The Q&A Archives: Obtaining Magnolia Blossoms in DC

Question: I am trying to locate a some magnolia blossoms and leaves (preferably still attached to their branches) for a photo shoot in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, none of our local magnolias are blooming yet. I have contacted an individual in Florida who iswilling to overnight express some cuttings to me. Would they survive the trip? What is the best way to package them? Would it be better to have him send buds, and if so how long would they take to open? Are there any measures I can take to preventbruising, etc. during the shoot? Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Kelly Andrews Washington, DC

Answer: Have you checked out the National Arboretum in Washington DC or the Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden in Richmond, VA? Both should have magnolias and I' would think they would be blooming some. It is April after all!! Trying to ship magnolias is risky business. The flowers are very delicate and bruise easily, turning brown when bruised. You can have the buds shipped in containers packed tightly, but again if they bruise, the flowers won't look good. The buds will take perhaps a few days to open depending on the maturity of them.

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