With large, showy blooms famous for their trumpet shapes and a dazzling array of colors, lilies are some of the most iconic flowers found in our gardens. Not to mention, they’re also some of the most diverse, with varieties of all shapes, colors, and sizes to fit any aesthetic.
How to Plant Lilies
While most bulbs can be purchased in advance and kept in storage before planting, lilies are prone to drying out in storage. To prevent this, plan to purchase your lilies just before you expect to plant. Lilies need a good winter chill to produce big blooms, but they can be planted in either the fall or the spring. Fall planted will get their chill in your garden, while spring planted got their chill in the grower’s fields.
Lilies should be planted in an area that will receive as much light as possible. Some will withstand partial shade, but for the most part, full sun is best! They are also quite prone to root rot if left to sit in excess water, so a soil with excellent drainage is essential. To ensure optimal drainage, start by loosening the soil around the planting area, mixing in compost as you go.
Once you’ve got your plot prepped and ready to go, you’re ready to get planting! Plant your lily bulb 3x - 4x as deep as the height with the pointy side up. Cover with soil and water thoroughly to settle it in. After planting, add a good layer of mulch to regulate moisture and temperatures, and you’re all set!
Caring for Lilies
As much as they hate being overwatered, lilies still need quite a bit of moisture to keep them going. Water when the soil is dry - paying particularly close attention in the heat of summer, which can dry them out much faster.
Lilies bloom only once during the season each year, so deadheading to make room for more flowers isn’t necessary. This doesn’t mean deadheading won’t be of benefit at all, though. If spent flowers are left in place, the plant will start devoting energy toward making seeds. While this can be great for people looking to use those seeds, most of us just want to make the most of the lilies we have.
Deadheading encourages the plant to focus its energy on the bulb and the roots, creating a stronger, healthier support system. Plus, we’ll also get to take full advantage of how wonderful they are as cut flowers in our homes! Just remember never to take more than ⅓ of the stem when you cut. The leaves will continue feeding the bulbs with photosynthesis until the end of the season, and only when the leaves are brown should you cut down the full stalk.
Types of Lilies
Despite their misleading names, daylilies, peace lilies, and canna lilies are, in fact, not lilies at all. While many varieties of lilies do exist, unlike these misnomers, true lilies grow from bulbs.
Asiatic Hybrids: One of the most popular varieties of lilies for their easy care, Asiatics are early summer bloomers with classic blooms in bright colors typically without any fragrance that are highly popular in arrangements.
Martagon Hybrids: Also known as Turk’s Cap lilies, martagons are hardy flowers that offer a cornucopia of little blooms with deeply curved petals and whorled leaves. They are a great choice for partly shady spots and offer plenty of color and, quite often, speckles to liven up the darker corners of the garden.
Candidum Hybrids: Also known as Madonna Lilies, these large, pure white blooms with petals that curl delicately back are quite hard to track down.
American Hybrids: Native lilies to our great country, these flowers are anything but ordinary. With curled, speckled petals in a variety of colors, they are one of the most captivating choices you can make for bringing native growth to your home.
Oriental Hybrids: Another of the most popular varieties of lilies, orientals create more of a stately, statuesque look with large statement blooms sitting atop tall stems. Blooming later in the season, they also offer a deliciously spicy fragrance that is especially strong after dark, but they are notably tougher to grow. Any dedicated oriental lily lover will tell you, though, that they are more than worth it.
Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrids: Trumpets and aurelians are midsummer bloomers with large, deep trumpeted flowers and a sweet fragrance - all the makings of a classic lily bloom. They are sure winners for adding a statement piece to your garden to dazzle in the July and August sun.
Interdivisional Hybrids: Thanks to modern technology and science, these blooms that come from the hybridization of the different types of lilies together are made possible.
Species Lilies: These are the wild lilies from across the globe that make all our beloved hybrids possible.
As much as their dazzling appearances may fool us into believing they require a lot of maintenance, lilies are actually some of the best bulbs for simply planting and enjoying throughout the blooming season. To bring their beauty and star power to your garden this summer, visit our online shop and find the perfect fit for your garden today!
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