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Re: Iris in vases

> Can anyone give a little advice on prolonging the life of the flower
> in water?  I find when I can bear to pick one,  it curls up and dies
> almost immediately. Any suggestions most welcome
Depending on how rabid you want to be about this, there are several things that help. I 
cut a lot of my Irises (a fact that will probably get me shunned from Iris-l) because I 
like to take them into my office, and have them in the house so I can see them after 

The basic idea is the same for all flowers, that is to keep the veins of the plant (or 
what ever they are called) from drying out and closing. Cut the stem on a diagonal and 
get it into water as soon as possible. To carry this concept one step further, recut the 
stem under water taking about an inch off just before you put it in the vase. The vase 
should contain water that has a little citric acid and glucose in  it. I use a little 
Squirt. I have also been experimenting with putting a little Clorox in the water as 
well. (I actually have an ad from Clorox suggesting it). My guess is that Clorox keeps 
things from growing and clogging up the plant stem. Recut the stem about every two days.
You can use the commercial "Flower Fresh" packages, but a little sode is cheaper (don't 
use diet!!)

I cut my Iris generally after the first bloom opens. Once in the vase the other blooms 
will gradually open as the first ones fade. All in all I think that the blooms last 
longer in the house than in the sun on the plant, but that is just an impression at this 
point. Break off the dying blooms. Oh, BTW, watch out for dying purple or black blooms. 
After they are wilted but before they dry out, they can drip a purple dye that is very 
difficult to get out of things (like rugs and tablecloths). 

Hope that helps.

John                     | "There be dragons here"
                         |  Annotation used by ancient cartographers
                         |  to indicate the edge of the known world.

John Jones, 35572 Linda Dr., Fremont CA, 94536
jijones@ix.netcom.com, USDA zone 8 (coastal, bay)

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