The science of growing LA Hybrids

Lily of Sun Valley's Floral Talk sat down with Sun Valley's owner Lane, early on Tuesday May 21st to discuss Longiflorum Asiatic Hybrid Lilies.

Where are we growing our Royal LA Hybrid lilies?
Over the course of the year, we grow them in both Arcata and Oxnard depending on where the growing conditions are best. Right now the bulk of our production is in Arcata.

What growing environment are we using?
We grow of Royals planted directly in the ground, covered with plastic hoop houses. Years ago we grew them under glass, but we’ve found that these lilies respond very well to the full UV spectrum of light. Glass greenhouses block UV-B, which is why you can’t get a sunburn through glass.

The UV-B is not blocked by plastic greenhouses, and we’ve found that this additional spectrum of light creates more vibrant colors in the bloom and bigger buds. The flowers also like the cool evenings that come in a less controlled environment.

Do these lilies require a lot of water?
Our Royal absorb a fair amount of water, however here in Arcata we are blessed with some of the purest water anywhere in the United States. We have extremely low electric conductivity, which is the measure of a solutions ability to conduct electricity, related to its amount of saline. Our electrical conductivity is .1 dS/m.

I also think this is the reason our local microbreweries are so renown, you start with good water, you get good beer.

Mmmm, I like beer.

Chart courtesy of the Food and Ag Department of the United Nations. - click here for a larger version

Back to lilies… What are our colors and varieties we are offering now?
OK, we have several varieties growing, but predominantly the plan looks like:

  • For yellow we have “Yellow Diamond”
  • For orange we have “Bariton”
  • For Pink we have “Party Diamond” and “Zanella”
  • For White we have “White Sound” and “Albidona”
  • We’ll have “Menoca” as our Peach
  • And we will have a supply of the gorgeous orange bi-color, “Sunset”

So what happened to traditional Asiatics?
Breeders added the Longiflorum blood line to Asiatics with the goal of growing bigger flowers, with better vase life.

Were they successful?
Absolutely, as an example compare our Yellow Diamond LA Hybrid to any yellow Asiatic, the difference is night and day, Yellow Diamond is a far superior lily.

Where do we get our bulb stock from?
Our two biggest partners are both in Holland, World Breeding and DeJong. We’ve worked with these breeders for years and have a great relationship.

For more information:
The Sun Valley Group
3160 Upper Bay Road
Arcata, CA 95521-9690
T: 800-747-0396
F: 707-826-8708

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