Friday, August 5, 2011

Reaching out. . .

I guess when these lilies reach out to us, we should be careful how we respond!
Note below:

Does anyone know how to get a stain out caused by that red stuff on the end of a lily stamen? I brought a bouquet home from work and now I have terrible red stains on the front of a pink cotton sweater.

The pollen problem
Some consumers dislike lilies because pollen on the lilies’ anthers rubs off easily and can stain clothing. Florists can either remove the anthers as the blooms open or spray the anthers with a fresh flower sealer or fixative.
Following are tips for removing pollen from clothing.

1. Do not brush the pollen away with your hands; oils from your skin will set the stain.

2. Let the pollen "dry," then carefully brush it away with a dry, soft brush, chenille stem, or facial tissue. Adhesive tape also works well; gently dab pieces of tape on the fabric until the pollen is gone. Do not use water or a wet cloth; this will spread and set the stain.

3.If some pollen remains after completing these procedures, place the item in direct sunlight for a few hours; the stain should "magically" disappear.

4. Pollen stains can often be removed from washable fabrics by pretreating them with an enzymatic detergent such as Era.
The International Flower Bulb Centre

What about Pollen Stains?
Be mindful of pollen. If you remove all the pollen-bearing anthers just as the buds begin to open, your flowers will last longer, and pollen cannot stain tablecloths, or your guest's nose.
Should pollen brush upon clothing, it can stain if not treated correctly. Resist the temptation to mearly brush it off with your hands, for the natural oil on your hands will spread, and set the color. Simply use a medium stiff hairbrush, and if the pollen grains have not been smeared, you can safely knock them off. If noticed too late, use a washday pre-treatment before laundering, and hang the freshly washed clothing in bright sun for several hours, which usually bleaches any remaining color.
Snow Creek Gardens

Other sites suggested using scotch tape, and/or a vacuum cleaner nozzle over the pollen to "lift" the pollen off.
Whatever you choose, they all warned against our natural instinct to immediately attempt to rub or brush the pollen off!
I work in a flower shop where we routinely remove this pollen as soon as the lily opens. When we get on clothing, we use Shout or something similar to get off clothing. I agree that you do not try to brush off. It only makes it worse. Also, if the pollen is pulled off as soon as the lily opens, it should be "firm" or not fuzzy and there will be little or no "fuzzy" stuff to get on hands or clothing.

(These and more are found here)

I didn't realize the pollen could be such a problem.  I did get some on me, but it was an old, stained, garden work t-shirt, so I didn't care. 
Happy Friday!  (I am getting that basement clean, honest!  See previous post)


  1. this is really interesting information...i like it!
    good idea :-)

    next up... tips on cleaning a basement...
    1. get help from smart aleck friends.
    2. leave smart aleck friend in the basement.

  2. I didn't know pollen was such a problem either, but these are great tips. The flowers are gorgeous!

  3. I never realized that the pollen of some flowers stained so tenaciously!

  4. Have a great week-end, Beth, and keep cool in that basement!

  5. Thanks for all of the interesting information, Beth... I had heard about that polen being very hard to get out --if you get it on your clothes... This is nice to know.


  6. Well, at least we now know how to treat it...had no idea NOT to brush it off right you have had it on before but always something old.

  7. wow what an adventures with mice and those grasshoppers!!

    what a beautiful flowers!
    With the lilies I don't always like them heavy sent!!

    and I'm happy that you are enjoying the postcards!!

  8. gorgeous photos, beth (and i had no idea pollen could be a stain problem, either!)

  9. I knew about the staining qualities of lilies and fear of them :)
    Nice to have these solutions to the problem. Thanks!


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