Liles are one of the most striking and beautiful plants in the garden, and most gardeners will work with these beautiful plants at least once or twice in their lives. Lilies can add beauty and drama to any garden, and they are very popular flowers for indoor display as well. Lilies are popular in many contexts, from giving a beautiful contrast to a winter rock garden, to providing a beautiful accent to surrounding shrubs and trees.
No matter how the lily is displayed, and whether it is enjoyed indoors or out, there are some important things to know about these wonderful plants. This article focuses on some of the most frequently asked questions about choosing, planting, caring for and enjoying lilies.
- When should I plant my lilies?
The best time to plant lilies is in either the spring or fall of the year. Regardless of the time of year, however, it is important to get the bulbs in the ground as soon as possible after purchasing them. Unlike many other types of bulbs, lily bulbs do not store well.
- What is the difference between a daylily and a garden lily?
The plant known to gardeners as the garden lily is grown from a bulb, but the plant known as the daylily actually grows from a corm. In addition, the daylily contains many leaves that grow from the corm, but the garden lily contains only one shoot that contains leaves. That shoot grows directly from the bulb.
How deep should lily bulbs be planted?
The general rule of thumb for many types of bulbs, including lily bulbs, is to plant them three times as deep as the bulbs are wide. For instance, a two inch wide lily bulb would be planted to a depth of six inches In addition, lilies should be planted in groups for the best effect when they bloom. It is a good idea to dig a hole to the proper depth, then plant several bulbs together in that hole.
- How do I propagate lilies?
Garden lilies are best propagated through breaking off a few of their scales in the spring or fall and planting them approximately one inch deep. Daylilies can be propagated by dividing the corms and planting them. In addition, some lilies will produce bulbils, which may appear to be black or dark green seeds. These bulbils are found at the point at which the lily leaf meets the stem. Even though these bulbils are not really seeds, they can be planted, and they will emerge within two or three years of planting.
- Should I cut back my lily after it has finished blooming?
After the lily has bloomed, it is best to remove only the stem itself. That is because garden lilies will continue to feed off their foliage, and lilies that are left to die off naturally tend to grow better the next year. On the other hand, daylilies usually bloom for longer periods of time. The blooming season of daylilies can be extended if the gardener deadheads the blooms and cuts back the stems. After the blooming season is over, the foliage on the daylily should be allowed to die back naturally.
- Can Easter lilies be planted outside?
Many people are interested in planting their Easter lilies outside, and it is fine to attempt that. The main problem with Easter lilies is that they do not bloom naturally at Easter time. Easter lilies are actually forced to bloom at that time of year by the florist. This forced blooming can make it harder for the lily to grow properly once it is transplanted.
If you plan to transplant your Easter lily after you have enjoyed it outside, the following steps will help increase your chances of its survival.
- Plant the lily in a sunny spot using well drained soil
- Use a good, high quality planting mix
- Plant the bulbs three inches under the surface of the soil and also place an additional three inches of soil on the top
- Allow enough space for the lily to spread its roots
- Water the newly transplanted lily thoroughly