Friday, August 6, 2010


The lily season ends with a real show when late-blooming ORIENTAL LILIES start to bloom!  They are intensely fragrant flowers, that can often reach up to 10 inches across with usually flat, or recurved blooms.  (Trumpet-shaped Orientals have been introduced fairly recently--called Oriental-Trumpet Orientals.  They have the best qualities of their parents--upward-facing blooms with intense fragrance)! Lilies can range from 2 feet to 8 feet tall; the taller ones usually need to be staked.  Lilies make spectacular cut flowers.  When cutting, make sure that they have at least two buds that are open, indicating  that you aren't cutting them too soon for adequate bloom.  Cut as short a stem as possible, though, to leave as much of the foliage on the plants to feed next year's blooms.  (I like to recut the stems under water when I am making an arrangement to ensure long-life in the vase).  Be careful with their anthers--they can stain skin and fabric.  Sometimes I snip off the anthers in my arrangements, but I think they do add a certain amount of beauty to the bloom.  Lily bulbs are fleshy, don't allow them to dry out; plant them as soon as you get them. Moreover, you can bruise or damage them fairly easily, so be a little careful with them when planting.  What I really like about Oriental Lilies is that you can use them in areas that you don't have a lot of room, because they grow up, not out.  They usually don't increase too much, like an Asiatic lilies do, so even in small, or full gardens, it's pretty easy to make room for them.  You can plant them in fall or spring I prefer fall.  (When planting in fall, however, make sure you plant a month before the average first fall frost date. That way the bulbs will have time to root).  Plant the bulbs 6-9" deep, depending on the size of the bulb.  Plant in clumps of three to five for a great effect, and mark them so you won't accidentally dig into them.  Deadhead them when the flowers start to fade--letting the plants go to seed takes energy away from the bulbs (and next year's growth).  In fall, cut the stalks to the ground.  I've had some that are vigorous and long-lived, but I've also had others that didn't come back after a few years.  But, because they are relatively inexpensive, and they are such great, showy flowers, I continue to replace them.  This year I've already ordered about 15 more!  They are one of my favorite flowers!  If you want a good site to order from, I like B&D LILIES, out of Washington.  Now is the time to order for fall shipment.  When you order online, you save 10% right now.  Go to  I think you'll be pleased with their selection.  The collages show favorite Oriental Lilies in my garden--I especially like BIG ones, and most of these are 7-10" across.  (I've put their names on the pictures if you're interested in what their names are).
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

No comments:

Post a Comment