Harvesting Flowers: A Matter of Timing

clockThey say that timing is everything. It’s true in life and it’s especially true when it comes to harvesting flowers. Harvest too late, and you can reduce vase life. Harvest too soon, and you have an immature flower that hasn’t had sufficient time to develop, and may never properly bloom. So, how do you know when to harvest flowers?

The timing of harvesting flowers is actually two topics: at what point in the flower’s maturation process and, to a lesser extent, at what time of day to harvest. Of course, there are a lot of types of flowers, so your mileage may vary by species.

Some examples of when to harvest flowers:

  • “Flowers fully opened”: Marigold, Black-eyed Susan, Aster, Sunflower, Dahlia, and others
  • “One-half florets open”: Cockscomb, Columbine, Grape Hyacinth, Daylily, and others
  • “Colored buds”: Alstroemeria, Bearded Iris, Late Tulip, Dutch Iris, and others

And on and on! We will give you some links below. The other issue in harvesting flowers is the time of day. Kansas State University says:

The best time is the coolest part of the day and when there is no surface water from dew or rain on the plants…usually in the cool of the morning… Late afternoon or evening also has possibilities because the plants have stored carbohydrates from the day which will provide a food reserve for the plant material.

So, there you have it – harvesting flowers truly is a matter of timing! For more info, check out The Gardeners Workshop and Masters of Horticulture. And remember a crucial step after harvesting flowers is to treat and nourish them right away. Floralife has several great products to help your flowers stay beautiful longer!

How about you? Have you ever harvested too early or too late? Let us know in the comments section!