Camellias thrive in the heat of Southern gardens and the large, pink, red and white flowers make showy cut flowers. They bloom in late fall and early winter -- a time when few other flowers are in bloom. Proper cutting and stem preparation helps extend the vase life, but even with the best preparation and care, cut camellias only last four to seven days in the vase. Does this Spark an idea?
Cut camellias early in the morning before the sun has a chance to dry them out or late in the evening when the sugar content is high. Select buds that are just beginning to open for the longest vase life.
Cut the stems at a slight angle to allow more surface area for water absorption. Leave a long stem attached to the camellia bud and cut just above a lateral side branch, if possible. Cutting above a side branch encourages regrowth.
Place the stems in a bucket of lukewarm water immediately after cutting.
Peel 1 inch of bark from the lower end of the stem with a sharp knife. Lay the stem on a hard surface and rap the peeled end of the stem with a hammer.
Make a 1-inch vertical cut in the peeled end of the stem, if possible.
Remove lower leaves that would otherwise be under water in the vase and prepare your arrangement.
Mix a floral preservative according to the package instructions and fill the vase with water and preservative. Change the water every other day.
- "Southern Bouquets"; Melissa Bigner, et al.; 2010
- "Growing & Arranging Flowers"; Pamela Thomas; 1991
- "Cutting Gardens"; Barbara Pleasant; 1997
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