Salisbury, MD. Back on 4 April, the Gardening Grannies tested the toxicity of daffodils in a mixed bouquet with tulips….and promised you some answers. The results may be a week late, but they do have some answers for you.
As you may recall, the toxicity of the calcium oxalate crystals found in the cut stems of daffodils and is believed to shorten the lifetime of other flowers in the same vase. The Grannies' theory is that daffodils picked from the base effect other flowers in the bouquet less than daffodils with cut stems that have been cut.
The first picture was taken on day two of our totally non-scientific experiment. The taller bunch contains daffodils that were picked from the bottom of the stem with the solid plug in place and the smaller bunch is of daffodils that have cut stems. The observations in this "experiment" are simple and admittedly unscientific….but practical!
First of all, the Grannies used no water treatment promising to extend the life of the flowers. All the daffodils were picked the day they opened. The tulips were all picked while still closed. Not scientific, but they tried. There were four distinct results:
1) The water clouded over much more quickly in arrangement containing the daffodils with cut stems, thus requiring more care.
2) On day 6, the tulips in the arrangement with the cut-stem daffodils had weakened and drooped over. The tulips in the plug-stem daffodils showed no sign of drooping. See picture taken on day 6.
3) On day 8, the tulips, although they hadn't dropped petals, were decidedly pathetic around the edges and both bouquets were replaced with fresh flowers.
Did we prove anything? The Gardening Grannies think so. Pick those daffodils down near the ground and don't cut the stems. Every little thing you can do to extend the life of a bouquet is worth the effort.
The Gardening Grannies are a group of avid and Master Gardeners who live, love and garden on the Delmarva Peninsula. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org