When, Where and How to Plant Your Lilies Lily bulbs may be planted in the fall, usually from September through mid-October. When buying locally, select firm, plump bulbs with roots attached. Plant them as soon as possible. Bulbs never go completely dormant so they must not dry out before planting. Asiatic and Oriental lilies grow best in full sunlight. They need six to eight hours of direct sunlight in order to perform well. They'll grow taller, more spindly, and floppier in reduced light. Martagon hybrids, a group of turk's-cap lilies, are prized for their ability to bloom well in shadier conditions. For best effect, plant lilies in groups of three or five identical bulbs. Space them eight to twelve inches apart, depending on the vigor and size of the lilies, keeping groups three to five feet apart. Plant small lily bulbs two to four inches deep and large bulbs four to six inches deep, measuring from the top of the bulb. Container planting; For best results plant them 4-6 inches deep (from top of the bulb) in at least 14 inches pot preferably Peshawari broad based type.
Never plant lilies where standing water collects after heavy rainfall. Well-drained soil is an absolute must. Add lots of organic matter to clay soil to create a raised area with improved drainage. Incorporate organic matter into light, sandy soil also, to help hold onto nutrients and prevent it from drying too rapidly.
Fertilize the soil before planting with a phosphorus-rich formula such as 5–10–10. Slow-release fertilizers work well. 40 gm of Nitrogen per 100 sq feet is the rule of thumb.
Lilies usually have few pests, slugs can be a menace to emerging shoots. Aphids – small sucking insects – can also cause problems for flower buds. Carefully wash the affected plants with water sprayed forcefully from your garden hose to remove aphids. Botrytis blight, a fungal disease, causes reddish-brown leaf spots and is often the result of damp weather or evening watering. (When you water at night, the leaves often stay wet until the sun comes out and dries them the following morning, encouraging foliar diseases.) Whenever possible, water early in the day, or water at the base of the plant rather than over head. Adequate spacing between clusters of lilies also promotes good air circulation and may help prevent disease. Deadhead flowers as they fade, by breaking them off carefully. That way, none of the plant's energy is “wasted” on seed production (you will have enough bulb-lets). Do not remove stems or foliage. They'll continue to put energy into the bulb as long as they remain green. Dig out the bulbs, as the stem dries, do not cut roots, wash, dip in fungicide solution, store in plastic boxes in moist coco/peat. Keep it in refrigerator at 10C until planting time. Chilling induces early flowering. If left in the soil the bulb may rot, sprout late and bloom in May, when it is so hot that flowers look faded and have a short life.
Bulbs chilled and planted on 25th of September started blooming on 26th November (after 8 weeks).
Bulbs chilled and planted on 1st Nov. Started Blooming by 20th of Feb (after 11 weeks).
Those left in the pot as on 16th of March,
These bulbs bloomed in mid-May,
The bulbs and bulb lets were removed as the stem dried;
The confectionary box I use for storage;
Observation 6 inches of well composted and fertilised growing media on top of the bulb is a must, this six inches of stem in the soil develops roots which provide all the nourishment to the plant, some thick stem plants having up to four flowers had only an inch thick bulb. Roots under the bulb are for development of bulb. A little over watering after the drying of stem, will set in rot . Any specific questions? Arif
Lilium is grown by many, mostly as an annual as bulbs are hard to preserve. I am experimenting and learning a lot, I will keep upgrading as I learn more about the plant. This year I have been able to get only two new varieties, both oriental.
Easter Lillies require the same treatment as listed above i.e. the corms should be taken out in 1st week of May and placed in the refrigerator till September and then taken out.
A very comprehensive note which only require the mentioning of dates when these corms should be taken out of pots or beds for refrigeration. Based on my past experience they should be refrigerated from May till September. These can only be chilled by placed them in plastic crates in a commercial ice chilling sites where ice is prepared who charge a lump sum amount crate wise.
Izhar wrote:I called some and found that this year lilium was not available in Lahore seed shops...
Only one person imports and supplies all shops. He imports limited quantities of the cheapest available to him. Once I am sure they can be cultivated successfully, they can be directly imported (the basic reason for my requests for in-puts).