There is everlasting love and everlasting life, but sadly, there is no such thing as an everlasting flower.  If there is any downside to purchasing fresh cut flowers, it is the fact that they are perishable. Fresh flowers are so beautiful, we want them to stay that way as long as possible. While there is no method that will make your flowers everlasting, there are some tips that will make them longer lasting.

Location, Location, Location

When a flower is growing in the ground or container, the sun is its friend. But the moment a flower is cut, the sun and flower are no longer on speaking terms. Sunlight speeds the deterioration of cut flowers.  Place your fresh arrangement in a cool location, out of direct sunlight. In addition, make sure your flowers are not sitting directly under an air vent.

If you have a boutonniere or corsage,  store it in the refrigerator away from fruits and vegetables. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it makes fresh flowers sickly. Fresh fruits and veggies emit ethylene gas, which speeds up the aging process for flowers.

Water

If you are putting cut flowers into a vase, start with a fresh cut on all stems. Trim stems at an angle using sharp scissors or a sharp knife. This will help them draw water up the stem more easily. Floral stems have capillaries  that are used to draw in water. If you use a dull blade to trim stems, you are squeezing the capillaries closed, preventing the flow of water to the flower.

Start with clean water and a clean vase. Many internet sites will advise adding various elements to the water, including aspirin, sugar, bleach, vinegar, or even a penny. If you purchased your flowers locally, however, the chances are your flowers have already been treated with a natural flower food and do not benefit from any of these additives.

If you receive an arrangement already in a vase, be sure to top off the water daily, making sure all stems are submerged in the water.  For best results, pour out the water and completely replace it with clean water every two-three days.

  

Purchase Long-Lasting Varieties

At Lilium, we are often asked how long a customer can expect their flower arrangement to last. In general, five-seven days is what you can expect. Anything beyond that is a bonus. There are certain varieties, however, that are longer lasting than others. Lilies and orchids are among the varieties that stick around for a while. Tropical flowers, like ginger, heliconia, pincushions, and birds of paradise can last up to two weeks.

tropical arrangement
This arrangement is created using long-lasting tropicals, including cymbidium orchids, mink protea and monstera leaves
Ginger, heliconia. anthurium and mokara orchids fresh from Maui make a striking and long-lasting arrangement

 

Hydrangea is one of the most popular blooms used in fresh arrangements, but tends to be high maintenance. One of its unique characteristics is that it drinks from its petals as well as its stem. If you have a hydrangea that looks sickly, try submerging it (head and all) under water for a few minutes and it will perk back up.

Reliable Roses

There is a misconception that roses do not last very long. If you purchase premium roses that are cut at maturity, they will last longer. Roses cut too early will not open consistently, and their heads will droop. Lilium uses Corazon roses from Rio Roses. The Corazon is an award-winning Blue Ribbon rose with a proven track record. The blooms open 4″-5″ inches across, but in spite of the impressive show, the heads will not droop.

Reliable Roses
Corazon roses are the star of this classic rose arrangement

 

Lilium believes that educating consumers about properly caring for their arrangement or plant is an important step. We want customers to be satisfied with their purchases, while being realistic in their expectations of a perishable product. On every Lilium arrangement, potted orchid or plant, a care card is attached. In addition, care instructions are printed on the back of our message cards. We can’t prevent the demise of a cut flower, but we can work together to prolong its life.

 

The holidays are barely behind us, but we are headed full-steam toward Valentine’s Day. In the world of sports, all eyes turn to the Super Bowl February 4 and the Olympic Games on February 9. In the flower game, however, the biggest event of the year happens a few days later on February 14. Whether you mark the day with cards, flowers or candy, Valentine’s Day is one of the most anticipated (and sometimes dreaded) days of the year.  In honor of the big day, we thought we’d share a few fun facts about Valentine’s Day.

There was more than one Saint Valentine, but the one most associated with Valentine’s Day is the one who defied Emperor Claudius II by helping couples to marry in secret. The emperor felt single men made better soldiers, and forbade them to marry, but Valentine was sympathetic to their plight. Valentine’s actions cost him his head, but he is immortalized centuries later as we celebrate love. Isn’t that romantic?

Nothing takes you back to those classroom Valentine’s Day parties like a box of conversation hearts. Invented in 1866, Necco (New England Confectionery Company) now produces 8 billion conversation hearts each year. Production continues year-round to meet the February demand. Each box contains assorted messages (50-60 different ones are produced each year), including current references like, “IM Me.” If you have a few boxes left once Valentine’s Day has passed, don’t worry. They have a shelf life of five years!

       

Vernona, Italy, home of William Shakespeare’s fictional lovers Romeo and Juliet, receives approximately 1000 letters addressed to Juliet each year. Letters to Juliet are answered by members of the Club di Guilietta, who take their task very seriously.

Casa di Guiletta in Verona
Visitors to Casa di Guilietta leave behind love notes

 

Overall, $18.2 billion is spent on Valentine’s Day each year. The average man spends $150; the average woman spends $74. Approximately 9 million people will purchase a Valentine gift for a pet.

Hallmark began mass-producing Valentine’s Day greeting cards in 1913. Today, approximately $1 billion is spent on Valentines, making it the second largest card-giving occasion, behind Christmas. According to Hallmark, 50% of the US population purchases Valentine’s Day greeting cards. Of that number, half are purchased in the six days prior to February 14. Procrastinate much?

Hallmark's popup flower bouquet

Hallmark Valentine                                   

Chocolates are a favorite gift choice for Valentine’s Day. We often see those heart-shaped boxes on retail shelves before the Christmas clearance signs even go up. Why chocolates? Historians tell us that physicians in the 1800s advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pinings for lost love. Chocolate increases the brain’s level of serotonin,  the feel-good chemical. In the mid-1800s, Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates specifically for Valentine’s Day. He designed the heart-shaped boxes himself, adorned with roses and Cupids. Whether we purchase the chocolate to celebrate love, or mourn the lack of it, Americans spend $1 billion on Valentine’s Day chocolates each year.

Flowers remain the most popular expression of Valentine’s Day affection, with red roses topping the list of romantic blooms. Americans will purchase 220 million stems of roses for their Valentines this year.

The tradition of sending flowers comes from a custom of using non-verbal methods of communication. Looking back to the 1800s once again, specific flowers were assigned meanings to convey certain sentiments. Years later, we still honor many of the sentiments attached to our favorite blooms. The classic red rose symbolizes love, beauty, romance and perfection. Tulips stand for perfect love. Peonies are most often associated with romance and bashfulness, with some believing they bring good luck.

Corazon roses from Rio Roses, premium blue-ribbon roses, are known for their large, long-lasting blooms.

 

Tulips from Holland represent perfect love.
Fan-favorite peonies are not officially in season, but a few lucky florists will have them in stock.

Weekday Valentine’s Days are the busiest for florists, as people take advantage of sending flowers to their loved ones at work. With Valentine’s Day falling on Wednesday this year, consider sending an arrangement early in the week. You will get the best selection of flowers before the rush, and the recipient will be the first in the office to receive flowers (making them the envy of their co-workers, and making you the hero).

When it comes to sending flowers, anything goes! According to the Society of American Florists (SAF), about one third of women send flowers to their husbands or boyfriends. No significant other in your life this year? SAF says that about 20% of women will send flowers to themselves for Valentine’s Day. #wewontjudgeyou

Whether you are celebrating with your sweetheart, or celebrating single-hood, have a  Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

When you purchase flowers from Lilium, you are getting a product that is of the highest quality. From the time the flowers leave the growers until they are delivered to our customers, Lilium oversees every step in the process.

A Lilium flower begins its journey at one of our carefully selected growers. We have chosen sources world-wide based on the quality of their products, shipping practices, and the care with which they process their flowers. When you deal with a perishable product, these details are critical. Before we establish a business relationship with a grower, we test their products and procedures to make sure they meet our standards. Currently, we source from growers in California, Florida, Hawaii, Holland and Ecuador.

Variation Among Retailers

Quality varies widely among florists, and customers should be aware of differences in price versus quality. For example, Lilium offers Rio Roses from Ecuador with stems measuring 60 centimeters. “Long-stemmed” roses from online mass floral services average less than 40 centimeters.

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Lilium roses versus roses from a mass merchant.

When we receive our flower shipments and deliveries each week, we give them a fresh cut and put them directly into our cooler. You may have noticed that grocery stores and mass markets will have flowers sitting out in buckets in a self-serve format. Once a flower is out of the cooler environment, it begins its decline. In addition, flower stems sitting buckets of water at room temperature grow bacteria, which speeds the deterioration process. Lilium does not carry over flowers from one week to the next. We start fresh each week with new deliveries and shipments of seasonal product.

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Floral displays at a grocery store chain.

grocery store flower display IMG_1089

 

When we take an order, we make every effort to obtain all the information we need to create an arrangement that will meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. As a custom florist, we design to our clients’ specifications. We have no unsold arrangements sitting in the cooler at the end of the week, and, because we order product judiciously, the waste at week’s end is minimal.

Educating Consumers

Although our product is perishable, extending the lifespan of our products increases their value and increases customer satisfaction. Lilium believes that educating consumers about properly caring for their arrangement or plant is an important step. On every Lilium arrangement, potted orchid or plant, a care card is attached. In addition, care instructions are printed on the back of our message cards.

We also like to educate our customers about the attributes of specific flowers. When we began using Rio Roses from Ecuador, our customers were not immediately sold on these unique roses (see our January 2016 blog: We ❤️ Corazon Roses). They have sturdy heads that don’t droop, open 4″-5″ across, have more petals than any other red rose, and are long-lasting. What’s not to love? However, when the roses opened quickly, customers thought they were getting old roses. We decided that they just needed a little information so that they could fully appreciate these beautiful roses and their unique qualities. Arrangements going out that include Corazon roses also include a printed information card that lets recipients know what to expect from this Lilium favorite. We also set up a display in our studio so that customers could see firsthand the progression from bud to full bloom. Within a short time, our customers were specifically asking for Corazon roses, and now they are among our best sellers.

Lilium arrangement with care card and Rio Rose information card attached
Lilium arrangement with care card and Rio Rose information card attached
Corazon roses day 1
Rio Roses shown on day 1 and day 7

Corazon roses day 7

 

Lilium has been recognized as Best of the Best in our area five times and won the 2015 National Retailer Florist of the Year award. Most recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce named Lilium a 2016 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winner recognizing the top 100 small business in the United States. We feel that we owe much of our success to our ongoing commitment to offer a quality product and top-notch customer service to our clients. Rest assured, we will continue to seek out the most beautiful flowers of the highest quality for all of our customers.

Blue Ribbon Award
The US Chamber of Commerce named Lilium a Blue Ribbon Award winner as one of the top 100 small businesses in the US.

 

Love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. At Lilium, we are in love with the beautiful Corazon rose, and we think it is a perfect way to say, “I love you” this Valentine’s Day.

The Corazon (Spanish for “heart”) is a beautiful, true red rose with qualities that make it unique and highly desirable. The award-winning Corazon rose, from Rio Roses, is grown in Ecuador, where the climate produces superior bloom sizes and quality. They have more petals than any other red rose, and the blooms open fully, similar to a garden rose. Additionally, all of the blooms open at a consistent rate, so you will not have some buds remaining closed while others open.

Each Corazon bloom continues to open for four to five days. When fully open, it measures almost five inches across. Blooms this size need a strong support system, and Corazon roses measure up with their long sturdy stems and strong necks. With roses of lesser quality, the blooms bend and droop in a matter of days, but Corazon roses will hold their shape for up to two weeks.

To show our customers how beautiful and long-lasting these roses are, we created a display in our shop. Customers can see the progression from bud to full bloom, and appreciate the lasting beauty of these spectacular roses. Here are our Corazons on day 1 and again on day 7:

We are so crazy about the Corazon rose, we entered Rio Roses’ “How Do You Say Corazon?” video contest and won first place! Take a look at our winning entry on Rio Roses’ How Do You Say Corazon? You Tube post.

One of our most popular Valentine’s Day selections is a dozen (or two or three) Corazon roses arranged in a vase, with their lush, dark green foliage providing the perfect setting for the rich red blooms. We also love to use them in combination with other seasonal favorites in our fresh arrangements.

Corazon silver bowl

Look for Corazon rose arrangements on our 2018 Valentine’s Day menu. We know you will fall in love with them too.

New York
New York arrangement from the 2018 Valentine’s Day menu

 

Rio Logo Red