Lilies are beautiful flowers, much appreciated by florists, gardeners and anyone who enjoys the beauty and fragrance of flowers.
It is a plant native to Europe, Asia and North America, but there are some species native to the tropics, especially high and cooler regions. More than half of the species are found in China and Japan.
They are bulb plants and provide only one bulb per bulb from which flowers and leaves come out. They are small and medium sized and the cultivation is relatively easy. You find the bulbs ready for planting and we recommend that you plant them in the fall or early winter so that the flowers appear in the spring.
How to Care for Lilies: Know the Three Varieties
The three main varieties of lilies are:
These are the plants that present large flowers and with a strong, incomparable perfume.
The Asian lilies have smaller flowers, almost without perfume, but they have very varied and strong colors.
Lilies of the longuiflorum variety only bloom in cream and white colors and they also have large flowers, ideal for arrangements.
How to care for and plant lilies
Lilies need a lot of sunlight and substrate with good flow. If you are going to plant them directly on the ground, look at the area of your garden that usually dries faster after the rain. This will be the ideal place.
The planting site must receive sunlight at least half the day. Lilies planted in the shade tend to grow crooked as the plant begins to drift towards the sunniest areas.
As we said earlier, you will get bulbs ready for planting and they should go to land immediately after buying them to ensure a good flowering. If you can not do this right away, leave them in the refrigerator to prevent them from sprouting.
Make holes in the ground about 10 to 15 cm deep and with a space of 15 cm between the two. Throw some bone meal into the bottom of the hole and the bulbs on top. Shower immediately to encourage bulb growth.
The ideal soil is light and with high level of fertilizer. Prepare the soil by adding a good amount of coarse sand and organic fertilizer so that it is well drained and enriched with nutrients.
Lilies are plants that do not need constant watering, you should water them only when it is really necessary, as the bulb will rot easily if the soil is constantly moist.
In drier times, water 2 to 3 times a week, and in wetter times, once a week is enough.
Adding plant cover to the soil after planting prevents the bulbs from drying out or watering more than necessary. Vegetable cover is easily found in specialized gardening stores, is rich in organic matter and usually sold in sacks.
The pruning of lilies is important, especially during the flowering period to keep the plant strong and healthy for years to come. Cut the wilted and dead flowers by keeping at least two-thirds of the stem intact.
You can leave the cut pieces directly on the ground, so the plants will absorb the nutrients.
If you plan to remove the flowers to use in arrangements and pots, cut only a third of the stem, along with the flower, of course, and leave the stem stuck to the ground to ensure good flowering next year.
Lilies need good lighting, but should not be exposed directly to the sun during the hottest periods of the day. The substrate can not dry completely or the plant will dehydrate, so it is good to grow them in places of half shade.
These plants resist cold climates well, they usually fall into dormancy, lose part of their leaves, but hardly die. After hibernation, the plant wakes up and produces leaves and flowers again.
The important thing during this period is to increase fertilization, giving preference to fertilizers used in growing potatoes.
How to Care for Lilies in Vases
Care with lilies planted in pots is very similar to the care of lilies planted directly on the ground. The vase should be in a well-lit place, however avoiding the hours of strongest sun and the substrate must have a good drainage.
It is more difficult for your lily to flower again if kept in a pot, but there is always the possibility of success if you follow the steps below:
- Continue watering the lily for about 3 months after the flowers wither and die;
- Stop pouring water and wait for the stems to dry completely;
- When you notice that the leaves and stems are dry, remove the bulb from the ground, place it in a punched plastic bag and leave it inside the refrigerator in the cooler part, such as the vegetable drawer;
- It needs to be kept in the refrigerator for about 4 months without bulb clash with other materials to cause no damage;
- After 4 months, remove the bulbs from the refrigerator and plant them in the pot again. In the first 10 days they should stay in a cool and airy place;
- After 10 days, move the pot to a well-lit place and water whenever the soil is dry;
- If all goes well, your lilies grow back and give flowers within 2 to 3 months;
You must be wondering why the process of cooling the bulb before planting it again. This is necessary for the plant to "understand" that winter has arrived and that it can already prepare for a new life cycle by giving flowers again.
The lilies come from regions of very cold climate and leave them in the refrigerator causes it to fall into numbness, process necessary for the flowers to appear beautiful again.
Curiosities about the lily
- The lily is seen as a symbol of purity and is one of the oldest plants in the world. There are records of lilies in Ancient Greece, where they were dedicated to the goddess Hera;
- As this flower is a symbol of purity, in general it is very associated with the Virgin Mary and much used in bouquets of brides and religious ceremonies;
- In ancient times, it was believed that lilies helped to reconcile lovers. A piece of the lily bulb could reconcile boyfriends who broke relationships;
- Lilies are also considered magical plants with protective powers of homes against negative energies. Many people planted lilies in their gardens so they would protect the house against harm;
- This plant was also considered a medicinal plant capable of accelerating the healing of ulcers, wounds and burns;
- If you have pets like dogs and cats, be very careful when growing lilies at home. All parts of this plant are highly toxic, their ingestion can cause oral and mucosal irritations, eye irritation, difficulty swallowing and even respiratory problems;
- When preparing an arrangement with lilies in pots with water, remove the pistils from the flowers with scissors. So you avoid the spread of pollen grains in the air decreasing allergy risks and staining on clothing. The flowers will also last longer.
Lilies are well-known flowers in many parts of the world, perhaps they are not more famous than roses, and now that you know how to grow yours, you are ready to beautify your garden.