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cut flower


                                                                                    percent of the Alstroemerias available for sale  ethylene sensitivity
                                                                                    in the U.S. are grown in Colombia.
                                                                                                                                     The effects of ethylene gas vary
                                                           Photo: Royal Van Zanten  care and handling                                greatly by cultivar. Symptoms of
                                                                                                                                     exposure include wilted flowers,
BOTANICAL NAME                                                                      PROMPT ATTENTION Unpack Alstroemerias            petal or leaf drop, and transparent
Alstroemeria                                                                        immediately upon their arrival, and check        petals, so ensure all your purchases
(al-stro-MER-ee-uh, ahl-stro-MEE-ree-uh)                                            flower quality.                                  are treated with an ethylene inhibitor
                                                                                    PREPARATION FOR PROCESSING Remove                at the grower or during shipping.
COMMON NAMES                                                                        all stem bindings, and strip foliage from        In addition, keep them away from
Peruvian lily, Lily-of-the-Incas                                                    the lower portions of the stems (only the        sources of ethylene in your facilities
                                                                                    portions that will be under water in storage     such as fruit and other produce,
DESCRIPTION                                                                         containers—removing too much foliage can         decaying flowers and foliage, auto-
Alstroemerias’ six-“petaled” trumpet-shaped                                         reduce vase life). Leave plastic sleeves on      mobile exhaust, and tobacco smoke.
blooms resemble miniature lilies and appear                                         while the flowers initially hydrate, to reduce
individually on lateral branchlets clustered                                        damage to blooms.                                leaf yellowing
atop smooth stems that bear scattered nar-                                          STEM CUTTING Recut stems on an angle
row twisted leaves.                                                                 with a clean, sharp blade, removing at           HORMONE IMBALANCES Alstroemerias
                                                                                    least 1 inch of stem. Cut off any whitish        experience hormone imbalances
COLORS                                                                              (“blanched”) portion, if present, to enhance     when they are cut from their bulbs,
These flowers are available in virtually                                            solution uptake.                                 which can cause premature leaf
every color except blue, and many varieties                                         HYDRATON Immediately after cutting, dip or       yellowing. Hormone-replenishing
are spotted, striped, dappled or tinged                                             place the stems into a hydration solution to     pretreatments formulated specifically
with yellow.                                                                        help the flowers take up water more quickly.     for Alstroemerias (generally admin-
                                                                                    NUTRITION Following the hydration solu-          istered at the grower or wholesaler)
VASE LIFE                                                                           tion treatment, place stems into sterilized      can reduce leaf yellowing, as can
Stems of Alstroemerias typically provide                                            storage containers partially filled with either  bulb-flower foods, which contain
consumers six to 14 days of enjoyment,                                              properly prepared bulb-flower-food solution      naturally occurring plant hormones.
depending on care, environmental condi-                                             or low-dose (low sugar) flower food made
tions and variety (vase life varies greatly by                                      with cold nonfluoridated water, if possible      TOO MUCH SUGAR Leaf yellowing also
cultivar). Individual blooms, however, have                                         (some Alstroemeria varieties are sensitive to    results from too much sugar in
shorter vase lives.                                                                 fluoride, which most tap water contains).        flower-food solution. Both bulb-flow-
                                                                                    (See “Leaf Yellowing.”)                          er foods and low-dose flower foods
AVAILABILITY                                                                        REFRIGERATION Immediately after process-         (holding solutions) have less sugar
Alstroemerias are available year-round from                                         ing, place Alstroemerias into a floral cooler    than standard flower foods, and the
both domestic and foreign growers; howev-                                           at 33 F to 35 F for at least two hours before    use of either is recommended for
er, according to USDA figures, more than 90                                         arranging or selling them. Unless you need       Alstroemeria storage.
                                                                                    blooms to open quickly, keep these flowers
                                                                                    refrigerated until they’re arranged or sold.     buying tips
                                                                                    CONSUMER ACTION Advise customers to cut
                                                                                    off individual blooms as they die and to          Select bunches that have
                                                                                    recut stem ends and change flower-food           strong, straight stems, dark green
                                                                                    solution every two or three days.                leaves, one or two open flowers
                                                                                                                                     per stem, and mature buds that are
                                                                                                                                     showing color.
                                                                                                                                      Watch for bruised florets and
                                                                                                                                     crushed, yellow or moldy foliage.

                                                                                                                                     skin irritation

                                                                                                                                     Handling Alstroemerias can cause
                                                                                                                                     contact dermatitis—a sometimes-
                                                                                                                                     severe inflammation of the skin—in
                                                                                                                                     some people. Wearing latex or
                                                                                                                                     rubber gloves when working with
                                                                                                                                     Alstroemerias is advisable.

        Super Floral has created this page for the education of store-level employees. To download
        a reprintable PDF, please go to and select “Current Issue.”

16 / november 2015
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