Daffodil Flowers Can Be Deadly to Their Neighbors

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20170404A FLower Record Kor!An, WC

Narcissus ‘Flower Record’: pretty but toxic to other flowers. Photo: Kor!An, Wikimedia Commons

With spring now underway, our gardens will fill up or are filling up with gorgeous flowers. Bringing in that first spring bouquet of tulips, daffodils, forsythias, etc. to decorate our home is such a pleasure!

There’s just one hitch: mixing daffodil* flowers, that is Narcissus spp. (you may also know them as narcissus or jonquils), with other bulbs can cause the latter to quickly wilt.

That’s because freshly cut stems of daffodils release an abundant gooey sap that is toxic to other flowers in the arrangement. Logically, therefore, you should put daffodil flowers in a separate vase from the others. Bummer!

An Easy Solution

Fortunately, there’s a way around this problem: just do what florists do.

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Properly prepared, daffodils can share space with other cut flowers.

They harvest daffodil blooms well before preparing an arrangement and let the stems soak in water all on their own for 6 to 24 hours. Following this easy treatment, sap will no longer flow from the cut stem of the daffodil blooms and they can then be added to mixed arrangements without restriction.

This “warning” really only concerns daffodils you harvest yourself. If you buy cut flower daffodils from a florist, there’s no need for a pretreatment: those flowers have already undergone one. But if you prepare a bouquet at home, keep the daffodil blooms soaking in water separate from other flowers for a least 6 hours.

*Note that all parts of the narcissus are toxic not only to humans but also to dogs and cats: bulbs, stems, leaves, flowers, etc. Always place them out of reach of children and pets.

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