Keeping lilies fresh and long lasting

With their exotic look and delicate nature, lilies are a popular choice as gifts for a number of occasions. But it's vital that you treat them with care if you want them to last. If you're lucky enough to receive a bouquet of beautiful lilies, there are many tips you can follow to ensure your flowersthrive, ensuring your beautiful gift lasts for longer, as we've detailed here.

Prepping the Lilies

The actions you take directly after receiving a bouquet of lilies can make all of the difference to how long they last. Prior to placing cut flowers into a vase filled with water, re-cut the stems at a 45-degree angle. This technique increases the lilies' ability to drink up much-needed water, which will help keep them looking fresh.

Keep Away From Sunlight

Planted lilies are able to thrive in sunlight; however, cut lilies don't do as well. Once cut, these blooms prefer a cool environment, as it enhances their life span and keeps the blooms looking fresh for longer. To ensure your lilies have the best chance of survival, keep them out of direct sunlight and place in an area that remains moderately cool.

Add Water Regularly

Like other species of flower, lilies necessitate fresh water to survive. The majority of those who receive lily bouquets will only fill up the vase once. The water can go stagnant after a while, which can cause the flowers to wilt. To extend the lives of your lilies, it's wise to replace the water regularly – every two or three days should suffice.

Remove the Pollen

For many flowers, pollen plays an important part in flower anatomy; however, this is not the case for lilies. In fact, the presence of pollen can pose a huge problem. If the pollen touches the bloom's petals, it can eat away at them, which reduces the bloom's lifespan. Many lilies encompass pollen that can easily be detached with the exception of calla lilies. Stargazer lilies are perhaps the easiest to remove pollen from, as they feature a protruding central pistil, which is enveloped by protruding stamens. To safeguard your lilies and prolong their life, prudently remove the pollen from each of the stamens, ensuring it doesn't touch the petals.

How long do they last?

When you display cut lilies in a vase, the amount of care you're willing to give them determines how long they will last. In fact, this can make all the difference between them lasting a few days and a few weeks. For best results, fill your sink or a bucket with lukewarm water and place the stems of the lilies in the water. Remove between one and two inches from the base of each stem, using a sharp knife to cut the stems at an angle under the water. This ensures the flowers are fully hydrated. The next step requires you to strip any leaves below the water line, as these can rot. Finally, fill a clean vase with water and add plant food or floral preservative to the liquid. You can make your own at home by combining two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, one tablespoon sugar and half a teaspoon of chlorine bleach with one quart of water.

How to get them to open up fast if needed?

If you want your lilies to flower fast, re-cut the stems, allow the lilies to drink up plenty of liquid and give them plenty of warmth. For best results, place in a warm room out of direct sunlight.

What to do with them after they stop flowering?

Lilies should be allowed to die naturally. You may remove the stem, however, refrain from cutting away the leaves until they have turned a deep shade of brown. Using tomato fertilizer, feed them a couple of times whilst the leaves still look healthy. This will ensure the bulbs are healthy for use the following year, although you should note that this is only the case with planted lilies, and will not occur with freshly cut stems.

How to deal with the pollen issues and warnings about allergies?

The lily is a popular choice of bloom for those who suffer from allergies, as many of these flowers are pollen free. As mentioned above, You can even remove the pollen yourself very easily. Certain species of lily are very fragrant, such as the stargazer lily, so if you're sensitive to smell, it may be best to opt for another variant, as these lilies can cause headaches. As you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can keep your lilies fresh and lasting for longer, enabling you to enjoy your pretty blooms for the maximum amount of time.

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