Lily's in shade

fernsk(z2 Canada)May 17, 2006


I'm in the process of redoing my back yard - a real hot 17 x 17.5 foot fenced southern exposure mess. I visiting in the perennial forum and asking about a shade plant that I could put in a small corner bed. The bed is kind of triangular with the long side being 5 feet and the depth to the fence about 4 feet. I want to keep my Francis Williams Hosta but wanted some sort of summer flowering plant to put behind the hosta. I need some height and it is location that gets filtered sunlight in the morning [north-east corner of the yard] and late day sun. In the past Ferns, Hosta, Globe Flower have all flurished there. Someone from the perennial forum suggested a lily. Are there ones that would give me height, summer flowers, fit in the space and enjoy the shade? Also are lily leaves poisonous - I have a "nibbling" cat. Thanks for any advice


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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

I have seen asiatics and orientals growing in open shade conditions with dappled sun and some afternoon sun (near the planted near the edge of the tree canopy). Mine only get morning sun and no overhead sun either. They may end up stretching a bit but they do grow and bloom and the flower colors are often more intense. The downside is that the leaves are supposedly poisoness to cats. You could consider spraying the foliage with "Liquid Fence" (all natural combo of food products like citrus, garlic, pepper, etc) and that would hopefully help keep kitty off.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 1:44PM
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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi Fern,
Yes, lilies are very poisonous to cats. Most references are to Easter Lilies (Lilium Longiflorum) probably because they are brought indoors at Easter by many households. Other sites include oriental lilies and asiatic lilies. It is reported that only a small amount of any part of a lily needs to be eaten by a cat to cause kidney damage or worse.


The following site is from the Cat Fancier's Association

Here is a link that might be useful: Lily Dangers

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 1:12AM
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Can you please be more specific (if necessary) about what cultivars within the Astc/Orntl lily family?
My conditions are nearly identical to Jenny_in_se_pa's.
With Thanks...Kevlarster SW PA

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 2:33PM
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hld6(z7 MD)

As long as the spot gets at least few hours of sun any oriental should be fine. I have a mostly shaded yard, much of it in fairly deep shade all day, other parts in dappled shade most of the day. I have a few areas that get 3-6 hours of morning or afternoon sun and that's enough to grow lilies well, i.e., they don't get leggy.

Many lilies that receive "directional light" do lean toward with their flowers facing the sun. Trumpet lilies do this a lot, Longiflorums not so much and orientals inbetween. Depending on how your garden is oriented you may end up with all your pretty lilies facing your neighbors.

One of the more shade tolerant lilies is lilium Speciosum (v. Rubrum or v. Alba). It is one of the species parents of the oriental hybrids. Speciosum alba can be nice for a spot that is in shade part of the day, as its white flowers show up well. Speciosum Rubrum has the pink coloring similar to Stargazer. "Uchida" is a superior selection of this lily. Both have smaller flowers that are more recurved than hybrid orientals. Butterflys love them.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 4:16PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

fernsk, I see that you are in zone 2, Orientals are probably not going to be very long lived in your zone.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 6:38PM
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