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LILIES

Dummer. ゛☀
2017-08-06
BOTANICAL NAME: Lilium
PLANT TYPE: Flower
SUN EXPOSURE: Full SunPart Sun
SOIL TYPE: Loamy
SOIL PH: Varies
FLOWER COLOR: OrangePinkWhiteYellow
BLOOM TIME: SpringSummerFall
SPECIAL FEATURES: Attracts Butterflies
These hearty bulbs are easy to grow and require minimal care, provided that you plant them in the right place.
At home in both formal and naturalistic settings, most lilies also take readily to containers. Plus, they make wonderful cut flowers, coming in pink, gold, red, orange, and white colors.
Lilies bloom tend to bloom from early summer to fall, depending on the type. By carefully blending early, mid-season, and late varieties into your garden, you will enjoy their magnificent blooms from spring through frost.


PLANTING
Plant lily bulbs in spring or autumn.
Note: Lilies do not thrive in Zones 9 to 10 without a period of refrigeration; they need a cold, dormant period.
Select a site with soil that drains well. How can you tell? After a good rain, find a spot that is the first to dry out. Water trapped beneath the scales may rot the bulb, so a well-drained site is essential.
Also, select a site that gets full sun. For dependable blooms, lilies need six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. If it’s too shady, the stems will attempt to lean towards the sun or get spindly and fall over.
Most of the popular varieties prefer acidic to neutral soil, but some are lime-tolerant or prefer alkaline soils (e.g., Madonna lilies).
Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches. The deep planting encourages the developing stem to send out roots to help stabilize the plant and perhaps eliminate the need for staking. Also, deep planting keeps lily bulbs cool when temperatures soar.
Enrich the soil with leaf mold or well-rotted organic matter to encourage good drainage. Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.
Dig a hole 2 to 3 times as deep as the bulbs are high and set the bulb in the hole pointy side up. Fill the hole with soil and tamp gently.
Space bulbs at a distance equal to 3 times the bulb’s diameter (usually about 8 to 18 inches apart, depending on the variety).
For a good effect, plant lilies in groups of 3 to 5 bulbs.
Water thoroughly.
CARE
In active growth, water freely especially if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
Keep lilies mulched so that their roots are cool. The mulch should feel moist, but not wet.
Apply a high-potassium liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from early spring until 6 weeks after flowering.
Keep moist in winter.
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch.
Stake tall lilies.
Lilies do not rebloom, but you can remove the faded flowers so that the plants don’t waste energy making seeds.
Leave the foliage until it turns brown in the fall. This is important so that the plant stores energy for next year’s flowering. Cut down the dead stalks in the late fall or early spring.
Before winter, add 4 to 6 inches of mulch, simply to delay the ground freeze and allow the roots to keep growing. Leave the mulch until spring once the last hard frost has passed. See your local frost dates.
Divide plants every 3 to 4 years as new growth begins in the spring. Just lift them and divide into clumps. Replant using compost and bonemeal.
PESTS/DISEASES
Gray mold is sometimes a problem, especially in a wet, cool spring or summer. Make sure lilies are not crowded and have plenty of air circulation.
Viruses, spread by aphids, may be troublesome, although some cultivars are virus-tolerant.
Red lily beetles, slugs, and snails may occur.
Deer, rabbits, voles, and groundhogs may eat entire plants. If these critters are a problem, plant the bulbs in buried wire cages to protect them from getting eaten.
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