As floral professionals, no doubt you know know the lily growers of Bredefleur. And their passion for cultivating exclusive lilies. So, when asked to share their opinion on the ideal cutting stage of their flowers, they are happy to enlighten us. And since lilies get very vulnerable when they open up, inevitably the question of cutting raw or ripe is a sensitive matter. And Bredefleur is playing on the edge of maturity. Levi Evers from Bredefleur explains.
What is generally the ideal stage of ripeness for flowers that are not usually harvested in full bloom?
This is maturity stage 1. Open flowers are always more beautiful, but that is not feasible with transport. The riper is more beautiful, but the vulnerability increases.
Describe for your lilies how everyone further down the chain can enjoy your flowers optimally.
The ideal situation for everyone would be if, on delivery of the lilies, there is 1 flower open per branch. This way everyone in the chain can fully enjoy the lilies.
Are you satisfied with the cutting stage with which you have to deliver your flowers now?
I have to deliver the lilies at a maturity stage close to jumping open. However, the riper the lily is cut the better. So, the longer the flowers remain on the plant, the higher the quality.
Do your flowers gain added value if they can be harvested (even) riper?
The longer the flowers remain on the plant, the higher the quality. Many people do not understand this, but the vase life can really get longer if the flowers are longer on the plant. The intensity of the flowers also improves!
What do you think in general about the topic of ripe vs. raw?
We have been making the difference for years with cutting more mature flowers. We sometimes play on the edge because it is not always practical in trade. Mature flowers are thought of as older flowers. That mindset should be changed once and for all. Because as stated in the previous question; if the flowers are longer on the plant, the vase life can become longer! A florist should also learn to work with a more mature product. The quality of the flower then becomes optimal. Even if this means a shorter sales time.
Additional Information About Cutting Stages
Flowers are harvested mainly according to the prescribed auction regulations. In general, Dutch auctions divide the offer at their sales platforms and at the clocks into 5 stages of maturity. These correspond with the cutting stages of growers. • 1 = flower is raw, closed • 2 = flower is slightly open • 3 = flower starts blooming • 4 = flower is clearly open, but not fully. • 5 = flower is fully open You can imagine that some flowers are harvested and sold at cutting stage 5, like anthurium, gerbera, and many spray chrysants. Other flowers need to be cut in a less mature stage, so they will bloom further from there.