Lilies are a fantastic way to bring color to your garden. There are many types of lilies and some are better suited for different climates. If you are adding lilies to your master plan, be sure to obtain the right ones for your area.
I’ll break this blog entry into bloom times since that is what most of you want to know. The color, height and scent of the lilies will vary widely depending on the hybrid. I recommend you read about each type before you buy them and have areas of the garden with large numbers of each. By massing the bulbs or plants, you can create splashes of color.
The first of the lilies to bloom are in this group. There is a wide range of height and some varieties can range from 1 to 6 feet. These lilies start blooming in spring and continue into summer. They have ridgid straight stems and multiple flowers, but most don’t have any appreciable scent. They must go through a cold period so they are suited well for northern climates. If you want to grow them in warmer areas, dig them up and chill them at about 40F for the winter months before planting them in spring.
These are hybrids between Easter lilies and Asiatic lilies. They are early bloomers and grow quite quickly reaching up to 4 feet tall. They do have some scent, but check the label carefully as some are more fragrant than others.
Aurelian hybrids or Trumpet Lilies are a derivative of the Asiatic species. The flowers are trumpet shaped or droop and many have a pleasing scent.
These come from Japanese hybrids and are the most fragrant and I think the most desirable. They are susceptible to the red lily beetle. These plants will flower from mid to late summer and the fragrance can fill an entire yard. There are dwarf types which stay as small as a foot and larger ones which may need to be staked. I have some in my garden which have reached over 6 feet tall.
I think these are the work horse of the summer garden. If you buy the right varieties, you can have daylilies flowering in your garden for three months or even longer. Each bud opens and flowers for a day, but because each plant has so many bud, they can flower for several weeks. Some of the types even will repeat bloom, but the first flush of flowers is usually the best. These plants come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, and bloom from late spring to fall. The size of the flowers also varies wildly from just an inch or two for the miniatures to 12 inches or more with some of the larger ones. Most of the blooms seem to be around the 5 to 6 inch range. There are daylilies which are also fragrant.
There is one type of lily that is suited for the shade. Turk’s cap, or the martagon lily, have flowers in which the petals face down. Because of this I find you must plant them in mass or the blooms get lost in the garden. The plants can get quite tall and reach heights of 7 feet in moist well drained soil with partial sunshine. They will not flower quite as profusely in the shade.
The video below shows you some of the lilies in my own garden. Follow me @growingwisdom on Twitter to ask a question.