The Beautiful Asiatic Lily
Lilies are such beautiful flowers. They are just lovely in gardens and in bouquets alike. In fact, I had some very beautiful lilies in my wedding bouquet, and I think they about stole the whole show compared to other flowers!
This hub is to showcase these flowers in particular, as I have run across several in my life. These are a few I was able to capture with the camera. I will also share some basic information about these lovely flowers and how to grow them. I hope you enjoy!
Potted Lilies Make a Great Gift!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Information about Asiatic Lilies
Asiatic lilies are bulbous perennials, so they will come back year after year with some basic care. They can be tall, but there are several varieties. There is a huge range of lilies in general, and even with this specific kind of lily there is a large variety as you can see by these pictures. The botanical name is Lilium.
No matter what the lily, most are treated generally the same. That said, you want to follow the instructions that come with your lily when you purchase one. The best way to pick lilies for your own garden is to go with what you like, or what works for your garden space. You want to consider the amount of light as well.
Lilies bloom for about 4 to 6 weeks approximately. Depending on the variety, they can start blooming in June, July or August. You will find lily bulbs in stores in the springtime. They can be found in garden centers and by mail order catalogues.
The lilies are dug up after flowering, and after the foliage has matured as well. This allows enough time for them to be the least "stressed" for a big move. They are then sold immediately or put into a cold storage for the following spring.
One thing to keep in mind is that these bulbs aren't dormant when they are dug up. Nor at any time in their cycle. So this is the reason they need to be kept chilled. It is probably best to plant them immediately if possible when digging up your own. Many people do this in the month of August. To fellow nature lovers and gardeners, it would make such a nice little gift, though it won't look like much at this stage!
Once you get them into the grown in a spot you think they will like, they will live a long time and be dependable. I forgot once, that I threw some bulbs into a large pot in my back yard on a little porch. I truly forgot about them and got so busy. Do you know that they grew to be about 5 feet tall and produced some of the most amazing lilies? I wish I had some pictures of them to show here, they were simply stunning. They are pretty tough even when neglected sometimes.
The Best Site for Planting a Lily
I have had lilies grow well in many locations, but there are some that are better than others. If you are going to the effort to plant them anyway, make your effort really count to make your lilies the happiest they can be.
Ideally, you want the foliage of your lilies to receive full to half of the day sunlight, while the roots stay shaded and cool. This may sound like a strange set up but it really works. I remember planting some bulbs in and among some other plants, and I didn't think they would be too crowded. Turns out they grew fairly close together, but provided for this exact situation described. They have come back faithfully year after year with no effort at all. I simply need to dig them up one of these years to separate them out and share some.
You want the soil to be well prepared with somewhat rich soil that won't quickly become depleted of nutrients. You will want the soil to not remain soggy but to have adequate drainage.
When planting these flowers, you want to plant them at least 9 to 15 inches apart. They will grow and spread. They ought to be planted about 6-8 inches deep, generally speaking. This will allow them room to grow and spread out.
Dividing Your Lilies, and Fertilizing them
The best thing to do is to get into a habit of dividing your lilies every year. It is a good general rule and will provide you with many happy flowers year after year. If you leave them in place too long, the flowering and growth of the lilies will naturally decline. If you have waited a long time, and you see such a decline, it is probably overdue.
You can divide your lilies after they flower, but before the leaves turn yellow. For newer lilies, it may take even a year or two for them to put out their first flowers. This has happened to me, and I thought I did something wrong. With some patience, you will see some beautiful flowers in time!
Some recommend that even if you don't divide your lilies, they can benefit from being fertilized some. I have heard of people doing a dusting of a 5-10-10 fertilizer in the spring. I use a liquid fertilizer that is diluted with water and meant for flowers in general. This may be wrong, but I have had good luck with my lilies. I can tell however, it is time to dig them up and divide them as it has been a very long time since I have! I want them to come back year after year, and be able to share them as well.
Staking Your Lilies If Needed
Sometimes you will get a variety that is very happy where it is and grows very tall. The last thing you want is for the lilies to come crashing down under their own weight. If you need to stake your lilies, and generally varieties that grow 18 inches or taller will need this, then one stake will do the trick. When you do stake your flower, make sure to put the stake a fair distance from the bulb underground to not harm it. Three inches away is pretty good, to be safe Some gardeners do this when the plant reaches about a half of the expected height. Anytime is a good time however, once you realize you need the stake.
I have found there is no need to spend a lot of money on stakes. I have used sticks for this purpose, which is basically what some of the ones you purchase often turn out to be. It keeps a more natural look as well. If you have ever grown your own lilies or other favorite flowers, I would love to hear about them below if you care to share. Happy gardening!