Oriental Lilies – The Queen Of Summer Gardens
Most people call many different plant species as “lily”. However, some of these plants they mistook as lilies do not really belong to the lily family.
The daylily, calla lily and surprise lily are not exactly “true lilies” at all. True lilies belong to the genus Lilium. They start from planted underground bulbs and produce large and beautiful blossoms in summer.
True lilies are versatile flowering plants that offer the gardener some of the most dazzling choices of beauty, color, fragrances, sizes and shapes of flowers that are so striking they always stand out. In gardens, they are frequently called the “grand dame” or “queen” of gardens.
What we are talking about is the Oriental lily. Here are some basic things you would like to know about the Oriental lily.
For its fragrance and the exuberance of its large blooms, the Oriental lily is the hands-down winner in a summer garden. Its sweetly-scented flamboyant blooms begin their show in mid to late summer. (This is the time the Asiatic hybrids are finishing their own bloom time.)
The blossoms are in splashy shades of white, pink, and crimson. The petals are spotted, brushed, or edged with darker or contrasting colors. Oriental hybrids are taller than the Asiatic hybrids (3 to 6 feet).
Each flower usually features an interplay of shades within the same color (the petal edge is lighter than the inner part). The flowers have 6 prominent anthers with pollen in them.
Among the lilies, Oriental lilies have extremely high commercial value (among the few other lily varieties) and are highly favored as commercial cut flowers.
The bulbs of Oriental hybrids should be planted in places where there is full sunlight for about four to six hours. They can also be planted in pots and placed indoors in well-lighted areas in the house.
The soil should be well-drained, fertile enough with plenty of organic compost added. Acidity should be maintained at around 5.6 to 6.5 pH. (Avoid fertilizing the soil itself.)
When planting in clumps, space the bulbs a foot away from each other. Mound the soil leaving only an inch of the bulb tip uncovered. Early mornings or late evenings are the best planting time. Water thoroughly.
Mulching of the soil is optional. Fertilize only once when the buds start to emerge. low nitrogen fertilizer is just fine.
When flowers bloom and wilt, remove the deadheads to encourage further blooms. If you want cut flowers from the blooms, cut half of the stalk. Never cut the foliage because it is needed to ensure the vitality of the plant. Do the cuttings early in the morning.
After the flowering season, continue watering until the stem and leaves become yellow. Prune the plant till the base.
You can leave the bulbs on the ground and multiply. Or, you can remove and store them until the next planting season.
After allowing them to dry naturally in a well-ventilated space, dust off with some germicidal powder and store in a mesh bag. Bulbs left on the ground should be divided every three years.
Oriental lilies, true to their being the queen of summer gardens, truly create some of the most dramatic and colorful impacts on your garden. You have to see the spectacle to believe it.
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