Tropical Style

Great Design Plant: Lilies

When is a lily maybe not a lily? As it turns out, quite frequently. A number of the plants which we call lilies — canna lily, lily of the Nile, daylily and calla lily — are all, in reality, not lilies at all. Although both magnificent, these blossoms belong to distinct plant genus entirely, so don’t get confused if you are seeking to add authentic lilies to your garden. True lilies grow from bulbs and also have impressive and frequently complicated flowers. When you take a look at the plant label, it will have Lilium in the botanical name. Many have vivid colours and exotic markings, like splotches and brushstrokes, making lilies a lush addition to any garden.

Caution: All parts of the lily plant are poisonous to cats. Please use caution when planting. More crops to keep away from pets

The New York Botanical Garden

Revealed: Lilium ‘Acapulco’

The New York Botanical Garden

Botanical name: Lilium spp
Common names: Easter lily, Asian lily, Asiatic lily, hybrid lily
Water condition: Medium to top
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 2 to 6 feet tall, depending upon variety
Gains: Showy and fragrant flowers
Seasonal interest: Spring and summer flowers; afterward blossoms can be expected from several forms
When to plant: Spring or fall, based on species
Cautions: Toxic to cats

Shown: Lilium ‘Altari’

The New York Botanical Garden

Distinguishing attributes. Lilies are tall perennials, with large blooms in colors such as purple, pink, white, orange, yellow and crimson. The blossoms can have spots, splotches and brushstroke markers in addition to different-colored throats.

Search for varieties that range up to 6 feet tall for the rear of your border, or more compact varieties to blend in with additional colorfully flowering crops. Great varieties to try are ‘Electric’, ‘Altari’, ‘Acapulco’ and ‘Tyrol’.

Revealed: Lilium ‘Electric’

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

The best way to utilize it. Lilies combine well with a number of other flowering perennials and tend to function best in gardens which have a conventional, formal or cottage style. Use them in containers, as houseplants, in mixed beds and borders, and as a specimen plant in your garden.

Hint: If you decide to grow lilies in containers, be sure to fertilize more frequently to keep them thriving and healthy — a slow-release fertilizer will probably work well.

Revealed: Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’

The New York Botanical Garden

What to look out for. All that exotic goodness doesn’t come without a cost, as lilies could fall prey to pests and diseases. Keep an eye out for aphids, red lily beetles, slugs and snails, and signs of harm from voles, deer, groundhogs and rabbits. They may also be vulnerable to grey mold through wet weather, also powdery mildew and bulb rot.

Use slug or snail bait should you see those creatures and insecticidal spray for beetles and aphids. Use chemicals with care, though, to prevent killing off the good bugs. Powdery mildew can be avoided by allowing some distance around plants to get sufficient air circulation. With a little additional care and attention, these incredibly showy and fragrant flowers will reunite in your garden for years to come.

Revealed: Lilium ‘Pumilum’

The New York Botanical Garden

Planting notes. Lily bulbs are generally planted in the fall, but if you are placing your Easter lily in the spring, just bear in mind that you won’t probably see another blossom on it for a season or even more.

Revealed: Lilium ‘Tyrol’

The New York Botanical Garden

Plant the bulb a minimum of 3 inches under the ground (check planting depth recommendations for your specific bulb).Choose a sunny site with well-drained soil to prevent rotting the bulb out.Most lilies like shady feet and sunny heads, so be sure to mulch around the base of the plant to keep it cool or plant a lower-growing annual or continuing around it to shade the origins of the lily.You may also plant creatures in regions of your garden that receive morning sun and afternoon shade to accomplish the same aim. You might need to stake the taller lilies to keep them from falling over with broken stems. Revealed: Lilium longiflorum ‘Snow Queen’

The New York Botanical Garden

Popular lily forms:
Asiatic: Historical bloomers with the broadest range of colours, including the majority of the unscented lilies. Elect for ‘Royal Sunset’ or ‘Blackout’. Oriental: Fairly difficult to grow, Asian lilies have large late-summer blossoms plus a thick scent. They prefer acidic soil and moist, temperate summers. Attempt ‘Flying Circus’, ‘Hot Spot’ or ‘Enjoy’. Trumpet and Aurelian: simple to grow, these lilies are usually late-summer bloomers, nicely scented. They generally need staking because of their taller height. Attempt ‘Madame Butterfly’, ‘Midnight’ and ‘Summer Palace’. Orientpet: American hybrids which are a cross between Asian and trumpet lilies. They have bold colours, are disease resistant and withstand heat but not direct sun. Look for ‘Baruta’ or ‘Anastasia’. Revealed: Lilium ‘Valparaiso’

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