Daffodils are not only a beautiful harbinger of Spring in the landscape, but they’re also useful as a cut flower.
Daffodils, also known as their genus name, Narcissus, are in the Amaryllis family.
They grow from a bulb, like tulips or amaryllis, and bloom once throughout the season. We usually see daffodil blooms in March or April here in the Midwest.
When to Cut Daffodils
Daffodils are harvested typically at what’s called the “gooseneck” stage. The gooseneck stage is when the unopened flower heads are held at a 90 to 120 degree angle. It’s also ideal that flowers are just starting to show color.
Single Vs. Double-Petaled Daffodil Varieties
The particular variety that I grow is called ‘Delnashaugh’. It is a double-petaled variety with creamy outer petals and soft sherbert inner petals. It’s simply stunning.
You can cut single-petaled daffodils sooner, as long as there is a tiny bit of color and they’re at gooseneck stage. For double-petaled varieties, wait until the petals have started to unfold a little.
How to Cut Daffodils
Cut at the base of the stem as close to the ground as possible. Make sure you do not snip off the leaves. The plant will need the leaves to continue photosynthesizing.
The leaves will eventually die back. All the energy from the leaves will be stored in the bulb for next year. That’s why it is so important to leave the leaves of bulb crops, no matter how much you have the urge to keep your garden ultra tidy.
Daffodils exude a sticky sap when cut. This sap is toxic to other flowers, so usually daffodils are not mixed into arrangements until processed properly.
How to Process Daffodil Flowers After Cutting
Place your cut daffodils immediately into clean water. Keep them separate from other flowers for at least 24 hours. Change the water at least once during that time span.
Once your daffodils have been in water for at least 24 hours, wash off the stems thoroughly.
You can use your daffodils in a mixed arrangement after this process!
Daffodils will last 3 to 5 days in a vase. Of course, like any flower, some people have better luck than others with vase life.
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Enjoy your fresh cut daffodils! They’re simply enchanting as an arrangement on the table in Spring.
But leaving them in the landscape is always fine, too.