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Pink Ice

 

Pink Ice cool in August!
By Ben Gill, California Protea Management

Arrangement also includes Leucadendron salignum (yellow), Melaluca diosmafolia, lemons, limes, grapes and a banana.

August in California is hot! So hot that temperatures in the protea growing areas of Southern California can reach 105° to 110° F. three to five days in a row. Now you might be asking yourself what is so cool about that? It's the month that Protea Pink Ice starts to flourish. This cool pink flower, one of the first marketable hybrids of the protea family, loves the heat of August and September. Occasionally, as many as 4,000 to 5,000 a week mature in the heat! This presents a marketing challenge! With no major floral holidays during these dog days of summer, it can sometimes be interesting how florists and designers use these beautiful flowers. During the last hurrah of summer, picture an arrangement using Pink Ice with either Stargazers, Casa Blanca, or other seasonal lilies, roses, lotus, and tropical gingers along with colorful foliages, both tropical and Mediterranean. One can just experiment with any flower if the costs are right, while local seasonal flowers are available. Arrangements using Pink Ice are perfect for those summer

parties. Proteas can withstand those outdoor parties when the temperature is hot and humidity is high. When the Lynchberg Lemonade, Mint Juleps, Margaritas, or Champagne Sherbet is quenching your summertime thirst, arrangements using these unique flowers are cool and refreshing to the senses. If tabletop arrangements are not exactly what you are looking for, mixing or matching for mass markets is a good way to use Protea Pink Ice during this abundant production period. Pink ice adds elegance to field filler flowers from any area.

This is an excellent opportunity to use or send protea to those clients and friends, or special events where exotic flowers are not usually in the budget! When you introduce anyone to these magnificent flowers, one can see how they can be used in a magnitude of ways. Whenever you receive your Protea Pink Ice there are several important factors to remember. Protea is not a tropical flower! Keep it with your regular floral inventory and not in your tropical cooler. Protea flowers and buds (we call them bullets) can be stored as low as 36°F along with a humidity of 90-95%. Protea will also last longer in your cooler if you keep the light on. Clean buckets, add 494 of clean water with a commercial preservative, recut stems, leave them resting on the workroom floor prior to the cooler. Changing the water every 3974 days making sure there are no leaves in the water solution also increases your shelf life. If by chance your Pink Ice loses that refreshing color in your arrangements, remember proteas just don't die... they dry!!! They can be treated with glycerin, or just air-dried to give mahogany brown effects perfect for those fall creations just around the seasonal corner. So add some ice to your hot August nights. Protea Pink Ice is a refreshing floral product from California that can make cool summer arrangements with most any available floral products.

Pink Ice

This arrangement also includes Curly willow, Misty blue statice, Melaluca diosmafolia, pothos leaves and Charlotte roses.


This article was previously published in Floral & Nursery Times, August 15, 2001.

Credits: Arrangements by Carousel of Flowers, Escondido, CA Photos by June Stone Photos property of California Protea Management

 

 

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