Early summer is lily time. While many gardeners grow daylilies, in this blog I focus on the bulb lilies such as Oriental, Asiatic, Trumpet and Tiger lilies. These lilies really put on a show. They range from the Oriental lilies with “knock your socks off” fragrance, to the multi-colored Asiatic lilies that dazzle a garden, to Trumpet and Tiger lilies that are tall and statuesque.
These lilies are planted from bulbs in spring or fall. They quickly grow into flowering plants the first year. They’re perfect for a flower garden to add accents, mix with other early summer bloomers such as bee balm and yarrow, and be used as fabulous cut flowers in the house. While they are relatively easy to grow, here are some tips to get the best show from your lilies.
Height– Lilies can range in height from a few feet to 6 feet tall. Know what variety you’re growing before you plant so you can grow the right lily in the right place. Oriental lilies are short enough to grow in containers, while tall Tiger lilies are best in the back of a flower bed.
Support– For the tall lilies, support is key. Group tall lilies together in clumps so they can support each other in the wind. For prized individual stalks, attach the main stem to a stake with VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties. Lily flower stalks get very heavy once the flowers open and many varieties will have multiple blooms on one stalk. The strong VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties help keep these stalks vertical so you can enjoy the colors.
Care– After flowering, deadhead the spent blooms, but leave the plant in tact. The leaves will help feed the bulb for next year’s flower show. Once the leaves yellow, cut them back to the ground.
Babies– Some lilies, such as the Tiger lilies, will self-sow readily and in spring you’ll see lots of small, baby lily plants. These will take a few years to grow large enough to flower. Thin out the babies you don’t want in the garden and nurse along the rest to increase the size of your lily flower patch.