Planting Guide - Lily Bulbs
Growing Lilies in Your Garden
We are proud to offer three different types of lilies: Asiatic, Tiger and Oriental lilies. Knowing a little about each variety can help you script when your lilies will bloom. Asiatic lilies bloom first in early to mid-summer. Plant a single color Asiatic variety like Dimension or Black Out for a stunning, monochromatic look. For a splash of varied colors, choose our Asiatic Mix.
Up next is our variety of Tiger lilies which stand 36” – 48” tall and have large, freckled blooms with deeply curved petals. We offer the beautifully exotic Tigrinum splendens or a Tiger Bulb Mix that produce a dozen or more flowers on each stem. The season ends with our selection of the cultivated beauty Oriental lily. Intensely fragrant with huge blossoms in both single and double layers of petals, Oriental lilies are showy in the garden and in a vase. Favorites include Casablanca, Sweet Rosy, and Stargazer.
When & How to Plant Lily Bulbs
Before you plant your Lily, choose a sunny spot. Well-drained soil is a must for lilies to do their best, so choose a location that drains well after a rain. If planting in heavy clay, try mixing Perlite or sand with the native soil to create raised beds 8 to 10 inches above ground level.
Lilies do best in full sun but they can tolerate some shade. Provide at least 6 hours of sun, and dappled shade in warm areas is appreciated.
Lilies look very nice when planted in groups of 3-5 bulbs, spaced about 12 inches apart so they have room to grow. Smaller or dwarf lily bulb varieties should be planted 2 to 4 inches deep, and larger lily bulb varieties should be planted 6-inches deep. Space each group about 3 to 4 feet apart so they can grow to their full mature size. Plant Lily bulbs 2 to 4 inches deeper in areas where daily temperatures average over 90F.
The soil should remain moist. Watering a substantial amount once a week is usually more desirable than a few light sprinklings during the week. Use mulch to control weeds and maintain even ground moisture. During the hot months of course watch your soil and do not let it dry out. Water as needed.
If your soil needs amendment, fertilize the lily garden in the early spring. 5-10-10 is usually a good choice.
By carefully blending early, mid-season, and late varieties into your garden, you will enjoy their magnificent blooms from spring through frost.
During the flowering season, remove spent blooms but try not to cut off more than a third of the stem, which can reduce the plant’s vigor and longevity. By not cutting off the entire stem, the plant is able to store the energy needed to bulb the following season.
Both Asiatic and Oriental lilies make great cut flowers. If you intend to enjoy your lilies strictly indoors, consider planting them in a designated cutting garden, where you can plant fresh bulbs each year.
Preparing Lily Bulbs for Next Season
You must place an insulating layer of mulch over all Oriental and OT Hybrids where gardens are subject to deep freezes, especially if a good snow cover is lacking or not expected. A good layer of mulch may consist of 8 to 12 inches of straw, hay, tree boughs, or other fluffy material. Avoid compacted leaves or grass clippings, this will hold too much moisture and possibly rot the bulbs in spring. Asiatic and Tiger lilies do not generally need extra protection.
Warmer climates in USDA Zones 8 – 11 need no protection over their lily bulbs throughout the winter months.