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Any luck with Madonna Lilies?

Posted by magnumv8 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 27, 06 at 19:50

Just got 2 bulbs from Bluestone Perennials. How deep should I plant the bulbs?

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RE: Any luck with Madonna Lilies?

  • Posted by hld6 z7 MD (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 28, 06 at 18:33

Unlike other lilies, lilium candidum needs to be planted very shallowly. The top of the bulb should be no more than 1.5" below the soil. Also, different from other lilies, candidum prefers alkaline soil.
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In the winter you should see a rosette of leaves appear. In the spring a stalk will emerge (and the rosette of leaves will die off). This was my second season. The first I only got the rosette. The second I got the rosette in the winter and a stalk (without flowering). I'm hoping this coming third season that the bulbs will have gotten large enough to flower.

My understanding is that the bulbs available commercially are a little smaller than blooming size. Candidum is also resistant to virus and hence can act as a carrier.

I'm also growing some candidum from seed that are doing quite well. They have very healthy rosettes now (I planted out tiny bublets last fall). They may even overtake the bulbs I bought. If so, I may ditch my bulbs if they don't perform well this spring.


RE: Any luck with Madonna Lilies?

One thing about Lilium candidum is that they need to be kept fairly dry after flowering, that is, when they are dormant. Summer wetness does them harm. They should also have good very drainage to prosper.

RE: Any luck with Madonna Lilies?

I've had a Madonna lily in one bed for maybe 10 + years, where a tree has overgrown it. It's been very neglected, as this whole shrubby garden corner was neglected. Still it bloomed every year, though leaning out from under the juniper tree. I've decided to move it (that corner is being re-landscaped next spring) but wonder if it should be in a similarly "neglected" spot. My main garden is comparatively moist: I have a part shade garden that is on a slight slope and much drier. Would this be a better spot?

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