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Ottawa, ON
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Lilium

Planting Time:   Fall or Early Spring

 
Height:  2-6’  

Exposure:  Part to Full Sun

 
Soil:   Well Drained  

Hardiness:  Varies, Make Sure to Check Label.

 
Bloom Time:   Summer  

Uses:  Borders, Cut Flowers

 

Lilium is the Latin name for lilies and is derived from the Greek name for the Madonna Lily. They are
often referred to as ‘true’ lilies because many other plants share their common name, including, toad
lilies (tricyrtus), trout lilies (Erythronium), and daylilies (Hemerocallis). The lily bulb is actually a
modified stem that stores food for the plant to use during dormancy. Some do better in partial shade
while others love full sun.

Most lilies will benefit from having a ground cover that will shade the roots and protect young shoots
that emerge in spring, however avoid planting with strong perennials that may smother or crowd them
out.

Planting is best done in early fall or spring and should be planted 3 times the height of the bulb in depth.
For instance, if the bulb is 2” high, plant it 6” deep. Make sure to provide them with a light loamy soil
with lots of organic matter, and ensure excellent drainage. Lilies are not exceptionally drought tolerant,
so water thoroughly during very dry periods. After flowering, reduce water and allow them time to dry
before going dormant. Unless you have very large clumps that require dividing, try not to move lilies
once they have been planted and established.

Moles and mice may be a significant problem during the first year after they are planted, it helps to
coat the bulbs in sulfur or copper oxide before planting. Lily leaf beetles are rampant in the Ottawa
area and propose a real threat to your prize beauties. The best way to control their populations is to
check constantly on the underside of the leaves for bright orange eggs and wipe them off. Hand pick
off larger beetle adults and squish them. It’s not a pretty job, but they are tenacious and will make a
full meal of the leaves on your lilies if you don’t destroy them.

Some of the most fragrant lilies include those of the Oriental and Asiatic hybrids. Although they are
often sold as seasonal house plants or cut flowers, you can easily bring an exotic feel to your garden
by planting a few clumps in well drained sites.

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