Smashing stems is one way to get your Paul Bunyan on.

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Smashing stems provides a good endorphin release, but save it for firewood because the technique is hell on floral products. A care and handling myth that won’t die—processing woodies by pounding stems. The idea was to expose lots of surface area to boost uptake. What was pounded? Everything from flowering quince to stock, lilac, hydrangeas and poms.

No more! Research has never been able to prove anything positive about the relationship between pounding and uptake. In fact, pounding and smashing so injures the long-distance transport vessels of a stem’s plumbing system, it is more damaging than positive. And injured cells “bleed” like crazy– enzymes, sugars, organic juices, cellulose of dead cell walls… Bacteria explode.

Don’t do it. Use a sharp chopper or shears instead. Sharp and clean, that is. Pounding stems is as antiquated as the use of rotary phones.


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