Cut flowers Gardening

The Early Bird Gets the Blooms

Harvest cut flowers in the morning for a longer vase life. Source:

For cut flowers that last for the longest possible time, start by harvesting early in the day, after the dew has evaporated, but certainly while the stems are fully turgid (rich in moisture). If the garden is particularly dry, it may be even worthwhile watering the day before.

Sugars too will be most highly concentrated on morning-cut blooms and that can add days to their vase life.

Bring a pail of warm water to the garden with you as you harvest. Each time you cut a stem, immediately plunge the cut end into the water. This will allow for better hydration. Why warm water? Because flower stems absorb warm water better than cold.

Early harvesting for more flower power? Why not?

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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