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Lilies PDF Print E-mail

lilijas Lilies are one of the royal flowers, which have the special, distinctive aura around them in their flower court.  They wind around the months of June, July, August and the late ones even the beginning of September with their eloquence. It is very pleasant to sense the lily aroma when walking through the garden in a warm summer evening, and at the end to see the beauty itself.

For the lilies to bloom more and more gorgeous through the years, it is very important to find the appropriate growing place. It should be the place where lilies or similar plants have not been grown. It is recommended to plant them in an open place, where the morning sun rays quickly reach the lilies and morning dew is dispersed by the wind. The open place prevents spreading of the grey mould Botrytis, hence most often densely planted and wind-protected plantations are suffering from this disease. After four to five years, it is possible to plant the lilies again in the same place. The requirements for soil for each group of lilies are different, but the new hybrids adapt well to growing in not so characteristic soils. Asian lilies like slightly acid (pH 5.5-6.5) soils, trumpet lilies want neutral (pH 7, but they will grow also from pH 6.5 to 7.5), martagon lilies like soils with pH 6.8–7.5. Lilies have to be planted in well-drained, timely fertilized, friable, compost-rich soil, where no water is accumulating after the rain. It is important that the soil is relatively clean from perennial weeds, ground-elders, and dandelions. Therefore it is good to prepare the soil already in the spring, seeding there some green manure plants - mustard or fodder radish. If the area is small, as often it is the case with the home gardens, and the green manure plants can not be afforded, the lilies will grow well in the place where calendulas and marigolds have been growing before.

The best time for transplanting lilies is the middle of September, when the nutrients have been accumulated and warm days are still ahead, allowing plants to root in the soil. When transplanting the lilies, it is important not to dry the roots. Optimum planting depth is three bulb depths. After the planting, the flower beds are mulched with humus or leafs. This is especially important for trumpet lilies which can die in freezing conditions. Use of fruit tree leafs is not recommended, as the diseases can spread.

In summers, watering of lilies is not very necessary because they can sustain longer periods of draught. Less moist on the leafs, the better it is. If lilies are watered, then it should be done rarely but thoroughly.

Lilies like warm head but cold feet. The cut grass can be used for mulching the lily beds, in a small layer of 5-10 cm. Using the grass mulch, the moisture is preserved in the soil and the spreading of the weeds is restricted, which is important in the haste of summer works. Later, when the grass mulch is being decomposed, the beds have to be aerated repeatedly.

The grey mould is the most widespread disease for lilies. The cool nights and hot, moisture days are favoring the spread of the disease. The brown spots with red edges appear on the lily leafs, which later spread to the stem and blossoms. For prevention of grey mould, fungicides should be used. As soon as the signs of grey mould appear on a leaf, these leafs should be taken out of the garden and destroyed. A rather good measure to limit the grey mould is the wood ash, which is mildly applied after the rain or when the leafs are moist.

Fusariosis is another common disease among lilies. The roots and the basal of the bulb become brown and start to rot, the overground part stops to grow. The sick bulbs have to be dug out together with the soil, and, if the disease has damaged the bulb significantly, the bulb must be destroyed. If the damage is not substantial, the bulb can be disinfected in the potassium permanganate liquid and planted in a new place.

Virus diseases are common and devastating for lilies. The virus infections often are carried with borer-type vermin, such as aphids, thrips and whiteflies. Virus infections show up as spots and lines in the lily blossoms. The symptoms are most clearly seen in two-colored lilies. The virus diseases are not possible to cure, infected plants should be destroyed without mercy.