Belated Congratulation and send wishes with flowers

The Japan Flower Promotion Council, an association of all flower supply-chain partners, has proposed a new flower gift promotion project to consumers. We are one of the members and our CEO plays the presidential role.

“Okulete gommen”, meaning “Sorry, I am late”, is a promotion project to celebrate belated birthday, marriage, baby-birth, graduation, school-admission and more!

If you missed the opportunity to celebrate someone, we suggest you to create an opportunity to convey your feeling of celebration by making an excuse of presenting a gift of flowers.

◆Okuléte gommen Offical site:

This time, the Council has released “Okuléte gommen short film” with the theme of “Belated Congratulation and send wishes with flowers”.

The comedy trio “Hanako” as an ambassador of the Okuléte gommen project appears on the film and talks about the story of delivering a bouquet of “Belated Congratulation” to their loved ones. It is a heartwarming documentary film where presentees make smile with unexpected flower gifts, and presenters also make smile when seeing presentees’ smile.

◆Okuléte gommen short film:

We, as the flower industry, would like to propose to consumers that “it is not too late even if the days have passed”, “everyone will be happy when receiving flowers”, and “let’s convey your feelings with flowers”.

We try to create an opportunity to let consumers feel closer to flowers for the younger generation who doesn’t have needs to go to a flower shop or who has no experience of giving flowers to others.

Translated by Y. Fuchu

Enjoy Japanese sweet pea

Sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus, one of the legume family is a tendrils-climbing plant. Growers make it bloom beautifully and vertically straight. They make a lot of effort for the work, because it is an annual plants and naturally blooms in spring with twisting vines. This time, we will tell you about the cultivation of sweet pea.

Sweet pea has been cultivate in Japan for a long time since Meiji era(1868-1912) originally as an ornamental plant. Then, commercial cultivation of cut flowers began in the middle of the Taisho era(1912-1926). Around this time, Mr. Ishijiro Araki established the foundation of cultivation technique for sweet pea at Tamagawa glasshouse floriculture complex in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo.

How to grow sweet pea

Cultivation of sweet pea starts from raising seedlings. Seeds are taken care at low temperatures after soaked in warm water to promote germination. By adjusting this storage period, it is possible to shift the harvesting period from the beginning of winter. Planting will be carried out from late August to early September.

After planting, flower buds appear from the 10th nodes, but it is necessary to make the stock strong for long-term harvesting. By picking those early flower buds until it grows with the 14th nodes or more. It becomes possible to harvest about 20 stems from one strong stock.

Under the summer sun, the vine grows quickly to a height out of our reach with stems bent and vines twisted, when growers do not take enough care. To avoid that, growers lower each stem to a height of easy work for them and fix it to a net or pole. (Therefore, you couldn’t find slightly bent stems when this work is just done.)

In addition, the cultivation of sweet pea needs careful control of the amount of solar radiation and temperature. Since it is native to Sicily, Italy, the optimum temperature for growth is 15 degrees C, and the limit temperature of wilting is -3 degrees C. And it needs more than a few hours of sunshine consecutively a day. So, if the amount of solar radiation is insufficient or the temperature is too low, all buds could fall at once, and that could cause a sharp decrease in yield.

Furthermore, the stem shape changes depending on the amount of water absorbed. If growers supply too much water to the stock, the stem would grow faster, but it would become thinner and softer, and that could lead to a weak stem which can be bent easily, the internodes could be expanded, and flowers could be scattered on sight.

Thus, sweet pea id cultivated with a lot of work and careful management. So what is evaluated as “good quality”? Please let me tell you the tips to distinguish it.

  1. The stem is solid
  2. The internodes are clogged
  3. Large flowers and strong scent

To keep the vase life
Sweet pea is vulnerable to high temperatures and high humidity. Please note that in a hot and humid environment, Botrytis may increase and flowers may have dark spots or may fall off easily.

Edited by Y.Fuchu

Keio Sakura from Yamagata Prefecture

Keio Sakura.  the Japanese cherry blossom tree fascinates people with a lot of pale pink flowers and a dignified presence. From Yamagata prefecture where it still snows quietly, KeioSakura is announcing the beginning of spring.

“The winter-blooming flower”
KeioSakura is a same variety of SomeiYoshino, the typical cherry blossom tree you can find in early spring all over Japan. You can enjoy KeioSakura even putting cut branches into a flower vase because it splinters into a number of twigs with many beautiful pale pink flowers. Inaturally blooms in spring like SomeiYoshino, but prominent technique of growers in Yamagata prefecture enables Keio-Sakura to bloom even in winter. “Winter-blooming cherry blossom tree, ahead of early signs of spring, gains popularity in Japan coloring New Year’s Day and other winter events.


“Mechanism to bloom flowers in winter”
KeioSakura starts to bloom by misunderstanding that spring has come when it is exposed to heat in the greenhouse after harvested from the field. Growers take advantage of this natural characteristic and can uninterruptedly continue shipping out from late December till Aprilby adjusting timings of harvests and treatments in the greenhouse. It gives a surprise to people all over Japan by the fact that blooming Keio-Sakura brings spring earlier from the snowy country like Yamagata prefecture.

“Tip of decoration”
Please pay attention to the following pointsWhen you take good care of KeioSakura, the flowers will not wither easily and can last long.

  1. When you put it in a vase, you should split the cut end of the branch verticallyThe surface area contacting with water increasesand that facilitates easy water uptake.
  2. When you use the flower food – the post-harvest preservative, you can enjoy blooming flowers more because flowers open wider than usual. It can also have an effect of making the pink color more vivid.
  3. You can enjoy Keio-Sakura longer when it is decorated at the indoor entrance, where the temperature is lower than in other rooms with heaters.

Oishi Yamagata Suisin Kiko(Yamagata Specialty products Promoting Organization)

Translated by Fuchu



Ota Floriculture Auction Co., Ltd holds the award ceremony of “FLOWER OF THE YEAR OTA” which annually aims to praise outstanding flower growers who created trends in Japan’s flower industry. From the approximately 200,000 varieties of flowers supplied to our company in 2020, four varieties (and producers) have got awards.

Award-winning varieties are selected by independent experts in Japan’s flower industry among  the flowers nominated by OTA Floriculture Research Institute LTD (a subsidiary company of Ota Floriculture Auction Co., Ltd.) based on data analyzed from many aspects. This award is unique in the point that winners are selected from the viewpoint of “trends”, not only from the one of “quality”.

The signature color of this year in Japan is pink, especially with blueish and grayish tones. Dried flowers continue to gather popularity, and it extends to the trend of dry texture and shabby-chic color even for fresh flowers

Let’s take a look at all prize winners!

◆Grand Prize◆

Grower:JA Kagawa Prefecture Mitoyo Kakibukai
Species:Mash lavender


While overall flower trend is moving towards small flowers, Mash lavender has got attention unusually as a large-blooming flower. This flower is a super-large-blooming aster with a diameter of about 7 cm, which broke the old image of aster together with a surprise. It has much of presence even with one stem, and that makes its beauty stands out more. In addition, it has an advantage of long vase life. Although the number of flowers produced in Japan is generally declining, the number of asters has been increasing in recent years. Its grayish color creates a unique atmosphere in line with the recent trend. Taking advantage of its comfortable and warm climate all through the year, Kagawa Prefecture is expected by the Japanese flower industry to play an important role of flower production in winter. Incidentally, this is the first time for a grower in Kagawa Prefecture to have got the highest award.



◆Outstanding performance award◆

Grower:Yagi Rose Breeding Farm


The excellence award has been given to the original variety of the Yagi Rose Breeding Farm bred by Mr. Hayato Yagi. Bluish dry-textured petals and classic shabby- chic leaves give unique impression we have never had. You cannot forget it once you have a glance. Mr. Yagi got a clue about a future trend of roses during his stay in the Netherlands for his study. When he saw Vase at his first sight on his farm, he intuitively found out that it would become popular, but his mentor – his father – objected saying, “This is no good.” Even so, he continued to improve the variety with belief in his mind that he wanted to develop a new rose variety which stands out even with one stem inserted in a vase. The variety name of Vase is named after from the flower vase. The Vase has been a blockbuster rose getting on the bandwagon of the recent trend. Shizuoka Prefecture is a famous flower producing area, and the yield of cut flower roses is the second largest in Japan.

◆New Flower Encouragement Award◆

Grower:JA Kisyu
Species:Sinzii Silver


Limonium Sinzii Silver is an elegant and pretty variety with lots of dry-textured blueish-pink florets. The part that looks like a petal is a calyx, and then it can last long, and can be also used for swags after dried. The color of calyx matches the recent color trend. The annual yield of Limonium in Wakayama Prefecture is the second largest in Japan, but it most contributes to supply of Limonium to the market in winter, taking advantage of its warm climate. Limonium ranks fourth in the domestic flower production, after Chrysanthemums, Carnations, and Roses. It is obvious that Limonium is a required item among all flowers. Recently, new and lovely varieties have been developed which can be used to flower bouquets. This is the first time that growers in Wakayama Prefecture has won the award.


◆New Flower Encouragement Award◆

Grower:YMS Co., Ltd.
Species:Grevillea gold


Leaves of Grevillea gold are fascinating. The color of the leaf surface is fresh green, and the back is velvet-textured copper gold. It is a beautiful plant with two contrasting expressions in one leaf exported from Israel. It can be used for various purposes such as bouquets, swags, and wreaths in both dried and fresh. It has got popularity from florists because adding one leaf of Grevillea to the flower arrangement increases sense of design. Just bundling several leaves of Grevillea also gets attention as an interior decoration.
The award winner, YMS Co., Ltd. is one of the leading flower import companies in Japan, importing flowers from more than 20 countries. They always try to develop market-oriented strategy and consulted with Israeli growers from an early stage requesting for larger production. And the Israeli growers responded to their request. Such effort from both sides has led to this award. Prior to the Christmas season, it will definitely get more attention.


Translated and edited by Y. Fuchu

Single bloom Lisianthus
When it comes to the blooming season of the Balloon flower, I always think of Lady Garasha .

The Balloon flower, which is known as one of the seven flowers of fall, is a very old-fashioned flower with beautiful purple, star-shaped petals. When displayed in a vase, its beauty and splendor far surpass that of other Japanese flowers.

Balloon Flower

Apropos of the Balloon flower, it reminds me of the “Kikyo-mon” Balloon flower family crest. The Balloon flower family crest is widely known as the crest of the Sengoku warlord Akechi Mitsuhide. Also, it is said that the rosary owned by Hosokawa Garasha, the daughter of Mitsuhide who was a Christian, had the crest.

Hosokawa Garasha has a strong image with white lilies such as the Madonna lily, but it also has the image of an elegant Balloon flower from the impression of the rosary and the Hosokawa Balloon flower crest.

The flower language of the Madonna lily is “A clean Heart” and the flower language of the purple Balloon flower is “Graceful”, Garasha may have been a woman with that kind of association.

By the way, among the Lisianthus displayed in the central passage of the OTA market last time, there were some single varieties with less petals.

Compared to general Lisianthus, Cecil has a single bloom, so at first glance, it looks like it lacks volume, but the beauty of the single flower is comparable to the Japanese Balloon flower, which is one of the seven flowers of fall.

                  Cecil Blue                    Cecil Pink

Furthermore, it seems that the shape of the Cecil petals is more like a “Kikyo-mon” than a Balloon flower in Japan.
When it comes to Lisianthus, it has the image of gorgeous Western flowers, but the single bloom varieties including Cecil have an old-fashioned aspect like the Japanese Balloon flower. The greatness of these flowers stands out when displayed in an alcove in a Japanese style room or in a Japanese-style inn.

The single bloom Lisianthus vaguely resembles Lady Garasha’s atmosphere.
On a quiet night when only the sound of an insect resonates, why don’t you try to feel flowers, like Lady Garasha, close to you by layering its graceful appearance with the pure heart of the White lily?

Written by Masaya Murata
Edited by M. Takahina