Lilies for a Summer Fling
When it comes to bulbs, it seems the early spring variety hogs the spotlight. This is likely due to severity of the winter that precedes them (winter 2018-2019 was one for the record books!) and the relief we feel at the coming of spring.
For bulb lovers, however, there is just as much enjoyment to be had in the summer and fall with later appearing lilies such as LA Hybrid, Oriental and Rose Lily. They may not “rescue” your spirit like those first crocuses breaking through the frost, but they hold their own in terms of beauty, fragrance and vase life. Let’s take a look at the lilies of summer and fall and learn a few useful care and handling tips!
If “LA Hybrid” brings to mind sunny beaches and electric cars, think again: LA stands for longiflorum asiaticum, denoting the cross between Asiatic and Easter Lilies. LA Hybrid appears in mid-July and features tall, hardy stems and large, long-lasting blooms (though fewer blooms per stem), and is lightly scented.
For some, lilies in the home bring to mind a too-heavy fragrance and pollen stains on furniture. Breeders addressed these drawbacks (some say by
accident) with the development of the Rose Lily. With a much lighter fragrance and lack of pollen, lily lovers can simply enjoy the beauty – which the Rose
Lily delivers! As the double-flowering loom opens, its stratified, rose-like characteristics really captivate. And the beauty lasts, due to its comparatively long vase life.
Among the last bulbs to bloom, Oriental Lilies arrive in August. Somewhat hardier than their Asiatic cousins, Orientals tolerate cooler climes and lesser-quality
soil. They grow taller and produce larger blooms than Asiatics, as well. While we are recounting the Oriental’s achievements, we can’t forget to mention the grand dame of the Lily world: The Stargazer. Developed in the 1970s, this hybrid enjoys tremendous popularity among flower fans. Except, perhaps, for its powerful – some say overpowering – fragrance. For these consumers, the Rose Lily may be a better choice.
LILY CARE AND HANDLING TIPS
- Treat Lilies with an ethylene action inhibitor such as EthylBloc™ or Floralife® EthylGuard right after harvest to help prevent ethylene damage.
HYDRATION AFTER HARVEST
- Cut stems about 1 – 2 inches before placing in a hydration solution.
- Remove any leaves that are below the hydration solution.
- Hydrate in chilled solution in the flower cooler (34 – 38° F).
SHIPPING AND STORAGE
- Shipping and storing lilies should be at 36 – 38° F.
RE-HYDRATION AT STORE LEVEL AND STORAGE
- Cut (or don’t cut if using Floralife® Express) stems and place flowers in a holding treatment such as Floralife® Clear 200 or Floralife® Express 200. Store in a cooler at 36 – 38° F.
- Remove any leaves that might be below the vase solution.
- Re-cut stems 1-2 inches and treat with Floralife® Quick Dip.
- Immediately place flowers in vase solutions containing Floralife® Clear 300 or Floralife® Express 300.
- Use a finishing spray such as Floralife® Finishing Touch to ensure the flowers’ freshness continues.
- Vase life can vary by cultivar.
- Hydration at room temperature can accelerate flower opening; however, this should only be done when flower opening needs to be accelerated for a customer/event.