1. Remove any flowers that may remain on the flower stalk. Use clean, healthy, vigorous flower stalks with buds in their nodes. Stalks on which only a few flowers have bloomed are best. Avoid old flower stalks. 2. Wash the flower stalk under running tap water for 5 minutes. 3. Prepare a 10% chlorine bleach solution and add 2-3 drops of Tween 20 (Product No. P720) to this solution. 4. Section the flower stalk into smaller pieces by using a clean razor blade or scalpel and cutting between the nodes. Cut the flower stalk into approximately 13 – 20 mm (½ – ¾”) sections leaving about 6 mm (¼”) below the node and the remainder above the node.
5. Place the nodal section in the bleach solution (from Step 3) for 15 minutes. Swirl the solution every 2-3 minutes. 6. After surface sterilizing, discard the bleach solution, and then under aseptic conditions, carefully remove the bract from around the node.
7. Prepare a 5% chlorine bleach solution and add 2-3 drops of Tween 20 (Product No. P720) to this solution. 8. Once all of the bracts have been removed, surface sterilize the nodes in the 5% bleach solution prepared in Step 7. Keep in this solution for 10 min, swirling the solution every 2-3 min. 9. Remove all of the bleach solution and rinse the nodes with sterile distilled water. Rinse by pouring the water over the nodes, swirling, then pour off the water. Repeat this step three times. 10. Under sterile conditions, remove approximately 3 mm (⅛”) from each end of the nodal sections using a clean, sterile scalpel or razor. All tools should be dipped frequently in alcohol and flamed with an alcohol lamp (Product No. B876), or heated in a glass bead sterilizer to maintain sterility.
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