White lilies have become synonymous with the Easter season, but some floral designers are adding a dash of color to the occasion.
Oxnard, Calif.-based River Ridge Farms, which does most of its business with supermarkets, offers a variety of calla lilies in colors like yellow and hot pink, says president Donna Vis.
“I think people are looking for something that’s more interesting, newer and a little bit different,” she says.
Easter, which is April 21 this year, is an important time for the floral department.
The occasion ranks No. 4 among floral holidays and accounts for 9% of annual floral transactions and 6% of dollar volume.
Lilies are by far the most popular flowering houseplant sold for Easter, accounting for 52% of purchases.
Last year, the National Retail Federation predicted that consumers would spend $1.3 billion on flowers for Easter.
Passover, which will be observed from April 19-27 this year, also is an occasion for displaying flowers.
“The flowers used to decorate Seder tables are meant to spread the joy of the Hebrew slaves’ emancipation and exodus from Egypt,” according to the teleflora.com website.
What are the top flowers shoppers buy for Easter and Passover? Click here to find out.
Traditional Passover flowers used to decorate for Seders include lilies, daisies, violets, carnations, irises, tulips and hyacinths, the website says.
“Some families also decorate with bright yellow sunflowers or daffodils to embrace the joyfulness of the occasion.”
River Ridge Farms sells delphinium — a blue flower — and Vis says the company offers a number of blue or bluish-purple flowers that provide range of options for creating Passover displays.
“We also have a plant called pericallis that is blue and white, which is perfect (for Passover),” she says.
Lavender is a favorite Easter color and a particularly popular offering at River Ridge.
In fact, 25% of the company’s land is devoted to growing lavender.
“Lavender is a very popular scent,” Vis says. “It’s an aromatherapy kind of a plant.”
But Vis is especially proud of the company’s calla lilies.
“We buy the bulbs out of Holland, so they’re premium grade, she says.
They’re specially packaged for Easter.
“We dress them up with picks and double wraps and things like that,” she says.
All of the company’s items are shipped in pots that typically are used for home décor.
“Once the blooms fade, (consumers) can plant them in their gardens,” Vis says.
The company offers Easter-themed picks that can be placed into plants and even little wooden bunnies, she says.
“We’ve also got a little daisy bowl that we ship in for Easter,” she adds.
Vis says she designs all of the company’s containers, including small wooden boxes and bowls that are made out of biodegradable material and come in spring colors.
“There are a lot of different avenues that we go down to make sure our products look unique and seasonally appropriate,” Vis says.