LA hybrid lilies — bred to please floral consumers
People buy cut flowers to enjoy their full splendor, yet it is intrinsic in the very nature of flowers that they bloom and then their blooms fade. When I talk to consumers about flowers, the one phrase I hear again and again is that “they don’t last.” Frankly, I’m glad they don’t last because flowers perform a single, unrepeatable act of beauty for every person willing to spend a couple dollars or plant a garden.
Watching the progression of a lily opening up over the course of days fills me with joy and appreciation. In this respect, flowers are like snowflakes — no two are truly the same. There are no digital copies and you can’t copy and paste flowers — you must grow them.
The new breeds of Longiflorum Asiatic hybrids, or LA hybrids for short, are redefining the often-sticky subject of “vase life.” This isn’t by accident or by coincidence. The breeders in Holland have been working with these hybrids to focus not only on rich colors, a wide-ranging color palette, and thick healthy petals, but also unparalleled vase life.
When consumers can buy a bunch of lilies and have them last two weeks in their home, we are expanding the value proposition of our flowers. If a consumer does a weekly grocery trip, imagine as they walk past the floral department and think “the lilies I bought last week still look great, I will get more next week.”
This level of performance builds long-term sales and trust from consumers. Vase life is the holy grail of the flower industry and it is equated to value in the consumer’s mind. No matter how beautiful a flower is, if it wilts and dies quickly, consumers are disappointed. LA hybrids are the cure for this issue.
LA hybrids also break the traditional thinking about lilies, because they have virtually no scent. Though many people love the intoxicating fragrance of an Asian lily, they are potentially inappropriate for some social situations, such as taking flowers to a dinner party.
When I show a consumer that these lilies don’t have a scent, they immediately start talking about the family member or friend who loves lilies but can’t handle the fragrance. This lily solves a problem for our customers.
Lilies have universal year-round appeal — however, autumn just seems to resonate with lily lovers. LA hybrids are perfect for fall, coming in the warm oranges, yellows and reds that consumers love for September, October and November.
As flower farmers, we are growing and nurturing these wonderful creations so they will perform at the highest level for consumers. As an industry, we all understand that creating the optimum experience for our customers is the key to our success and the continued support of our sales partners.
If you are not offering LA hybrid lilies to your customers, this fall is the perfect time to highlight these warm-toned lilies with a class-leading vase life and the added benefit of no scent.
Bill Prescott is the marketing and communications associate at Sun Valley Floral Farms in Arcata, CA. He can be contacted at [email protected]