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Newbie height question

Posted by robiniaquest z6 MO (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 4, 07 at 14:38

I am a total newbie to lilies, just having planted my first ones in mid spring to early summer. I have been really excited to see all of these pop up and open, but I'm wondering about how well they are doing on the lily success scale.

My trumpets (leucanthum) reached a height of 1-2.5 ft, some putting out 1 or 2 big, gorgeous blooms, some not blooming at all.

My orientals (casa blanca and starfighter) have reached only between 9" and 14", but are blooming or setting buds. I think the Casa Blanca blooms might be small - only about 4.5 inches - but I have never seen them in real life before.

My L. rubrums have topped out at about 10" and are full of little buds.

And my mini oriental, Souvenir, only reached about 5" tall!!! But, it is blooming beautifully. Lots of buds, but blooms only about 3".

Since my asiatics and Easter lilies were bought potted, I am assuming they are normal size - about 12"-18".

I know they are not supposed to reach their full potential in the first season, but are these sizes a bit on the small size? Am I possibly doing something wrong in terms of siting, culture, etc? Or could it be due to late planting? (Some went in pretty late, like mid-June). Will they be likely to do better next year?

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RE: Newbie height question

  • Posted by hld6 z7 MD (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 7, 07 at 1:41

None of these sizes are anywhere near to "normal". Leucanthum, easily gets to 5', Rubrum, Casa Blanca, and Starfighter should be about 4' -5'. Potted lilies are actually the least likely to be normal size since greenhouses use growth inhibitors to keep them a shorter size either for shipping to the nursery trade or manageable for indoor display (Easter Lily).

Your bulb purchases are probably unusually small because of their late planting. Lilies are ideally planted in the Fall though you can do early spring. Mid Summer is WAY late. You also don't tell me how large the bulbs were (immature bulbs send up immature plants). Even large bulbs planted in Fall or early Spring need a season to establish.

As far as siting and culture, make sure they get some direct sun for at least part of the day (~ 4 hours) and are planted in well drained soil.

Luckily lilies are pretty forgiving - they should come back fine next year. Once they are in their full glory you'll be hooked. So don't worry about the "Lily Success Scale" now - worry about the "Lily Addiction" you're going to get later! :)


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