If there is such a thing as foolproof flowers, lilies must be at the top of the list. Add their beauty, large size, and sometimes even fragrance to their ease of culture and you have a winner every time.
There are new Oriental/Trumpet hybrids available that transcend their parents. The parents are the fragrant Oriental lilies and the tall and large flowered Regal trumpet lilies. The flowers on the new hybrids are huge atop three to five feet tall stems. Fragrance is an added bonus. These lilies are often called Orienpet. They bloom in early summer.
The pink and white Orienpet shown here is Lilium ‘Anastasia’. The first year the bulbs produced a single flower. This year, as you can see from the photograph, there is a lovely cluster with more buds to open. I also love the old-fashioned white Regal lily. Both lilies will benefit from staking since summer rains will often weight the flower heads down.
If pink or white doesn’t fit into your garden color scheme, there are plenty of other colors to choose. You can find orange, red, rust, and yellow as well as light and dark shades of pink.
Oriental lilies are another easy to grow spectacle. Two of my favorites are ‘Star Gazer’ and ‘Muscadet.’
Plant lily bulbs deep, 10 inches, so that they stay cool. This also promotes stronger stems. Be careful not to break off the “scales,” as you plant them with the pointy side up. Add compost or well conditioned manure to the tops of your lily beds every fall after they die down. To get the best flowers, feed them every year to build strong bulbs and leave their foliage on until it turns yellow in the fall.
Most of these lilies are hardy in USDA Zones 3 or 4 – 9.
Posted June 7, 2013.
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