help with lily blooming times with different varieties

arylkin(5b, south of Chicago)July 9, 2013

I have a area in my garden which I'm planning to put a number of lilies in the fall. I've ordered a few tall orienpet lilies from Holland Bulbs for the fall, which are supposed to grow to 6-8 feet in a few years. I'm wondering what people do with different varieties of lilies. Ideally, I'd like to prolong the blooming as long as possible with combining different varieties. I've been reading about asiatics (which seem to have been in bloom in my area from about 2 weeks ago), stargazer lilies, oriental lilies, trumpet lilies, etc.

Can any lily experts give me a general idea of which order the different lilies bloom in their gardens? I guess it technically doesn't matter, I could just buy a bunch of different varieties in the fall and plant them all and see what happens next year, hoping for a long show. It would just be nice to have an idea on when the different ones bloom to coordinate the different flowers in the garden.

I ordered three varieties of orienpets, but am planning on buying the other lily varieties in garden centers in the fall. In your experience are there a number of different lily varieties available in the big box stores in the fall (orientals, asiatics, stargazers)?

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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

This site may help answer your questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: North American Lily Society

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 11:11PM
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arylkin(5b, south of Chicago)

Thanks so much, that site is wonderful!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 8:59AM
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IME, most retail centers - and that includes the box stores as well as most nurseries and garden centers - offer lilies in spring, not fall. If you want fall selection, it is best to get that from lily specialty nurseries online or by mail order.

However, in spring in my area most retail outlets offer a good selection of a variety of lily types.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 6:25PM
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arylkin(5b, south of Chicago)

Huh, I assumed they would be available in the fall, that's too bad. I guess we'll see...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Here in my zone, lily bulbs (and fresh stock - not unsold left-overs) would become available in the fall for planting just about right away because the soil is cooling and still workable.

If I planted an Oriental or Asiatic lily bulb in the spring, I might have a complete failure, or maybe a bit of foliage, but it would be another season or two for a bloom on any spring planted survivor. That has been my experience: YMMV.

So arylkin - check around beginning mid September into early October. The big boxes, Lowes, Home Depot, Menards and the nurseries should have them - even feed & grain stores sometimes have big bins full of nice bulbs.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 5:00PM
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arylkin(5b, south of Chicago)

Thanks duluthinbloom! That's what I was hoping for, so I'll keep an eye out. :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:58AM
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I'd be very skeptical about buying lily bulbs in September for fall planting. Unless it is a local grower, you can bet those bulbs were harvested late last fall and held over until this season. Lily foliage is seldom fully ripe by September and the bulbs are not yet ready for harvesting. Local lily growers (several of the largest mail order sources in the country) do not even begin shipping for fall until late October.

And since lily bulbs are not benefitted at all by being held in cold storage for the better part of a year, I'd wait until you can get relatively fresh bulbs in spring.

From the American Lily Society: There was a time when we were advised to plant lilies only in the fall. Many people believe that fall is still the best time to put in bulbs. However, with newly perfected storage methods, lily bulbs may be carried through the winter in excellent condition and arrive in the spring for planting as crisp and turgid as if freshly dug. It is also very difficult to receive adequately matured bulbs from commercial sources in time for fall planting in most areas. Plant as soon as the ground is workable in the spring, and in just a few weeks the fat âÂÂnosesâ of your lilies will come poking up. It wonâÂÂt be any time at all before your garden is full of fragrant lilies!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:50PM
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arylkin(5b, south of Chicago)

Thanks for the tip! Is there any way to know if lily bulbs are fresh? I would like to plant some this fall, and I'm hoping to not have to order online.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:53PM
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