With Thanksgiving just around the corner, now’s the time to begin planning which flowers we will be celebrating with this year, and lilies should definitely be on that list!
Undeniably beautiful, Lilies have long been admired and held up as symbolic icons of purity and nobility. One of the most popular and widely grown cut flower crops, Lilies can be classified into five different types; Longiflorum, AKA Easter Lilies, Asiatics, Orientals, LO and LA lilies which are hybrids made by crossing the Longiflorum with Oriental or Asiatic lilies.
The Oriental lily group includes the famous ‘Stargazer’ variety, which was bred in the late 70’s by Mr. Leslie Woodriff. This variety is so well known that many people mistakenly call all lilies in this category ‘Stargazers’. But despite being the most well-known, many other beautiful varieties have been bred since ‘Stargazer’ was first introduced over 40 years ago.
Nowadays oriental lilies are available in a range of colors from the classic dark pink of ‘Starfighter’ to the stunning white ‘Santander’ and glorious yellow and orange of ‘Bellville’ and ‘Corcovado’ which are both perfect for fall arrangements. Oriental lilies have larger showier flowers than Asiatic lilies and are very fragrant. The strong fragrance can be a good or bad thing depending on your or your guest’s preference. Asiatic lilies have smaller flowers but are available in a wider range of colors than Oriental lilies, and their fragrance is far more subtle.
So as families meet up once again and gather for Thanksgiving, make this year’s festivities extra special by including a stunning lily centerpiece as part of your celebration. Going to be a guest? Then what better way to show your host your appreciation than with a beautiful arrangement of lilies?
Whichever lily you choose, please remember to remove the pollen producing anthers after the flowers open if your lilies will be displayed in a home around pets. This step also reduces the risk of pollen transferring to clothing or soft furnishings. If you find that your clothing or furniture is inadvertently “pollinated”, resist the urge to dust it off with your hand as this will only make it worse. Instead, use a fine brush (like a paintbrush or make-up brush) and gently dust it off the surface.
CARE AND HANDLING TIPS
- For Oriental, Asiatic, LO or LA, choose stems with lower blooms showing full color, and on the verge of opening.
- For Longiflorum all buds should be fully formed, but still closed.
Shipping and storage
- Shipping and storage temperatures should be 34 – 38 F (1 – 3 C).
- 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 Clear 200 or 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.
- Keep away from direct sunlight and ripening produce.
To prevent bud, drop or drying, insist that your supplier/grower treats with an ethylene action inhibitor treatment such as EthylBloc™. A treatment at farm level after harvest such as FloraLife Bulb 100 will help maintain the flower and leaf quality. Pollen sheds stain whatever they touch. Remove them when the flower opens.
To learn more about care and handling from the flower care experts visit us at www.floralife.com