Most lilies are grown from bulbs. More common Oriental lilies can be bought at garden stores, while more exotic varieties can be bought from specialty retailers.
The size of a lily's bulb varies depending on the type of bulb, its age, whether it was grown from a seed or scale, the type of soil and climate in which it was grown, and its "breeding background," according to the growers at B & D Lilies.
Any bulb, whether it is 5 or 25 centimeters in circumference, is mature if it produces a bloom. Generally, larger bulbs tend to produce more flowers.
Most growers categorize bulbs in the 16cm to 18cm range as "large," though some consider large any bulb up to 24cm. Some growers deem as "giants" or "jumbos" Oriental lily bulbs in the 18cm to 20cm range.
The designation "exhibition-size" is generally used to describe Oriental lily bulbs larger than 20cm.
Plant According to Size
Oriental lilies should be planted in areas of full sun and in fully drained soil. According to the University of Minnesota Extension program, bulbs should be planted 4 to 6 inches deep and 6 to 12 inches apart in groups of three or four. Large, giant and exhibition-size bulbs should be planted slightly deeper and further apart than average-size bulbs.
Oriental Lily Varieties
Most Oriental lilies grow 3 to 4 feet tall. They come in a large variety of colors. Common varieties include Stargazer, Black Beauty, LeReve, Casa Blanca, Journey's End and Mona Lisa.
- B & D Lilies
- University of Minnesota Extension: Selecting Lilies for Your Garden
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About this Author
Gina LaVecchia Ragone has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years. Her writing has been published in the magazines "Restaurant Hospitality," "Hotel Design," "Hotel Motel Management" and "Lighting Homestyles," among others. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Marquette University.