks past on flowers that bloomed for the convention visitors on March 17 in 2011.

    —-