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Get the perfect spring bloom by picking the right bud, says floriculture expert

Friday, April 3, 2015


MANHATTAN — If you're looking for the perfect bloom this spring, a Kansas State University floriculture expert says it's all about picking the right bud for the right occasion.

"Think about what you are using those flowers for, whether it be for decoration at an Easter event, or to enjoy for a longer period of time," said Kimberly Williams, professor of greenhouse management. "If you want your flowers to last for a long time, then go for tighter buds with less floral display when selecting so you will have them in your home for a longer time to enjoy."

Getting the right plant starts with picking it in its prime. For bulbs like tulips and daffodils, look for a plant with only buds. To get the most life out of Easter lilies, buy the plant when it is in what's called the puffy white bud stage — the buds are puffy but haven't bloomed yet. For orchids, choose a plant that has both flowers and buds.

Orchids are the longest-lasting spring flower, blooming on average four to six weeks. However, they are more sensitive to overwatering.

"Most of the orchids we enjoy in our homes are epiphytes, which means they naturally grow hanging from trees, so they have specialized root systems that are really good at absorbing water," Williams said. "For that reason, we don’t want to overwater them. Apply about one-quarter cup of water, about the same volume as three ice cubes, to the top of the root medium one time a week."

And if you decide you just can't wait for the flower to bloom, Williams shares a little trick.

"The best way to get flowers to open a little faster is just to put them in a warm environment. You'll virtually watch the flowers open before your eyes," she said.


Kimberly Williams


Kimberly Williams online bio

Written by

Lindsey Elliott

At a glance

A Kansas State University floriculture expert gives tips on how to pick flowers that will be in perfect bloom this spring.