Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: June 11, 2009

Asiatic Lilies
Lilium spp. & Hybrids

Species Native Range: Asia; Garden Origin
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-10 (varies)
Mature Size: 2-5 feet tall, 1-2 feet wide
Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Soil: Loose, well-drained
Drought Tolerance: Excellent
Ease of Culture: Easy

Not to be confused with daylilies (Hemerocallis), Asiatic lilies are true lilies which grow from a bulb, tend to grow much taller and produce large (up to 8-inch), 6-petaled flowers in a wide range of colors. Some Asiatic lilies (the tiger lily in particular) can be highly fragrant.

Asiatic lilies should be planted in full sun to light shade in soil that is high in organic matter and well-drained. Because of their height and large flowers, they may need to be staked to prevent flopping. Vibrant flowers are produced at the top of the plant in late spring and early summer. After blooming, plants may produce odd-looking "bulbs" (bulbils) along the stems which can be planted when ripe (brown) to produce additional plants. Asiatic lilies can also be propagated by seed and bulblet (offshoots of the parent bulb in the ground).

Grow Asiatic lilies in a perennial border or mixed with shrubs and annuals. They also make good houseplants. Companion plants include daylilies, roses, lantana, etc.

Please note that deer occasionally browse this plant, so protect it if you have deer in your area.


Asiatic lilies can be found at many retail nurseries and on the web for mail order.

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