This page contains much of the planting instructions we included with each order when lilies were sold here.
We always ship the largest bulbs available. Average size for orientals is 16/18 cm, asiatics & LA’s 12/16 cm. (These measurements indicate the circumference of the bulb.) Many bulbs are naturally smaller, and some are naturally larger. Often we will place an extra bulb in the bag if we feel the particular variety is a little on the small side. Each bulb is labeled on the bag, indicating the same basic information you will find on the variety page including height, bloom time and color. Bulbs are packed in vermiculite, sawdust or peat moss, which can be mixed with the soil at planting time.
It is your responsibility to inspect all bulbs upon arrival and to notify the supplier immediately of any problems.
Your lilies arrive ready to plant into their permanent homes. If you are unable to plant immediately upon their arrival, store them in a cool, dry place. A cold room or unheated garage works well, a refrigerator is ideal, however, you should never store flower bulbs of any kind in the same place as fruits & veggies. Fruits & veggies give off an ethylene gas, which can be detrimental to the health & vigor of your bulbs. Be sure to poke a hole in each bag if you intend to store them longer than 3-5 days, this allows gases the bulbs give off to escape.
- Keep in mind the height and particular variety requirements when choosing a site for your lilies.
- Lilies prefer light, well-drained soil, a little bit on the acidic side. Mixing peat moss in the hole at planting time, and top-dressing around the lilies with peat moss will add acidity, as will used coffee grounds. They will be quite happy without peat, providing the soil is not too heavy. Be sure to mix the peat well with native soil before placing the bulb.
- Dig a hole at least 5 inches deep, deeper if the bulb is quite large. The rule of thumb for depth is 3 times the height of the bulb is how deep it should be. Heavy soils require bulbs to be shallower, sandy soils go deeper. You can add bonemeal or a bulb fertilizer to the planting hole, be sure to mix it in well with the soil and place a layer of soil over the mix before placing the bulb to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Place the bulb with roots down in the hole, and backfill completely. Water well, and then MARK THE SPOT so you don't accidentally dig them up or chop them in half next time you are out working in the garden! Use a marker that stands up to the weather.
AFTER PLANTING CARE:
Your lilies should be top-dressed with compost, well-rotted manure or bulb fertilizers such as bonemeal each year, early in the spring. They will reward you with healthy green foliage, bigger blooms, and more of them. You may also choose to add bonemeal just before or shortly after flowering. Lilies also benefit from keeping the bulbs cool in summer, provide a mulch or plant groundcover annuals at the base for this purpose. Most lilies will need splitting and dividing every few years as they multiply under ground. We split and divide on average every 3 years. As a rule, you should split them when the clumps are getting fairly tight, the flowers are getting smaller, and you notice they are not as vigorous as usual.
Your lilies should bloom beautifully for you the first year planted, and really knock your socks off the second year, provided that cultural conditions are met. Plant your lilies, whether in the ground or in pots, and take good care of them, they will reward you for many years with vigor, beauty and accomplishment at growing these royal flowers. They will even produce babies for you to share with your friends, in time!
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF LILIES
ASIATICS & LA HYBRIDS: Plant in full sun only. L.A. Hybrids will require dividing and splitting sooner as they multiply prolifically! Zone 2 gardeners might want to mulch L.A. hybrids before winter if they have not grown in your garden previously. Plant following directions above.
AURELIAN X ASIATIC (AA or Asiapet): Crosses between hardy Asiatics and the Aurelian trumpets, resulting in hardy bulbs with magnificent, huge, fragrant blooms. Plant them 5-6 inches deep, mulch in zones 1 and 2 is recommended, be sure these are in full sun. Finally, a fragrant AND hardy lily for the prairies!
ORIENTALS: Orientals require extra protection on the Prairies to survive winters when planted in the ground. Plant 6-8" deep, and mulch heavily in the fall. We recommend spring planting only for orientals, trumpets & orienpets (Zones 1-3). Orientals will also benefit from some shade in the afternoon, in areas which experience hot summers. Orientals will likely NOT thrive regardless of where and how they are planted in Zones 1-3, from all accounts they slowly disappear after 4-5 years.
ORIENPETS & EASTERPETS(OT): Plant in full sun, mulching heavily, planting deeply. We find it takes them 4-5 years to really establish themselves in our zone 3 garden, then they begin to thrive and multiply readily. Visit our web site to read more about our experiences and trials with these fragrant beauties.
ORIENTAL X ASIATIC (OA): Treat exactly as Asiatics, keep in mind they are lightly fragrant and you may want them planted close to your deck or home so you can enjoy the scent. We have had no problems with hardiness of these types in Zone 3. Zone 1-2 may want to mulch the first year to ensure survival over winter.
LONGIFLORUM X ORIENTAL (LO): These will not survive in zones 1-3 without a heavy mulch or protection of some sort over winter. Plant deeply and treat as you would with Orientals.
MARTAGONS: Plant 6-8 inches deep and mulch or mound soil over the spot for the first winter, removing this mulch or extra soil after stem emerges the following spring. Be prepared not to see a stem the first year, or possibly a stem will emerge then wither and disappear. In that case, wait until the second year for a full stem to emerge. Blooming may or may not occur the first year a mature stem shows itself. Martagons resent being disturbed and moved, and should be planted in bright or dappled shade for best results.
SPECIES: All species lilies we sell are grown under the same conditions provided for asiatics. Any exceptions and you will find a separate planting sheet in your order with details on that variety.
Below you can download specialized planting instructions.
L. pardalinum planting instructions