Keep Your Cut Flowers Fresh

I started flowers from seed this year, concentrating on "fillers" for floral arrangements. Both the Orlaya 'White Finch Lace' and the Chocolate Lace Flower (Daucus carota) have been growing, the Orlaya in bloom since late May.

Orlaya is ready to be picked. It should be put immediately into water once you cut a stem.

Daucus carota looks great in a vase.
There is a trick to harvesting both of these little beauties. Neither likes to be picked before its time. And its time consists of petals having unfurled in the case of the Orlaya, but this flower needs special treatment. First, take a container of water out with you so you can put cut stems right into the fresh water. When you're ready to use them for a vase, make sure you use floral preservative and take another cut before putting it in the treated water. Failing either can result in a wilt that cant easily be reversed.

The Daucus' readiness is just a bit different. First of all, it must be at a stage where the flower cluster is flat. If it's in any way cupped, don't pick it. It will wilt. Chocolate lace flower is in the carrot family, and resembles Queen Anne's Lace in form.

The Daucus also likes to be in water to which floral preservative has been added. This particular variety blooms in a range of shades, from pale rose to deep burgundy.

On the left is a chocolate lace flower in its prime picking stage--flat and open.
At the right is one that still has cupped flower stems and tight buds.

Although I started seed for both flowers at the same time, the Daucus is just hitting its stride. If it carries on through fall, I imagine it would be great with Dahlias and asters.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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