Plant Family Guides: Lilium - Lilies
Known as the most flamboyant personalities within the world of lilies, they are characterized by their immense flowers, intense fragrance and rich colors. Exotic-looking, these Oriental hybrids are derived from species native to Japan. Blooming over a long period of time, from mid to late summer and even into fall for some varieties, their flowers are usually large and open, outward facing or pendant with striking patterns of spots. Most Oriental Lilies are in shades of white, pink and red, some with pretty yellow bands on their petals. Not as easy to grow as the Asiatic Lilies or Trumpet Lilies, they are still worth a try, just for the pleasure of possessing a magnificent plant in your own garden! Oriental Lilies prefer humus rich soil that is acidic. Give them plenty of water and mulch for a cool root run.
Among the earliest to bloom, these lilies are quite decorative with their pendant flowers sporting backward-curling petals, resembling Turk's caps and presenting shades of pink, lavender, orange, red, yellow and white often with speckles and freckles. Their leaves grow in whorls around the stem and are not alternatively scattered as with Asiatic or Oriental Lilies. While they may take a year to adjust to a new garden, they will thrive for years, once established. They enjoy full sun or part shade, slightly alkaline soils and don't seem to be bothered by pests. They usually do not like hot, humid climates. Planted in spring, they are great companions for ferns and hostas.
Adored by gardeners, Orienpet Lilies are outstanding garden plants. They are a real breakthrough in the history of Lily breeding. OT Hybrid Lilies or Orienpet Lilies are the result of crossing Oriental Lilies with Trumpet/Aurelian Lilies. They combine the incredible beauty of the Oriental Lilies with the robustness, heat tolerance and colors of the Trumpet & Aurelian Hybrids. They provide the best of both worlds.
Since Lilies appreciate some shade around their roots while keeping their foliage and ravishing blossoms in the air and sunshine, they welcome the company of neighboring plants such as annuals, perennials, bulbs, grasses or shrubs. However, a few rules need to be respected to ensure your Lilies will thrive.
Highly popular, Asiatic hybrid Lilies are among the earliest to bloom in early-mid summer, and the easiest to grow. They offer a wide array of colors, from the softest pastels to fiery reds and oranges that practically ignite when the sun shines on them. They feature straight stems, high bud counts and generally brightly spotted blossoms and vary in shape from simple open bowls to flowers with exquisitely recurved petals. Asiatic Lilies enjoy a long blooming season (up to 1 month) but most of them are unscented. Planted in spring or fall, they thrive in full sun to part shade locations and do great as potted plants or as cut flowers. They are not fussy about soils, provided they are fertile and well-drained. Good moisture is required and dry soils should be avoided.
Blooming in mid summer, Trumpet Lilies enjoy a heavy, sweet fragrance and huge waxy trumpet flowers. Adding distinction and elegance to the garden, their colors vary from pure glistening white to bright gold, yellow, pink, plum, apricot, with some having dramatic maroon petals on the outside of the trumpet.