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Dahlias: Getting flowers to last longer...?

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gabigrier
Maple Shade, NJ
(Zone 7a)

October 2, 2012
7:38 AM

Post #9293440

Does anyone have any tricks as to getting a dahlia flower to last longer in a vase? I read a recipe on the forum I have to try -- half lemon-lime soda, half water, a couple drops bleach? Most of mine if I pick a longer stem tend to last a little longer than the same flower on a short stem, but that's the only trick I know of.

I ask because next year, at the end of september, I'm getting married : ) and I'm growing dahlias for the wedding (about 50 plants, means about 150 next year, so more than that in flowers. I'm on a roll...). If I could find a magic mixture to keep them another day extra, that's one more day I could pick them early, or for some of the really obstinate ones that don't last more than a day, perhaps the night before.

I've got some good bloomers now that I can try a few gimmicks with. Lend me your tips -- I'll give you my results in a few weeks. October is a decidedly nice time for dahlias in Jersey.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 2, 2012
7:41 AM

Post #9293444

Google had a slew of replies to your question:
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=0&oq=how to make cut dahlias last &ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GZAZ_enUS418US418&q=how to make cut dahlias last longer&gs_upl=0l0l1l2297172lllllllllll0&aqi=g2&pbx=1
pollyk
Hannibal, NY
(Zone 6a)

October 3, 2012
7:18 AM

Post #9294535

Why not go to the florist and get that powdered stuff that comes with all their bouquets. I've even seen it in the grocery stores to pick up where they have the bouquets. I'm sure any florist would give you a few packets which go a long ways, or sell you quite a few, if you need more. they can't be expensive. And I feel they work well.

And congrats on the upcoming nuptials.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 3, 2012
8:41 AM

Post #9294628

thanks all. I had the same question. I cut a few flowers about once a week (all dahlias of course). I wanted to enjoy them in the house, not just in the yard. I think they lasted about a week. in pretty good shape. I remembered reading something about putting in boiling water (just the stems of course. lol) so maybe that helped. When they say "cutting in cold or hot water" do they mean "cut them outside then before putting in the vase, recutting them with the stem and scissors submerged in water?"
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 3, 2012
8:50 AM

Post #9294640

Recutting with just the stems submerged in water.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 3, 2012
8:52 AM

Post #9294645

That's what I thought. Thanks Arlene.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 3, 2012
8:57 AM

Post #9294655

You're quite welcome, Mary. Cutting them daily (with stems submerged in water) will help with longevity but there is a limit as to how long each bloom can last. For me, the smaller the bloom the longer it lasts.
pollyk
Hannibal, NY
(Zone 6a)

October 3, 2012
8:59 AM

Post #9294657

Hot water and then set them in a cool dark area until the water cools. Remember to cut on the diagonal for the final cut. I would also take a pail with water out to the garden to put them in while cutting. Oh, and no leaves below the water surface.

A week is good, Mary, so you're doing well already.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 3, 2012
9:08 AM

Post #9294666

thanks. Beginners luck. I will read some of the urls that Arlene posted as I thought I caught something about 'just below or above a node'.
pollyk
Hannibal, NY
(Zone 6a)

October 3, 2012
9:27 AM

Post #9294692

I think the recommendation is to cut just above the leaf node for best water absorption.

And always cut early in the morning as the stems are most filled with water then.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 3, 2012
12:14 PM

Post #9294840

Good idea. Never thought of that.
Xaltd1
SOUTH HAMILTON, MA

October 4, 2012
11:40 AM

Post #9295814

I tried EVERYTHING to get ready for long-lasting blossoms for the flower show, and the best method I discovered is to cut and let set in HOT water (not boiling, just tap-water hot and don't steam the petals!) with a bit of sugar for 2-3 hours. Then re-cut under water in a bucket of warm water. Keep them COOL & they should last a week or more. At least they did for me! My exhibit at the show looks great, whereas others are wilted!! I DID try all the methods listed on line, plus my idea of adding horticultural charcoal to the water. None were as good as the hot water method. It's what Swan Island recommends, except I didn't have the courage to go as hot as they say w/ the water; to me it sounds like a recipe for Dahlia Soup.
Xaltd1
SOUTH HAMILTON, MA

October 4, 2012
11:51 AM

Post #9295817

P. S. BEST WISHES to you on your wedding!!! What color(s) are you growing? Are you matching the wedding colors? I'm thinking a great scheme would be all different forms of all white dahlias plus a splash of PURPLE! I have one dahlia, 'Crazy Love' (good name!) that is white w/ fringed purple edges. It throws TONS of medium blossoms. I was thinking "wedding" when it started blooming (I don't know whose wedding). I think I bought it at Home Depot/Lowes (I haven't seen it in any grower lists). I am all excited about this now!

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