Innovation and colour in Lily cultivation

New, unfamiliar colour combinations are especially good at boosting interest in lily cultivation. From Tuesday to Friday, June 5 – 8, the seventh edition of the international Dutch Lily Days will be held. Once again, hundreds of varieties will be waiting for the visitors, ranging from newcomers and popular bestsellers to ‘golden oldies’. Consumers and the trade are primarily searching for new colour combinations in lily cultivation. In particular, two- and three-toned varieties are assured of a sunny future, according to the participating companies in the Dutch Lily Days. The rise of double Orientals and pollen-free varieties will continue in the coming year. With the globalisation of the lily trade, the practical aspects of the flower are becoming an increasingly important issue: lilies are being transported over longer and longer distances and must not lose their decorative value or longevity.

During the seventh Dutch Lily Days, the complete trade assortment is flowering and on display for visitors. This includes talented newcomers like the Roselily, and the Regalo, one of the oldest commercial varieties. The event starts on Tuesday, June 5. For the opening, this time at Zabo Plant, Pieter Landman, a consultant who advises primarily foreign retail chains, envisages great opportunities for lilies to improve their place in the shop display, has been invited to give his vision of the sector. Landman is an internationally respected consultant for retail chains, especially in America, and also advises lily breeders who want to understand the trends better. ‘Breeders have done amazing work during the past few years. For example, they succeeded in making the flower buds colourful. Consumers focus strongly on colour. Double flowers are another fantastic development. The disadvantage of pollen has also been effectively addressed by breeding.’ The sector can get more returns from that image in his opinion. For Landman the main point is that the lily has a strong position. ‘The lily is a primary flower, like the tulip, gerbera and daisy. The lily stands for nobility, beauty and wealth.’ Better returns is primarily a question of marketing. Landman adds, ‘The lily sector must be more vocal about the fantastic results its breeding programmes have achieved! For too long, the situation has been: I produce lilies, someone else sells them. But that’s not how it works any longer. We see lilies making a comeback in mixed bouquets. Traditional bouquet fillers are slowly but surely losing ground to them. The lily is simply a stunning floral alternative.’

www.dutchlilydays.com

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