image by flickr.com/photos/mscaprikell/28944953/
Lilies are perennials with more than 100 varieties to choose from. The flowers can grow up to several inches wide. They come in a wide assortment of bright and pastel colors, ranging from pink, yellow, peach, red, orange and white--some decorated with speckles. Lily flowers often are grown as border plants, in mixed flower beds or in containers, reaching heights of 1 to 8 feet. Lilies grow best in Zones 4 to 5 where the winters are colder. Lilies need at least 4 to 6 weeks of cold weather to help form new flower buds.
Grow lilies in neutral to lightly acidic soil that drains well. Amend the soil with peat moss or compost if needed.
Plant lily bulbs in late fall before the first frost in an area that receives at least six hours of sun daily with some afternoon shade. Too much shade will create weak plants.
Dig a hole twice as deep as the diameter of the bulb. Sprinkle some fertilizer in the hole before planting the bulb. Place the bulb pointed end up in the hole with the tip of the bulb approximately 5 inches below the ground surface.
Plant lily bulbs in groups of three to five, spacing them about 12 inches apart. Back fill with the soil, tamping down slightly.
Water well after planting. Keep the soil moist, but do not let the soil become saturated.
During the winter add a layer of mulch to keep the soil moist and insulated. Mulch also helps protect the flowers during hot summer months.
Instead of cutting it. allow the foliage to die back naturally after the lilies have all bloomed. This ensures that the bulbs receive the needed nutrients from the foliage before winter. Once the foliage has died, it can be cut back.