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New to Oriental Lilies

Posted by thisismelissa z4a-S Twin Cities MN (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 27, 10 at 20:51

Hi y'all.
I have been growing Asiatics for the last 2 years, as well as 1 trumpet and wanted to extend the bloom schedule of my garden so I've purchased some bags of Orientals and Orienpets.

I'm told that Orientals are a little more picky than Asiatics, but I'd like some more info on that. I'm in zone 4a... about 20 miles south of Minneapolis. My soil is a well drained (somewhat sandy) loam.

I've purchased Casablanca, Scheherazade, Yelloween, and Arena. Can you tell me what additional care I would need to provide these lovlies?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New to Oriental Lilies

I haven't grown the last two but for me Casa Blanca is one of the orientals that seems to be more tolerant of my growing conditions. As for Scheherazade it is one of my absolute favorites. What's not to love about a lily with 40 or more blooms? Here it took a year or two to settle in and really show it's stuff.
In general, orientals prefer a somewhat acidic soil, but you don't want to add to much peat moss or it can keep the bulbs to wet. Casa Blanca has been in my garden for about 15 years and is one of the few orientals to come back reliably. Many of them simply fade away after a few years. Combination of a soil ph of 7 and the relatively short growing season which keeps bulbs from storing up sufficient energy for continued growth and bloom.
Scheherazade has responded very well to yearly top dressing with compost and a little bulb food.

RE: New to Oriental Lilies

Orientals are more fussy about having good drainage than Asiatics, so your sandy soil will work to your advantage. Unfortunately for me, Orientals fade away down here and after a couple of years no longer make a showing. Orienpets (Orientals crossed with Trumpets) do manage to survive my southern heat and clay soil though.

I grow both Yelloween and Scheherazade in my extremely well amended clay soil, and both of them have been returning for the past four years. The more years I top dress my beds with compost and shredded leaves the happier they seem to be.

With Scheherazade, I started with three bulbs and only the one I put in in a spot which gets lots of morning sun and little afternoon and evening sun made it. Of course, I'm down where extremely long summers of blasting heat can be a problem. Four years later, my one surviving bulb is a fairly big clump with about five large stems and many smaller babies. I'll be dividing it this fall after everything dies back. Scheherazade has very attractive blooms and is a favorite.

Scheherazade with Backlighting

Yelloween is another Orienpet that I haven't managed to kill off yet. :oP For a while, it was multiplying quite well, but I made the mistake of putting them in a bed that was much too small for the number of plants in it. I had my lilies very close to phlox and daylilies that needed more water during the dry parts of our summer. I think I watered Yelloween too much for their taste keeping the other plants alive and their numbers declined. They are another attractive one though.



I think I'm going to try to lay off buying Orientals since I've had bad luck with them, but the Orienpets seem quite a bit more forgiving in my region.

Here are some of the Orientals I've killed.




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