Keith Kridler, Texas

Any other tips for novice daffodil grooming??

March 1, 2018

Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils, Show Prep and Exhibiting, Shows, Soil, Virus

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I sent the following to our Texas Daffodil membership this morning. Any other thoughts to help new/novice daffodil exhibitors that may only have a few varieties even in bud after a colder than average winter? In the last 60 days I have recorded 18 inches of rainfall or 46 centimeters of rainfall on our fields. I probably should not have sent the part about “Snap off these stems, just as close to the neck of the bulb as you can.” I expect I will have new members bringing in blooms that are snapped off at the “neck” of the flower with not any stem attached. Every northern hemisphere region, all around the world is going to have these and or similar late season issues for daffodil shows this year.

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant Texas 120 miles due east of Dallas Fort Worth
900 miles south of Chicago Illinois
Same latitude as Benghazi, Libya

OK, Shawn and I just returned from a multi day trip to Ohio. 5 inch Rains have moved through the DFW area last 24 hours and we got another 2.5 inches in the last 24 hours!

Go out into your daffodil beds and concentrate on picking blooms this morning, late afternoon would be better(!) that are at the “Goose Neck” stage. This will be the ones that the buds are starting to show color but the neck of the buds will be bent down at a 45* angle and or buds are looking down like a “Goose Neck”. Even with broken stems, even with sand and grit stuck to the stems, with just a little petal color showing in these buds, you need to pick these for the Texas Show. Snap off these stems just as close to the neck of the bulb as you can. Be careful to not pull the stems up and out of the bulbs as you would have to trim off any of the lower really white, really soft parts of the lower stems that are so rapidly growing.

In this tight goose neck bud situation, you can take the entire stems and buds, then submerge them into a large mixing bowl or deep kitchen sink of luke warm water and gently swish them back and forth with the entire stems and buds submerged under the warm water. IF you have lots of the DFW black land silty soils then you might need a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap in the water to help remove most of the black silt.

Once the blooms and stems are relatively clean, take a very sharp paring knife, re-cut the bottoms of the stems back to where you have a firm green stem. Cut the stems on a steep 45* angle cut to expose cleanly cut xylem and Phloem tubes (the arteries and veins) of the plant so that the developing bud will be able to fill out, open up as quickly as possible. If at all possible you will want to stand these stems in deep warm water to help the cut flowers to fill out the closed and or semi-closed buds. IF you already have blooms standing in water then this morning re-cut the lower stems by just about ¼ to ½” again to expose the water transpiration tubes. This will help the flowers that are open to stay fresh for the next 36 hours.

If in tight buds, very often to accelerate the opening, you can put large vases of packed stems and stand the vases in a bathtub that is partially filled with warm water that will surround the lower parts of the vases, warming the water in the vases, and creating a very high humidity condition as this will speed up the opening of the daffodil flower buds.

If you have more time to pick, you have very clean flower buds and clean stems then you would be better to leave these to grow out and open up on the flower bulbs. Sunshine today on the leaves, on the stems on the buds will more quickly open up the blooms and the stems will CONTINUE to elongate and lengthen on these bulbs. The stems stop growing as soon as you snap them off! We appear to have about 8 hours of direct sunshine today! This will cause and or help most of the buds in “Goose Neck” stage to pop open.

Keith Kridler
Mt. Pleasant Texas


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