– open lily flower with stamens removed –
A great friend from my ‘events floristry’ days came to stay this weekend and brought me some beautiful lilies. It reminded me that so many people struggle to have these successfully in their home because of the staining yellow/red pollen and sometimes short life span. They are in fact one of the best flowers to have as ‘cut flowers’ as they scent the house and provide a great show for up to 2 weeks.
When you first get your flowers home, open up the celophane carefully and if flower food is attached, add this to the water in your vase/container. It is always best to choose a tall vase or container as lily flowers are heavy and the stems will benefit from a bit of support. Flower food is great because it not only nourishes the plant but inhibits the growth of bacteria and therefore will make the flowers last longer.
Cut the stems to a suitable height (think about the size of your container and the place where you want to put them). Always cut the stems to a nice sharp diagonal because the inside of the stems have little tubes that run all the way up (to carry water and nutrients); by cutting the stem in this way you are maximising the number of these tubes exposed to the water.
Once you have put your stems into the water, check the open flowers to see if there are any stamens showing. These are the little ‘antennae-like’ parts that carry the red/yellow pollen at the top. If you pull the tops carefully, the pollen carrying part should come straight off and if you are lucky, this will be before they have gone all powdery.
– a flower just opening with the stamens visible –
Not only does this stop pollen from going everywhere, but it also improves the longevity of the flowers. The plant thinks that it still needs to pollinate and will continue to keep the flowers fresh for as long as possible.
The last thing that I can think of at the moment, is to avoid touching or knocking the flowers as they bruise very easily, leaving unsightly brown marks on the petals.