The Beautiful Lily Flowers - Why I love Tiger and Asiatic Lilies
I love flowers, but lilies are really extra eyecatching sometimes. You can find them in many different colors now. Grown from bulbs, I love that they come back year after year even in the colder climates I have lived. Having grown up in California in a milder climate, I sure appreciate how easy yet beautiful these flowers are.
Its nice to purchase these flowers as gifts for people too, as they are such beauties. The person can plant them in the garden after the flowers "die" off, and know that year after year they will come up again and again and keep blooming and multiplying for years to come.
Lilies are tall and impressive plants that hold a number of large trumpet shaped blooms. The stems can grow anywhere from 2 to 6 feet high. Did you know there are 80-90 species of lilies? There are also hundreds of cultivars of lily. One of the things I love most, is the fragrance of a lily. The main colors you will see are orange, yellow, red, pink and white. Some have markings on them that make them stand out even more. Like a work of art really.
Red Asiatic Lily
Where to get lilies, and types of lilies.
In the fall in the United States, you can usually find at least a small amount of lilies for sale at local garden centers. You will often see them in a pre-bloom state which gives some time to get them home, or to give as a gift. Once the blooms begin to open, the show really begins. It is best to plant these quickly as you can, for the best results. The lily bulbs are not as hearty as some bulbs, and have no outer covering. You will want to treat them carefully and get them in the ground, and not allow them to dry out.
If you want a bigger range to choose from consider a specialist or mail order supplier that sells many hybrids and species. If you are not careful, you may become one of the those that falls in love with lilies and become a lily enthusiast yourself!
Some of the most popular types of lilies are golden rayed lily, Madonna lily, Turk's Cap lily, Regal lily, and the tiger lily. There are also Asiatic hybrids, Oriental hybrids and more.
White Asiatic Lily
Conditions and Growing methods for Lilies
The ideal spot for growing lilies are sites with a lot of sun, then some dappled shade for part of the day. The roots of the lily like to be shaded some, so they grow well when mixed in with other plants that will allow for some shade of their roots. They do great in containers, beds, or borders. I like to plant them close enough that their perfume may be enjoyed. You will want soil that drains fairly well. Your lilies will be happy with some high organic content mixed into the soil. For instance, some manure (well rotted manure) or some compost to be mixed in prior to the planting. A month in advance is good.
Planting the bulbs approximately 4-9 inches deep is good, and about 9-15 inches apart so as to not crowd them and allow for growth. Again, try to not allow bulbs to dry out or get bruised. Plant soon, or right after blooming. Composting can be helpful too, as a mulch and help to protect the roots.
Many go on to learn about increasing your lilies by propogation. Learning how to grow more from bullbils, offsets, and bulb scales is something that can be a real joy.