Once in a while, floral professionals and enthusiasts tire of delicate petals of pretty pastel; they yearn for the different and the dramatic. Heliconia answers that call! With a bold look that many mistake for its cousin, the Bird of Paradise, Heliconias share many of the Bird’s unique care and handling requirements. Those requirements are the topic of a recent article Floralife® wrote for LivRio entitled “Forever Young, Forever Beautiful.”
First, the name: “in Greek legend, Mount Helicon was the home of the Muses, nine divinities that embodied the Greek love for Art and Science and who were said to remain forever lovely and youthful. One could say they lent these qualities to the Heliconia, which is harvested at the peak of its beauty and enjoys a vase life upwards of three weeks. That’s practically FOREVER!
“Spanning nearly 200 species, Heliconias come in shades of red, yellow, orange, and green. Their pollinators are almost exclusively hummingbirds, who have evolved with a variety of bill shapes to accommodate the various Heliconia species.”
Heloconia Care and Handling Tips Include:
- Origination and cultivar
- Wet or dry storage
- Ethylene treatment or not? Use EthylBloc™ or Floralife® EthylGuard
- Choosing stems at proper stage of development
- Everything clean and sanitized with D.C.D.® cleaner or new Floralife® Floral Cleaner Wipes
- Place stems in a hydration with Floralife® Quick Dip
- Removing foliage, cutting stems
- Hydration and flower food solution with proper airflow
- Proper FIFO stock rotation
- Place Heliconias in a 55-60˚ F (13-16C) cooler with 75-85% humidity. Heliconias are cold sensitive and will develop brown spots on the flowers (bracts) at temperatures below 50˚ F (10C).
Common Defects and Causes:
On the prevention tip, we describe some of the hazards your Heliconias may face, and ways to avoid them. These include split leaves, lesions, slimy stems, discolored bracts, and many more. So read the piece!
And those are your Heliconia Highlights – a vivid, dramatic, long-lasting treat for the senses! Again, read the original article, please. And for further care and handling tips for this and other flowers, visit Floralife.com!