The Business of Growing Lilies, Part 1 Primer

More and more Pinoys are discovering the business potentials of growing lilies. Lily is one of the flowers always considered during church weddings especially lilies white and “stargazer.” These flowers have high market value because of their unique beauty and its usefulness from simplest to extravagant occasions.

Lilies in the Philippine Market

Filipinos nowadays have discovered the beauty of lilies. They do not stick alone to classic flowers and let their selves explore into something new yet as beautiful as the traditional ones. More and more people can see the value and indulge in the beauty of lilies. According to Mr. Jay-ar Erabon, a long time florist in Tecson Flowers, lilies are one of their items that sells a lot especially during weddings, and All Souls day. In Tecson Flowers, lily is one of the flowers they are happy to have because it has so many advantages than other flowers they have in the flower shop.

First, lilies have a shelf life of as long as 10 days which would only take one week for ordinary flowers. Second is that these flowers could be used in many ways. The flowers are usually bought stem by stem to be put in tall vases or as centerpiece in the table. A stem of lily usually costs from Php150 to Php300. At the price of Php55 per stem, these lilies are usually imported from Baguio City or bought from Dangwa, which is considered a junction place for ornamental flowers in Metro Manila.

The most common types of lily here in our county’s ornamental market are the Asiatic hybrid, the Trumpet and Aurelian hybrid, and the Oriental Hybrid. The earliest to bloom and the easiest to grow among these types of lilies are under Asiatic hybrid. The most popular and the bestseller among all the lilies is called the “stargazer.” It belongs to the oriental hybrid. Knowing the species of lilies will help you in deciding what type of lily is suitable to your garden.

Lilies are divided among nine divisions. These divisions are classified according to their parentage and flower shape. Depending on these divisions, some may need full shading while others only need partial shading.

Types of Lilies Asiatic Hybrids

Asiatic hybrid is the most suitable type of lily here in the Philippines. It could be planted almost anywhere
especially under full sun. This hybrid has the most colors than any other division. Among these are the whites, pinks, yellows, orange and reds. Leaves of this hybrid are narrow and numerous.

1. Martagon hybrids

This is the second division which is also called martagon hansonii hybrid which came along with the Asiatic hybrid when it was first discovered. This division is known for tall lilies which are composed of little down-facing lilies and whorled leaves. This hybrid grows under some shade. This hybrid usually has spots and color which varies from yellow, white, pink, lavender, light orange, and dark red.

2. Candidum hybrids

This hybrid is not common in the market and covers few species of lilies.

3. American hybrid

Growing lilies under this hybrid outside western part of United States and Canada could be a challenge. Cool light soil and dappled shade are the growing conditions suitable for this hybrid. This is made up of little jointed scales, and the flowers are like bright balloons on swinging curved pedicels.

4. Longiflorum hybrid

Lilies under this hybrid are usually and are easily grown from seeds and yield flowers that look like white trumpets. However, these lilies do not grow that well in gardens.

4. Trumpet and Aurelian hybrids

Trumpet is popularly described as a lily- fragrant, tall, still and splendid. Its colors are glistening white, gold, yellow, chartreuse, pink, plum, and apricot. Some trumpets also have backs of brown, purple or green. Aurelians are lilies that vary only from yellow to orange.

Lilies under trumpet and Aurelian hybrid bloom from mid to late season. The long season of this wonderful bloom may require little requirements which include protection against frosts and mulch during cold season.

5. Oriental hybrids

The bestseller among flowershops here in the Philippines, the “stargazer,” belongs to this hybrid. However, lilies under this division are not easily grown especially here in our country since they are not suitable to the hot summer weather. They are known as huge flowers which vary in color from white, pink, salmon and crimson, and with their fantastic fragrance. Lilies among this hybrid requires partial shading, soil that is rich in humus and slightly acidic, plenty of water, and a mulch in the soil to make the run freely.

6. Miscellaneous hybrids

This includes crosses between divisions. An example of this is the Orientpet, which is the cross-breeding of oriental hybrid and the trumpet and Aurelian hybrid. Lilies under this division combines the good qualities of each division and is more advanced than any other division. Orientpets are more susceptible to the hot summer weather than Oriental hybrids and more resistant to cold than Trumpets and Aurelian hybrids.

Species

This division are wild lilies that originated from North America, Europe, and Asia like Japan, China, Burma, and India. All of the hybrids mentioned originated from the breeding of these wild lilies. These lilies are good garden plants while others are a challenge.

author: Grace Figuracion, Marid Digest, photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

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