|LILIUM species - Lily|
Liliaceae; native to China.
Germination: Sow seeds indoors at alternating temperatures of 55 and 72°. Sow at a depth of 4 times the size of the seed. Expect germination in 30-60 days. Outdoors, sow in fall, at least 2 months before frost, at same depth as above. For L. auratum, L. martagon, and C. giganteum, sow indoors at 70° for 3 months, then provide cold stratification in the refrigerator for 6 weeks, followed by another period at 70°. These seeds will germinate in 3-6 weeks. They may be sown outdoors in late summer with germination the following spring. Seeds of L. regale are not long-lived, so buy fresh and sow immediately.
Growth: Transplant seedlings when there are at least two sets of true leaves. Site outdoors in sun to partial shade in a light, loamy, fertile, deep, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. Mulch to keep soil moist, cool, and shaded. They require ample moisture year-round and the tall varieties may need staking. Deadhead the flowers but allow the foliage to die-off naturally. If greenhouse-grown, provide full to filtered light, 50-55° nights, and an evenly moist soil. Indoors and out, lilies require a cold dormant period. Plants can be propagated asexually by removing scales, offsets, or bulblets in late summer after the foliage dies down.
Appearance and Use: The lilies are summer-flowering perennials growing from bulbs. They can be forced in a greenhouse for early season use as a pot plant or they can be left to their natural rhythms in the border. Flowers also cut nicely.
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