Lilies are elegant flowers that are easy to plant and grow in a home flower garden. These tips will help you get started growing elegant and fragrant lilies in your garden.
Start with Lily Bulbs
Lily bulbs can be planted in the late fall or early spring. A Holiday potted lily (Easter Lily) can be planted after it is finished blooming, but it will not bloom again until the following years. Lily bulbs planted last fall or this spring will bloom in late spring or early summer.
Chose a Sunny Location to Plant Lily Bulbs
Lilies love the sun, but do their best when planted in a location that will provide them with full on morning sun and light shade from the hot afternoon summer sun. In the right location (sunny, well drained soil) lilies will return and bloom for many years.
Plant Lily Bulbs in Well Drained Soil
Lily bulbs and ensuing plants need well drained soil. Mix compost or well rotted cow manure into garden soil before planting lily bulbs. Lilies also like moist soil (not soggy) after planting flower bulbs, water them in well and apply a two-inch layer of mulch to help retain soil moisture and keep lily bulbs cool. Lilies are not drought tolerant and must be watered regularly during dry spells.
Give Lilies Some Support
To keep lilies upright, the plants will need some support. Stake the plants before they get big, if you wait until flowers open on the plant, the stems will be too top heavy to stand upright.
Use one stake per lily and put the stake into place as soon as the plant reaches one foot tall. Push the stake into the soil next to the lily (be careful not to pierce through the lily bulb) and loosely tie the plant to the stake with a small strip of old pantyhose or garden twine.
Lily Pollen Permanently Stains
Lily pollen contains a pigment that will permanently stain anything it touches. Wear old garden clothes when tending to flowering lilies in the garden to prevent unwanted stained clothing. When cutting lilies to create an indoor floral arrangement, many gardener's remove the pollen heavy stamens to prevent unwanted stains, but for me the stamens are part of beauty of the lily bloom and placing a protective mat under a vase of cut lilies provides enough pollen stain protection.