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There’s no better way to bring vibrant beauty to your garden than to start a bed of lilies. They’re noted for their hardiness, prolific long-lasting flowers, disease resistance, and ability to multiply rapidly. One of the most spectacular perennials, they provide constant color in the garden from early summer to September. Any of the varieties can be planted together in a bed or can be interspersed throughout the garden to brighten dull spots. Lilies can be planted in containers as well.
Lilies are very popular among florists for upscale bouquets and wedding arrangements. The long, strong stems of all varieties make them ideal for cutting.
Asiatic Lilies: The first lilies to bloom each season, versatile Asiatics are great for beds and borders, especially when planted by shrubs, walls, or fences. These long-lasting flowers are perfect for patio containers and indoor bouquets. Standard Asiatics produce multiple blooms on a 24"–36" stem in early to mid-summer, while Asiatic Dwarf Pixie Lilies bloom on 18" stems. Plant 6"–12" apart.
L.A. Hybrid Lilies: These are a cross between the Longiflorum and Asiatic Lilies, possessing the best qualities of both. They flower longer, like the Easter Lily, and have sturdier petals that can handle wind and rain much better than Asiatics. It's the Asiatics, though, that bring the variety in colors. L.A. Hybrid Lilies are very strong and have a terrific vase life. Their flowers are also larger than Asiatic Lilies. They bloom on 2'–3 1/2' stems in June/July. Plant 6"–12" apart.
Mixed Tiger Lilies: A unique variety that shines in the mid-summer garden as well as in cut-flower arrangements. Flowers are up to 4" across and speckled with purple-black spots on curved petals. Hardy bulbs multiply annually and are perfect for naturalizing in borders and beds. Plant 9"–12" apart in full sun to partial shade. Multi-floral stems grow 3'–4' tall.
Trumpet Lilies: Hardy and long-lasting Trumpet Lilies fill the early summer garden with glorious fragrance and eye-catching color. A balanced mixture of these pink, yellow, white, and salmon blooms is lovely in bouquets. These easy-to-care-for plants multiply every year. Plant top quality bulbs 9"–12" apart in full sun to partial shade. Spectacular variety grows 4'–6' tall.
Oriental Lilies: This includes Stargazer Lilies and the Oriental Rubrum species. Enjoy an incredible display of the largest and most fragrant of all lilies. Each stem produces beautiful 5"–6" blooms that appear in shades of pink, red, and white in late summer. Strong, graceful stems grow 36"–48". Plant 12" apart.
Orienpet Lilies: Bred for American gardens, Orienpet Lilies are the newest and most spectacular members of the lily family. These bulbs are a cross between Oriental and Trumpet Lilies — a breakthrough in lily hybridizing. In late August and beyond, they will produce vigorous and extremely sturdy 1" diameter stems that grow 4-1/2'–5'tall. Each stem will bear 8 or more 7"–9" fragrant flowers in shades of yellow, red, gold, and various red/yellow combinations, many with striking markings of stars and various splashes on petals. Plant 12" apart.
Lilies do well in most garden soils, but for optimum results, improve your soil as follows: