Lily Varieties

blaithinbeka(6)January 26, 2010

I am looking into growing lilies for the first time this year. They will be grown in the field (no greenhouse or hoophouse). Could you give me suggestions on what varieties do well field grown and are good for beginners?

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I have a couple questions before I can offer a suggestion. I'm not familiar with Z6, when is your last frost date? What will you be growing these lilies for personal enjoyment, weddings or florists. Do you want fragrance? Do you need them to bloom by a certain date?
Will they be fenced in? Lilies where I live a deer candy.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 6:19PM
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We have an average last frost date of May 15 but being in the mountains it is not unusual to have some light frosts in late May. These are for a small, rural farmers market (although an artist's town). Our market runs from late April-December so anywhere in this time frame but the earlier the better as I have tons of flowers late in the summer but seem to have a harder time filling in those earlier months. Fragrance is good but not mandatory.
As far as the deer, I've been thinking about that. I may have to use some electric fence.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 7:23PM
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blaithinbeka, you might consider growing them in crates. They do really well and therefore dont take up bed space. That being said, the asiatics are reliable and lovely, few if any, having any fragrance to speak of. The orientals are a little more challenging, great fragrance, but they can suffer from sun scorch and do better with a little shade. They do command a nice price at my market. Visit Ednie Flower Bulb, they have a great selection with listings for days to bloom so you can stagger your plantings for continual harvest. Good luck. Kat

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 12:57AM
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I would agree with Kitkat. I ordered almost all of mine from Ednie they sell precooled bulbs. My fav's are Asiatics and be careful you select ones that won't all bloom at once. Deer will eat the tops right off if they are not fenced in, I think they prefer the Orientals at least the ones around here do. Crates are nice to grow them in. If they get an aphids or black spot use neem oil and that seems to take care of it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 1:28PM
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Thanks for the tips. My problem for the past three years has been crates. Every year I am going to plant lilies in crates but then can't find crates. I have only managed to acquire one. Any ideas? If I can find the crates, this would be great....because I DO greatly lack bed space.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:50PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Ednie sells crates too! I don't think they are on the website but you can ask them and they will sell you some.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 10:45PM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Hi - if you are in the NW, you might also check with Gloeckner (they have a Clackamas, OR wareshouse) or VanderSalm bulbs in Woodland, WA. Helps with shipping. But, I also agree, Ednie is good too (need to check with them for more crates!).

I've been getting my lilies from both for the past few years, staggered to come at 3-week intervals, that way I have lilies into October. However, since I'm an outside grower (in crates), I have finally learned not to plant the orientals in mid-July, I had a 10/10 hard freeze last year and lost 300 stems! Fortunately, I can plant the bulbs this year!

I'm posting the link to Vandersalm below. They've also added glads this year, which is great...saves a ton on shipping from the midwest!

If you plant in crates, don't forget your support netting!
I cover up one of my daffodil beds with heavy weedcloth and put my lily crates in that bed - its 4 x 25', so I can get a lot of crates in that small area.

Good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: Vandersalm

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 4:32PM
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If you have a dairy or a distribution for a dairy nearby, they usually have crates that they might give you if you take a quantity of them. Admitedly, they are milk crates and so you dont get as many bulbs to the crate but if you can get them free, the price is right:) Kat

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 6:08PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

Try asking at local garden centers/nurseries if they have any to sell. I get mine at a place that once had a big excess and actually had a display out. After that I knew to ask if they had any extras. I usually pay $2 each (which is less than Ednie's), although when they had the display out, I think they were $1 each. Should have bought more....

Before you invest too much in orientals, see how your customers feel about their very powerful scent. I have a lot of people say orientals bother their allergies and won't buy them. The oriental-trumpet hybrids (called O-T or orienpet) often have a lighter citrusy scent.

The great thing about planting prechilled bulbs in crates is that you can have lilies in August- October. I sell at a market in a DC bedroom community in a relatively rural county. A lot of people walk by my stand and say "oh I have those in my garden." Well they can't say that about lilies in September!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 9:29AM
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Thanks for everyones help!! I have placed my order with Ednie and am going crate hunting when the weather clears up.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 6:25PM
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