Lilies are among the most beautiful flowers you can add to any garden. They add bursts of colors throughout their blooming seasons. Lilies, like any other types of plants, require sun to grow, but there are cultivars adaptable to any type of light conditions. These lilies will reward you with colorful blooms whether in a sunny or shady location.
A calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), is an easy-to-grow bulb that can grow under full sun to partial shade. Often planted as rhizomes horizontally, it grows from 18 to 24 inches high. Planting at four inches deep with a 12-inch space between each bulb will ensure proper growth and good air circulation. The calla lily does best in rich, moist, well-drained soil. Hardy to USDA zone 9, the calla lily can get through zone 8 and zone 7 after adding enough mulch. The calla lily has green foliage and produces flowers in late spring. Colors vary from white, yellow, purple, pink and orange.
Applying a bulb fertilizer monthly during the active growing season will ensure the plant stays healthy. Gradually withholding water until the leaves die back will allow calla lilies to rest after flowering. Resume watering after two to three months of resting to encourage new growth.
Daylilies are carefree and easy-to-grow perennials. They are very forgiving and tolerant to a wide range of soil and light conditions. Daylilies love full sun but will tolerate light or partial shade. A minimum of six hours of sun a day will promote vigorous growth. Darker-colored varieties benefit from partial shade during the hottest part of the day.
Daylilies have long, slender, grass-like leaves. The flowers come in three different bloom sizes: miniature, small and large. Miniature daylilies have flowers that are less than 3 inches in diameter, small daylilies are between 3 and 4-1/2 inches in diameter and large daylilies have blooms bigger than 4-1/2 inches in diameter. Common colors are yellow, red, pink and purple.
Daylilies prefer well-drained soil. Soils may vary from sand to heavy clay, with different ranges of pH conditions. Adding compost, humus or peat moss, or sand will help improve clay soils. Compost, humus or peat moss will help increase water retention when added to sandy soils. Planting in the spring or fall is preferable. Daylilies are not picky about their fertilizer, and for most home gardeners a complete balanced fertilizer such as 6-12-12 or 10-10-10 is appropriate.
Madonna Lily (Lilium Candidum)
Lilium candidum, commonly known as Madonna lily, can grow up to 5 feet tall. Madonna lily can grow under full sun to partial shade, but protecting it from midday sun is essential to its survival. Preferring rich, well-drained soil, Madonna lily is hardy to zones 3 to 7. It produces flowers that are fragrant, pure-white and funnel-shaped with yellow throats. The stems are green with narrow, laterally stretching, blade-like leaves, that appear in the fall.
Planting or replanting should take place before the end of August. Planting bulbs no more than four inches deep and no closer than six inches apart will give Madonna lilies ample room to grow. Feed with water-soluble, quick release fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.