Bill Prescot, Sun Valley Floral Farms on growing Oriental and Oriental Trumpet Hybrid Lilies

“Consumers want lilies that are big and bold, not just a filler flower”

At Sun Valley Floral Farms in California, many flowers are being grown, including Oriental lilies and Oriental Trumpet Hybrid Lilies. But how are they grown, how is the vase life, what role does the genetics play, and what are hot summer lilies? Bill Prescott, Director of Sales and Marketing at Sun Valley Floral Farms, tells us more about it in this article.

Starfighter Lily

Best environment for lilies
According to Bill, lilies thrive at sea level, especially where the weather stays cool and the light levels are consistent. But why are these three factors important? “As an example, our farm in Northern California is right on the coast, where the ocean helps regulate the temperature. Our average high temperature for the year is 61 degrees Fahrenheit, and our average low temperature is 51 degrees Fahrenheit. This consistent environment keeps the lilies growing slowly and uniformly. Spikes in temperature or light levels are detrimental to the quality of the flower.”

And growing at low elevation also leads to thicker blooms, he continues. “Have you ever seen a lily with thin, transparent petals? That’s why we grow at low elevation, this leads to thicker petals that have a lot more girth and strength, leading to not only bigger blooms but richer, saturated colors. Consumers want lilies that are big and bold, not just a filler flower.”

And what about vase life? “Again, growing lilies slowly in cool temps, with even light levels, creates thicker stems, greener foliage, and a healthier plant, this leads directly to superior vase life, which in turn leads to a better customer experience.”

What role does genetics play in this equation? According to Bill, genetics are huge, but not all lilies are created equal. “Our CEO Lane DeVries, who is a fourth-generation flower farmer born in Holland, is in constant communication with our growing partners in Holland, so we have a very good view of what varieties are standouts.” And Experience also plays a role, he points out. “As various lilies’ genetics lose strength, they are often cross-bred with newer varieties to maintain the classic bloodline of a particular lily.”

African Lady

Hot lily for summer
When asking about a hot lily for summer, Bill can hardly choose, but it being summer, he says that a pure white lily such as Ice Dreamer is perfect for wedding season, but he is also super excited about African Lady. “This is a stunning Oriental Trumpet Hybrid bi-color, this lily is amazing!”

For more information:
Bill Prescott
The Sun Valley Group
3160 Upper Bay Road
Arcata, CA 95521-9690
Tel.: 707-825-580

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