Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 70-120 days after spring growth
Height: 1 to 6 feet
Spacing: 8 to 12 inches apart in all directions
One of the most beautiful summer-flowering plants, lilies (lilium) are grown by home gardeners for their exquisite trumpet-shaped blooms. Stems are strong, upright and unbranched, 1-6 feet tall. Flowers are large, beautifully colored in both bold and pastel shades and often fragrant.
Lilies may be grown individually in formal or naturalistic settings or en mass. Smaller species make excellent container plants. Blooms from late spring through early autumn, depending on species. They’re considered a hardy perennial in zones 3 or 4-9, depending on the variety.
#1 BULB FOOD
f you’re looking for the fastest ticket to a lush garden, start at ground level. Planet Natural offers a large selection of amendments, potting soils and fertilizers to help you produce healthy, productive plants year after year.
- An entire range of powerful and soft colors is available
- Choose a site in full sun to partial shade; add organic matter to soil
- Plant in spring or fall; transplanting is best in fall
- Handle bulbs carefully and plant to proper depth (see above)
- Enjoy blooms all summer long by choosing early, mid or late varieties
Plants thrive in full sun or partial shade and prefer moist, well-drained soil and excellent air circulation. Prior to planting, work a shovelful or two of organic matter, such as compost or well-aged manure, into the soil (see our article How to Prepare Soil for Planting). This helps condition the soil, which improves drainage and will also increase the ability of lighter soils to hold water and nutrients. Most lily varieties perform poorly in extreme heat.
How to Plant
A good rule of thumb is to plant bulbs with their bottoms resting at a depth three times the diameter of the bulb. For best results, plant lilies 6-9 inches deep and space approximately 8 inches apart. Lilies never go completely dormant — do NOT allow them to dry out. Even tiny lily plants should have no less than 6 inches of soil above the top of the bulb.
Here’s one of our favorite tools for planting bulbs — the Hori Hori knife. Depth measurements are embedded into the blade, and it’s easy to pull back soil and drop in the bulbs.
Avoid fertilizers containing excessive nitrogen. Organic fish fertilizer is the perfect nutrient source for lilies. Mulch with several inches of organic compost or shredded bark to keep the soil cool and moist.
Move or divide lilies only when overcrowded and bloom production stops. Transplanting should be done in late fall (see Fall Planting, Spring Color to learn more). Lily bulbs are very delicate and should be handled gently. Plant them immediately to prevent the bulbs from drying out. Discard any damaged or diseased bulbs.
Insects and Disease
Common insect problems associated with lilies include aphids and . The latter are tiny whitish mites, which feed in groups and produce stunted, yellowed or deformed leaves and flowers. Infested bulbs have corky, brown spots that become powdery. Watch closely and dust with diatomaceous earth or other organic pesticide, if necessary.
Seed Saving Instructions
Organic Worm Castings
Savvy growers know redworm castings to be rich in nutrients and beneficial microbes.
Organic Chicken Manure
Sup'r Green provides over 5 times more plant food value than steer manure.
Use to stimulate exceptional budding and blooming on all flowering plants.