Lilies are easy-to-cultivate bulbs that produce large, boldly hued flowers. Well-suited for use as cut flowers, lilies bloom in shades of orange, yellow, pink, cream and red for the majority of the summer. Choose from several hundred cultivars for diversity.
Grow your lily flowers in the spring or fall, in areas that provide full sunlight to light shade. Provide partial sun and avoid full sun exposure, however, if you choose to plant the Turk’s Cap variety.
Add a layer of organic mulch like compost or leaves, particularly just before winter, as a means of keeping weeds at bay, retaining moisture, stabilizing soil temperatures and maintaining high levels of organic content that lilies prefer.
Cultivate your lilies in their preferred organic, well-drained soil. Maintain a pH level of 6.5, suggests the Iowa State University Extension. Avoid excessively wet soils that can cause health problems.
Fertilize your lilies’ soil every spring. Choose a fertilizer rich in phosphorus. The University of Minnesota Extension suggests using slow-release 5-10-10 fertilizer.
Deadhead faded blossoms to promote continued bloom.
Avoid overhead watering as well as watering during the nighttime hours. Water in the morning. Standing water on plant surfaces encourages the growth of fungal diseases like botrytis blight, according to the University of Minnesota Extension.
Examine your plants for leaf spots as a symptom of fungal disease, and also look for insects like aphids, which suck plant sap and lead to diminished health as well as cosmetic damage.
Employ an appropriate management program if you verify a particular pest or disease. Maintain consistent care as a preventive method and consider chemical controls like fungicides for fungal infections or insecticides for insect problems. Contact your local county extension agent or a licensed professional for expert advice.
Always wear gardening gloves and protective eyewear to prevent injury when handling chemicals or sharp tools like pruning shears.