Keith Kridler, Texas

Storing/shipping Daffodil Blooms Minneapolis 2019

May 11, 2019

Categories: Diseases and Pests, Growing Daffodils, Hybridizing, Seedling, Shows, Virus

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For those of you who missed a really great ADS convention!

There was a really good discussion of using refrigeration for storing cut daffodil blooms for up to three weeks. Cold and humidity was discussed. For our Master Gardener group this past winter I purchased:

AcuRite 00613 Indoor Thermometer & Hygrometer with Humidity Gauge

So that I could track the high low temperature and high low humidity readings at multiple grow light, multiple locations of mini greenhouse grow areas for plant cuttings and seedlings. I ended up buying four of these for about $9.00 each. Amazon has these for about $11.00 this morning. I like the ones with the clip on and with the magnetic back combination. The temperature high low was very accurate between all four units and was within 1*F of my older high $ mercury high low thermometer for my main greenhouse. They ranged from 22*F to about 125*F over the course of a couple of months. Humidity high lows varied between the four units but for what I was growing it was OK. These would work at tracking daffodil folks refrigeration units who are storing daffodil blooms. These can also be put inside the shipping boxes if you are having to put boxes of blooms in “Checked Luggage” in the hold of a plane, and or if you put the boxes in the trunk of a vehicle to see how hot and or how cold shipping is.

Issue is they auto reset every 24 to 36 hours or so but for the price they are a great high low thermometer!

Question also was experimentation for what types of water, (distilled, well water, chlorinated city water ETC) will make your blooms last longer in a vase. What can you add to the water to make the blooms last longer, gin, vodka, whiskey, sugar, Epsom salts ETC.

OK for experimentation/education for school children and Master Gardeners I have used white daffodil blooms, then I carefully split the stem of a daffodil into approximately three equal sections, making about a test tube high split. I make special test tube block holders so that three single stem test tubes are tight against each tube. Then fill the tubes with water, then put in two drops of food coloring into each tube. Carefully put in 1/3 of the whole stem in each tube of food coloring so that this flower stem is now sitting in a 6” deep Red, Blue and green colored water, and in about 24 hours, depending on the humidity you will have a white bloom that shows all three colors. As the veins in the stems pull up water for only a segregated section of the bloom. Even the pistil if you look at higher magnification will also be segregated as to color. The different filaments will be certain distinct colors.

Issue I am bringing this up is that over the course of three days or so for my food coloring the 1/3 or so of the bloom that is “Red” veined will always die a day or two or even three days before the green and blue coloring. Even if I recut the bottoms of the stems every day, it appears that the red food coloring that I am using will plug up the veins and the red 1/3 of the flower will wilt and die ahead of the other two colors.

It would be pretty easy to split “any” color daffodil stem into two stems, then test distilled water to various concoctions to see which side of the bloom will last the longest. Does the PH of vase water make any difference to the daffodil bloom longevity? By using half of the stem in one solution and half in the other solution you are eliminating the variation between two different blooms, even if you used the same cultivar. Keith Kridler North East Texas, 7.07 Inches of rainfall in April, 9+ inches of rainfall so far in May, still raining this morning, now we are under severe thunderstorm warnings for the rest of the day.

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5 Responses to Storing/shipping Daffodil Blooms Minneapolis 2019

  1. Graham Fleming, Australia
    Graham Fleming, Australia
    May 12, 2019 at 1:10 am

    My experience is that you can keep some daffodils up to 6 weeks but if they are lacking substance and texture then 2 to 3 weeks is the maximum. The other thing is that you keep a lot more miniatures in a refrigerator. Some people have beer fridges but we have a daffodil refrigerator. There is no freezer, just a refrigerator.

  2. Janet Hickman, Virginia
    May 12, 2019 at 7:19 am

    Thanks, Keith, for the testing method idea.  I’ll try this next spring.


  3. Jan Pennings, the Netherlands
    Jan Pennings, the Netherlands
    May 12, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Graham, No room left for beer?

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn Phone

  4. Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    May 13, 2019 at 5:43 am


    I found that education interesting.  However, I wonder if I would ever need to have a 3 colored white daffodil in my refrigerator.

    Speaking of refrigerators, my old refrigerator of 20 something years gave up the “ghost” two days before the Chambersburg, PA show this year.

    I liked Graham’s refrigerator and wonder if they sell those type refrigerators in the USA. With the thoughts that there has to be a place for a beer in the refrigerator. 🙂


  5. David Adams, New Zealand
    May 14, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    The comment was made at the seminar that it is the Div 6’s that last the longest.

    I note that Graham’s flowers are stored in empty beer bottles. Maybe no room in the refrigerator for beer but where did the original content of the bottles go?