Monday, August 20, 2012

How can I prevent lily pollen stains?

Q. How can I prevent lily pollen stains? I cut some lilies to bring inside. They're really beautiful, but they've dropped yellow pollen on my tablecloth. Can I spray the flowers with something to keep them from doing that?

A. To keep pollen from dropping on your furniture surfaces, cut off the stamens from the insides of the lilies with small scissors or snips before you bring them indoors. The accompanying photograph shows a tiger lily with its 6 distinct stamens.

The dye in pollen can be troublesome to remove. Trying to remove it by rubbing makes matters worse. Use some masking tape to gently lift freshly fallen pollen. If the dye is already in the fabric and the cloth is washable, soak the spot in cold water with hydrogen peroxide. You may have to repeat the process two or three times.

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