04 Sep2007

Abundant Milflores

by Marketman

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I was trying to avoid buying too much food last Saturday at the market so I spent some time in the plant and flower section of the FTI Taguig market instead. I figured that buying some flowers would be kinder to my fat cells. I have written about milflores before here, and I am particularly fond of this other post here, and I would have to say they are one of my favorite flowers simply because they are so abundant and with just three large blooms they easily fill a large vase. Many folks say they are incredibly fickle, but I think they are worth the trouble. Here are some tips for keeping them in good shape longer… First, if you buy potted milflores plants with the intention of cutting them, make sure you drown the soil in the pot first for at least 2-3 hours before you intend to cut them. It’s best to cut them in the early evening or early morning, then remove any excess leaves and plunge them into a vase with cool water, preferable with plant food, but if you don’t have that, with a drop or two of clorox to ward off bacteria growth. Keep these in a cool place, devoid of heavy draughts of air.

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If you see the flowers starting to wilt, plunge the whole flower head into cool water for 2-3 hours and it will most likely recover, then slice off a bit of the stem and return to your vase. We have found that our milflores can last as long as 4-5 days in Manila temperatures, and if you place the flowers in an airconditioned room at night, they may last longer. At PHP120-130 a pot, these three large blooms cost a total of PHP360; far cheaper than a tacky floral arrangement from your neighborhood florist. And if you add roses, you can make spectacular arrangements for reasonably small sums of money. If you have a green thumb, you can try and raise the plants for another bunch of blooms as well…

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Now that local nurseries have gotten the knack of successfully propagating these flowers, I wish they would broaden their color palette. Mostly you find bluish/purpley and pink milflores (which are my least favorite), while I would greatly welcome the arrival of pure whites, darker greens, and other more striking hybrids…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. portugalbear says:

    MM, I love the milflores. the color is perfect in my garden which is dominated by pinks and whites. will definitely check this out on my next trip to cartimar. I’ll let you know if i find them in other colors

    Sep 4, 2007 | 3:42 pm

     
  2. bernadette says:

    the first time I saw them in Tagaytay, I couldn’t believe my eyes! I even had the silly idea that they were either plastic or cloth—yeah, in the garden stalls :-). I think I want them for my garden as well! My husband though think they’re “European” and does not think it appropriate for a tropical garden.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 6:08 pm

     
  3. maybahay says:

    these are my favourite flowers!they’re called Hydrangeas in Australia and they are quite hardy. we have a few plants right at the bottom of the garden, behind some decking which means it’s difficult to tend to them. yet, they produce beautiful blooms every year. they do not seem to mind the 40+deg heat of Sydney summers so i imagine they will thrive in Manila. do they? i had a couple of small heads of Hydrangeas (green) in my wedding bouquet and absolutely loved them. thanks for featuring these in your blog.sure took my thoughts away from food for a little while :-)

    Sep 4, 2007 | 6:54 pm

     
  4. gerri says:

    Bull’s eye again MM. The green and white varietals would definitely be more beautiful for I grew up in Baguio and those colours remind me of the houses in our old neighborhood.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 7:14 pm

     
  5. Apicio says:

    A favorite potted plant back home that came only in one colour because we did not know than changes in soil ph level can alter shading. I often see them here (Toronto) in shops in small pots to take as present. The sober range of colour (white, pink, mauve) is brought back home more to me here in April when lilac bushes bloom. They overflow private and public spaces and if you are close or walking by you can smell their equally old-fashioned barbershop perfume.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 7:24 pm

     
  6. Maria Clara says:

    Yes, I love the white variety. For rustic arrangement I love the bluish one mixed with deep orange, yellow and burgundy flowers.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 4:44 am

     
  7. Consol says:

    Ganda!

    Sep 5, 2007 | 7:14 am

     
  8. Marketman says:

    portugalbear, you might want to try FTI Taguig on Saturdays, they have a LOT of milflores, get there early, say 630am. Alternatively, the roadside stalls in Tagaytay have a lot of the “native” varieties, also in pink and blue. The main source of greenhouse hydrangeas or milflores are King Louis, I have a post on them in my archives. bernadette, yes, they are typical to cooler climates, but they thrive in higher sections of Mindanao, Tagaytay, Baguio, etc. maybahay, they thrive with SOME heat, but not near constant heat. I think they also need the coolness of the Sydney winter to make them happy. I have several in our Manila home but only get a few blooms during the coolest January months… gerri, there are some huge bushes of hydrangeas in those old neighborhoods of baguio, gorgeous! Apicio, I do like lilacs as well, especially the white ones! They fall into those categories of flowers I would only describe as LUSH, along with peonies as well. MC, yes, the white ones are gorgeous.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 8:22 am

     
  9. aggy says:

    hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers! one can buy beautiful potted ones at costco here during spring and summer

    Sep 5, 2007 | 9:38 am

     
  10. Dina says:

    I love hydrangeas, too! Although, I must say that it’s only recently that I had success growing this plant. It needs a lot of shade! And with the 100+ degree weather we’ve been having here in Southern California, I’m afraid they might not survive.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 9:59 am

     
  11. MarketFan says:

    It is interesting to note that the color of the hydrangea blooms is dependent on the soil pH (acidity). Blue flowers are produced when the soil is acidic and has high aluminum content; pink flowers result when the soil is of a higher pH and aluminum is not present. (Reminds us of the litmus paper test we used in high school chemistry, right?) Because of this, growers can control the color of the blooms from their plants. Some varieties can be made to change color more easily than others. Personally though, I haven’t had much luck in growing them. Fickle-minded is a correct description.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 12:18 pm

     
  12. Cookie says:

    I love hydrangeas! When I got married 5 years ago, my Aunt’s contribution was to provide dozens and dozens of milflores from the Cojuangco farm in Bacolod and shipped them to Manila. Gorgeous heads – as big as a dinner plate. Love them!!

    Sep 5, 2007 | 9:35 pm

     
  13. carina says:

    I would love to have this in my bridal bouquet…just my fave!

    Sep 6, 2007 | 9:43 am

     
  14. Larees says:

    I love milflores! In a recent Davao trip, I saw these growing on the side of the road en route to Mt. Apo. They’re so pretty!

    Sep 14, 2007 | 3:59 am

     
  15. meriam says:

    now iam collecting the 4 colors of milflores,pink blue white and lavander…i love these very beautiful flowers.its easy to take care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mar 10, 2008 | 7:38 pm

     
  16. liza says:

    i just love the flowers! i bought 2 pots with flowers at the baguio market for 25 pesos each and and now i am thinking of starting a collection. anyone who can educate me on how to propagate these lovely plants?

    Apr 24, 2009 | 11:43 am

     
  17. des says:

    We moved to a new building here in Manila. Lived most of my life near the ground and had always had plants around. So I decided to buy a potted plant just to make our new place homey. Bought a pretty plant, with a headfull of white tiny flowers; I was told it’s called Milflores. I never knew it’s the local name for Hydrangeas. Any tips on taking care of my new baby?

    Sep 20, 2009 | 2:06 pm

     
  18. Marketman says:

    des, water frequently, and I mean frequently. Once the flowers die, coaxing blooms out of it in the hot manila weather is extremely difficult. There are several other posts on the blog related to hydrangeas, check the archives.

    Sep 20, 2009 | 3:19 pm

     
 

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