Lilies are flowering plants from the genus Lilium and the family Liliaceae. They grow from bulbs to leafy stemmed herbaceous plants.
Variations of lilies bloom at different times during summer. Planting a bulb of different kinds, such as Asiatic, Trumpet, Rubrum, Oriental, and Tiger Lily, will produce a garden that has lilies in bloom all summer long.
These plants do not need a particular kind of soil to grow. They can also bloom in any type of light exposure. The most important condition to remember is that they will not grow where water collects and stands on the bulbs.
Here are a few tips to remember when planting lilies:
- Lilies grow from scaly bulbs. They are ideally planted during autumn between the months of September to November. They are preferably planted as soon as they are acquired. This is because they lack the papery covering other bulbs have as protection. Lily bulbs also dry out more quickly in storage.
- Lilies thrive in well-drained and prepared soil. Soil is prepared by digging the spot where the lilies are to be planted to a depth of at least 12 inches. Remove rocks and weeds in the area.
- Adding organic matter, such as peat moss or leaf mold, helps to improve the soil’s structure and drainage ability.
- Placing bone meal at the bottom of the planting hole provides a good source of plant food. Lilies do not particularly need any other fertilizer during planting.
- The size of the bulb, the type of soil, and the manner of root growth are all important considerations when planting lilies.
- Large bulbs (three inches or more in diameter) are planted at least ten inches apart, covered with four to five inches of soil.
- Smaller bulbs are spaced six to seven inches apart, covered with about three inches of soil.
- Bulbs set in sandy soil should be planted two inches deeper than in clay soil.
- As soon as the bulbs are planted, water the area to ensure that good damp soil comes in contact with the roots to promote growth.
- Planting on a slope is the easiest way of ensuring rapid drainage of surface water. Putting mulch around the stems or a ground cover will keep the soil from eroding. Raising the flower bed is an alternative if the planting area lacks natural slope.
- Spread organic mulch around the lilies to help keep the soil moist and cool, particularly during the summer, and stop weeds from growing. Organic materials such as compost, well-rotted manure, wood chips, and coco shells are best suited for this purpose. During dry weather, the plantings should be watered down to six inches once a week.
- Apply a complete fertilizer in spring and early summer to ensure healthy plantings, as lilies respond well to ample feeding. Organic nutrients that provide adequate amount of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are good alternatives to complete fertilizers.
- Dig up and burn any plants affected with Lily Mosaic. This is a prevalent virus-borne disease which can infect the other plants even with a fungicide. Fungal diseases, such as botrytis blight, can be prevented by regular dusting.
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