Crossing, or breeding, two different varieties of lily creates a hybrid lily. These hybrid lilies are beautiful and usually have the best qualities of the two parent lilies, including vibrant colors, fragrance and disease resistance. Using hybrid lilies as part of your landscaping, whether in your yard or in pots on your apartment deck, can make for an easy-care, spectacular garden display.
Spring and Summer Care
If you have purchased your hybrid lily in a pot from a garden center, you can transplant it into the ground immediately, because it has already developed a strong, healthy root system.
Select an area that has well-drained soil, or supplement your soil with peat moss and compost. This will prevent your lily bulbs from developing root rot. Pick a spot that gets sun but is shaded during the hottest part of the day. Good air circulation where you plant your hybrid lily will help keep fungus and disease from attacking it.
Apply a general, all-purpose, slow-release, balanced fertilizer once in the spring and again before your lily flowers. No other feeding is needed. Although hybrid lilies do best in a moist soil, they can withstand periods of dry soil better than most plants.
Fall and Winter Care
If you purchase hybrid lily bulbs, plant them in the fall to allow them to develop strong roots before the winter freeze. Select an area like one for an established potted lily. Plant the bulb about 4 inches deep, and add a little bone meal into the hole before placing the hybrid lily bulb in.
Hybrid lilies make beautiful cut flowers, but you should leave about one-third of the flower stem on your plant to help it store food for next year. After your lily is done flowering, do not cut or trim back its green foliage. The green foliage will give your lily bulb its energy and food for next year's blooms. Wait until the foliage has died and turned brown before trimming it off.
Hybrid lilies can be grown in almost any hardiness zone, though they do need a chill time. If you garden in a zone that does not experience a month or two of good winter cooling close to or below freezing, dig your hybrid lily bulbs up and store them in your refrigerator for eight to ten weeks. Replant them in the spring. If you live in a zone that experiences exceptionally cold winter temperatures, you may wish to cover the area where your hybrid lilies are planted with a thick layer of leaves or straw mulch.