new to lillies, some questions please

rdh1994(z5 IL)June 11, 2006

I have 2 Asiatic lilly and love them but only bloom a few weeks. I plan on adding some here and there in my landscaping to add some color. I read some of the information available in the FAQ on lillies but am not clear on bloom times. Are there some that bloom earlier than others? Some that bloom most of the summer? Rebloomers? After they bloom and the foliage dies I cut mine down and then I have nothing where they are planted. I plan on planting some in my landscaping possibly behind a shrub rose or something so when they bloom and die back I'll have something else to look at. What do you all do?


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Asiatic lilies bloom earlier than trumpet and oriental lilies. If you plan it right you can have lilies blooming from spring, all through the summer.

I plant mine with my perrennials. The asiatics come up and bloom immediately after the daffodils. Then the trumpet lilies bloom when the coneflowers and the black-eyed susans, and the penstemon are blooming. So I just plant them in among the perrennials, with the trumpets in the very back because they usually get over 6 feet tall. I dig and divide my perennials about every 4 years, but I just leave my lilies where they are. They multiply and come up bigger and better each year. I leave the dead stalks on them so I don't dig them up accidentally. The stalks show me where they are. Of course you can use some other kind of indicator if you prefer. Don't plant your perrennials right on top of your lilies however, lilies don't like that much competition.

Some of the easiest lilies to grow are:

Agrippa - Pink with sherbet center
Endless Love - white
Grand Cru - yellow with dark copper center

Lilium Midnight strain - white inside, ruby outside
Lilium Copper king - beautiful coppery color, finest lily you can grow, in my opinion

Stargazer - dark pink
Golden stargazer - bright yellow
American west - yellow and mahogany
Casalbanca - white
orange giant - orange, of course

I would think that growing lilies among the roses would be a good thing to do as long as you never planned to dig either one. Since lilies do well in partial shade, they also can be grown with ferns and hostas. I grow most of mine in sun, however.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 5:10PM
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rdh1994(z5 IL)

Thanks so much for the information. When do the Oriental lily bloom... with the trumpets? I'm also glad to hear they like partial shade! Gives me more options! I will look up some of your suggestions. There are just so many available! Would you have a recommendation on where to purchase? Sometimes I find bulbs or rhizomes in stores but I don't trust them because they may not end up being what they advertise. I like to plant actual plants but don't have alot of availablity here.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 5:49PM
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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi Lora,

There are no reblooming or continuous blooming lilies but some have more buds and hence a longer bloom time. Trumpet lilies are good for that.

As Lainey's list indicates, the progression is, Asiatic - Trumpets -Orientals. There is a spread within each group. There are also hybrids between these groups that fill in the gaps.

The Lily Garden has a link for "bloom times" that will bring up a long list of lilies. But exact times vary with location and garden conditions.

Oriental and Trumpet lilies do better in part sun (4 or more hours of direct sun) than partial shade. They will grow in shade but with a reduced bud count.

Later blooming lilies won't leave bare spots in your garden like the Asiatics (since their foliage doesn't yellow until late), but lilies like to have cool roots and sunny buds and so shading by lower growing plants is good. I plant annuals among my lilies. They don't have deep roots systems and since they die at the end of the season I can add or move lilies without constraint.

Some of my combinations:

Lilium Speciosum "Rubrum" and Hybrid Oriental "Stargazer"

Lilium Speciosum is the latest Oriental (August - early September). It comes in a speckled pink called "Rubrum" and a white form Speciosum "Album". It's a species lily with a smaller more recurved bloom but otherwise similar to the hybrids. I interplant Rubrum with Stargazer which blooms early August and has a similar color (Rubrum is one of its "parents"). This extends the season in that bed. You could interplant "Album" with a white Oriental such as Casablanca to do the same thing.

"Elegant Lady" with Oriental Hybrid "Aruba"

Elegant Lady is a Longiflorum Oriental hybrid but maybe because its 3/4's longiflorum, it looks more like an easter lily than other LO hybrids I've seen. It has the most beautiful pearl pink color with an easter lily shape and a "tropical" scent very different from the Orientals. It's an early to mid June bloomer (mine started June 1 and will be finishing up soon) and is a moderate size (about 3 1/2 feet). Behind it I have a tall Oriental "Aruba" which is over 5 feet which blooms in mid July for me. It has very large pale pink (unspeckled blooms) carried well above the Elegant Lady foliage.

I also have less organized combinations of trumpets, species, and orientals, squeezed in wherever I can get them to grow well (my yard has a lot of shade). Since lilies can grow in non-ideal spots without dieing straight up - you can experiment and move them around if they're not working for you in one spot.


Here is a link that might be useful: bloom times

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 8:17PM
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I agree with Helen, the Lily Farm has excellent product and an amazing variety. I get most of my lilies from them, but occasionaly buy from Brent and Becky's and also from White Flower Farm. There are many more reputable dealers out there too.

Helen, I like your idea of planting the annuals among the lilies because you can do that after the lilies come up and you can see where the "new" growths are. I may do that next year. I'm planning to pull up the black-eyed Susans because they are too invasive. I'll probaby substitute annuals.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 10:39PM
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rdh1994(z5 IL)

Thank you Thank you! I loved the link you provided Helen. I bought a Oriental Stargazer today and a white Asiatic called Prince Favourite or Favourite Prince. Do Lilys ever have to be divided?


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 11:07PM
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I have a lily with the following characteristics:

green foiliage comes up in spring then dies down. A couple months later a shoot comes up and blooms. The bloom doesn't stay long. I have had one for years and this is the first year it has shot up two buds. Does anyone know what kind of lily this is? I would appreciate i.d. of this.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:57AM
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Yes, Lilies have to be divided every 2-5 years depending on variety and conditions. Asiatics multiply faster than other types of Lilies.
A picture would help, but I doubt that you are talking about true Lily. Maybe, you have a daylily?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:08AM
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philomena(z 5A NY)

bexter, what you have is likely a Lycoris squamigera - a "naked lily", or "surprise lily". They aren't true lilies, but are a member of the amaryllis family - check out the link below and see if that's the flower you have.

Here is a link that might be useful: naked lilies

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:38AM
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philomena(z 5A NY)

Just as a "you never can tell" regarding bloom times - this was an odd year for me. My Scheherazade's, which I purchased specifically (from the Lily Garden)to extend the bloomtime in my lily bed out thru August, are, this year, almost done ! They are usually only starting to bloom now - they looked fabulous, but my August will be bare of lilies this year. I think the extreme heat we had in my area in May and June accelerated the lily blooming. So, mother nature can often turn our careful planning on its ears :-)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:04AM
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Yep Philomena that is the one!! Thanks so much for being so quick on the draw!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 12:24PM
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