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Asiatic Lily - White
Photo by Alex W Yorkshire UK
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Lilium are classified into 9 divisions and many sub-divisions they are;
1) Asiatic hybrids
2) Martagon hybrids
3) Candidum hybrids
4) American hybrids
5) Longiflorum hybrids
6) Trumpet & Aurelian hybrids
7) Oriental hybrids
8) All hybrids not belonging to any other division.
9) All true species and there botanical forms and varieties.
Lilies are 'easy to grow' plants, they can be grown in borders, amongst shrubs, or in tubs.
They also make excellent cut flowers.
Growing Lilies in the Garden
Plant lily bulbs upon arrival, as they resent being allowed to dry out.
However, if when the bulbs arrive the ground is unworkable they should be stored in a mixture of sand and peat in a cool position until ready for planting.
Lilies prefer a position in good light with their roots in the shade.
They must have good drainage and a moist rich soil.
In general, a neutral soil is preferred (Ph. 6.5) and the soil should be enriched with leaf mould/peat.
Heavy soils should have plenty of coarse sand and grit worked in.
Plant the bulbs with a 4-5 inch (100-125mm) covering of soil, placing the bulb on a layer of coarse grit to prevent the bulb becoming waterlogged.
After planting mulch with leaf mould /peat, this should be repeated annually in the spring.
Some taller varieties of Lily may require support.
It is beneficial to remove flower heads after flowering.
Lilies resent being disturbed so they should he left 'insitu', possibly between3-5 years. They can be lifted and divided in late summer when the foliage has started to die down.
Growing Lilies in tubs
Plant the bulbs upon arrival.
When planting the bulbs in a container the bulbs must be at least 3 inches (75mm) apart and 2 inches (50mm) away from the side of the container.
Use a soil based compost such as John Innes No.1 with a little added peat.
It is preferable not to use a peat based composts, as they do not retain moisture adequately.
Cover the bulbs with 3-4 inches (75-100mm) of compost.
After potting water well, the compost must be kept moist but never waterlogged.
If the weather is still inclement the container may be stored in a cold frame, cold greenhouse or by plunging in the soil.
Otherwise, put into position remembering that the tub is best shaded, to avoid the roots becoming overheated.
The flowers will last longer if the roots are cool, it is important that they are frequently watered when in flower.
After flowering cut off the dead heads and liquid feed.
When the top growth has died down the Lily bulbs may be planted in the garden to establish themselves for future years or the container may be over wintered as mentioned previously.
If keeping the bulbs in the pot, the following spring, remove an inch or two of compost from the container and replace with new, repot every three years.