Lily


QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE

1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 3 to 9.

3. Planting Distance - All do fine planted 9 to 12 inches apart with one exception. The tall growing Orienpets should be planted 2 to 3 feet apart.

4. Mature Height/Spread - The first year as noted under varietal information. In following years the number of bloom stalks dramatically increases.

5. Bloom Time - As indicated below.

  • Asiatics: early summer.
  • Orientals: mid to late August.
  • Tiger and Trumpet: mid summer.
  • Orienpets: mid August.
  • L.A. Hybrids: early summer.

 6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide as each dormant bulb. When dug, the hole should be big enough to allow the dormant bulb to be covered with 1 to 2 inches of soil.  Place bulb with the roots down and the bud pointing up (See illustration below) in hole and cover with soil, firming the soil with your fingers. Water thoroughly.

GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT

Ready to bloom the first year, there's no better way to bring vibrant beauty to your garden and to enjoy a continuing supply of gorgeous bouquets for your home than to start a bed of lilies. They are noted for their hardiness, prolific long-lasting flowers, disease resistance and ability to multiply rapidly. They are perhaps the most spectacular perennial with the huge flowers that they produce. If one planted all of the varieties listed below, there would be constant color in the garden from early summer to September. Any of the varieties can be planted together in a bed or can be interspersed throughout the garden for special effect or to brighten dull spots. Lilies can even be planted in containers.

Lilies are very popular today among florists for upscale cut flower bouquets and wedding arrangements. The long, strong stems of all varieties will make them even more ideal for cutting.

VARIETAL INFORMATION

Asiatic: The first lilies to bloom each season, Asiatics are great for beds and borders, planting among shrubs, or along walls and fences. Long-lasting flowers are perfect for patio containers and indoor bouquets. Standard Asiatic lilies produce multiple blooms on 24 to 36 inch stems in early to mid-summer while the double flowering Elodie blooms on 3 to 4 foot stems.

Dwarf:  Many dwarf lilies have been bred to look like standard Asiatic lilies except for their mature height. Generally, dwarf Asiatics are 14 to 20 inches tall and produce dramatic full-sized blooms on 12 to 18 inch stems.

L.A. Hybrid:  A cross between the Longiflorum and Asiatic lilies, this hybrid gives you the best qualities of each.  Longiflorum characteristics give them longer flower life and sturdier petals that can handle wind and rain much better than Asiatics. The Asiatic’s traits bring the wide variety in colors.  L.A. Hybrid lilies are very strong and have a terrific vase life. Their flowers are larger than standard Asiatic lilies and bloom on 4 to 6 foot stems.

Mixed Tiger:  A very unique variety that shines in the mid-summer garden as well as in cut flower arrangements. Flowers are up to 4 inches across and speckled with purple-black spots on recurved petals. Hardy bulbs multiply annually and are perfect for naturalizing in borders and beds. Multiple stems grow 3 to 4 feet tall.

Trumpet:  Hardy and long-lasting Trumpet Lilies fill the early summer garden with glorious fragrance and eye-catching color. This balanced mixture of pink, yellow, white and salmon blooms are lovely in bouquets. These easy-care plants multiply every year and are a spectacular variety that grows 4 to 6 feet tall.

Oriental:  (Includes STARGAZER) The largest and most fragrant of all lilies.  Each stem produces beautiful 5 to 6 inch blooms that appear in shades of pink, red, and white in late summer. Strong, graceful stems grow 3 to 4 feet tall.

Orienpet:  The most spectacular members of the lily family with huge Oriental type flowers.  They are a cross between Oriental and Trumpet Lilies, a breakthrough in lily hybridizing. In late August and beyond, they will produce vigorous and extremely sturdy, 1-inch diameter stems that grow 4 - 6 feet tall. Each stem bears 8 or more huge 7-9 inch fragrant flowers in shades of yellow, red, gold and various red/yellow combinations, many with striking markings of stars and various splashes on petals.  

SOIL PREPARATION

Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2.  To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.

CONTINUING CARE

Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).

Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Grooming - Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible.  You don’t want the flower heads to go to seed.  Seed formation drains off the food needed to produce next year’s growth, which is essential for further bulb development.  Leaves should be allowed to die back naturally before removing.  The green leaves are the last things to wither and dry up but they do provide the nourishment for your bulb growth. As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season. DO NOT remove the foliage while it is still green.

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - After frost has blackened the foliage of your perennials, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw, or leaves to in-ground plantings to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.

For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.

In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and remove any dead or damaged parts on any plants.  Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.  

CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.