by Emma Bradford, FloraLife UK
Native to the cool mountains of South America, the Alstroemeria, also known as the Inca Lily or Peruvian Lily, makes an exceptionally versatile and reliable cut flower.
Alstroemeria flowers get their name from the naturalist who introduced them into Europe around the 18th century, Baron Clas Alstroemeria. The native species can be split into two types, the summer growing ones which are native to Brazil, and the winter growing ones which are native to Chile. Most modern commercial varieties are hybrids of these two types and can be grown year-round.
Despite their seemingly delicate flowers, Alstroemerias are one of the most resilient and long-lasting cut flowers. They can be stored dry in a cold environment for up to four weeks from harvest and can last up to another fourteen days in the vase on top of that, assuming that you provide the correct care and handling of course. This resilience makes it possible to ship Alstroemeria from far away distances via sea freight.
Alstroemerias are sold in bud, with very little to no color showing. So, they can appear deceptively dowdy at the point of sale. However, they will reliably develop into delightful bursts of color after three or four days in the water/flower food solution and at room temperature. Therefore, a little consumer education around how Alstroemerias develop over time will go a long way to cultivating a fan base for this mighty little flower.
Alstroemerias come in many different shades. So, whether you’re into bold and bright, or subtle and pastel, rest assured that you will most likely find the color that you need.
Care and Handling Tips
- Alstroemerias are sold in bud stage. Choose stems with closed buds but not too tight.
- Avoid stems with leaf yellowing.
- Check that your supplier has treated the product with an ethylene action inhibitor such as EthylBloc™.
Shipping and storage
- Shipping and storage temperatures should be 34 – 38 F.
- Dry shipping is recommended.
Re-hydration at store level and storage
- Start processing with a clean bucket, sanitized with FloraLife D.C.D. cleaner.
- If received dry packed, conditioning of stem ends is recommended to prevent blockage and promote uptake. Cut approximately 1” or more off stems. Use clean, sanitized clippers or knife, and treat with Floralife Quick Dip.
- Place flowers in a holding treatment such as Floralife Express 200. Do not put flowers directly in metal/galvanized buckets. Use clean, high quality water that has not been treated with a water softener as the salt levels can be damaging to flowers.
- Store in a cooler at 34 – 38 F with a relative humidity of 75-85%
- Allow minimum 2 hours to hydrate placing buckets in an area with good airflow.
- Always remember FIFO (first in/first out) when rotating flowers.
- Remove any leaves that might be below the vase solution.
- Cut approximately 1” or more off stems. Use clean, sanitized clippers or knife. If received dry, treat with Floralife Quick Dip.
- Immediately place flowers in vase solutions containing FloraLife Crystal Clear or Floralife Express 300.
- Weak/ thin stems
- Foliage yellowing or browning
- Buds fail to open
- Bloom shattering
- Translucent flowers and petals
To learn more about care and handling from the flower care experts visit us at www.floralife.com