Planting and caring for the garden lily
In this post we will discuss planting lily bulbs, the best place in the garden to plant lilies,what is the best soil type for lilies, how to care for lilies after planting, how to use lilies as a pot plant in the garden or on your patio and how top revent your lilies from being eaten by the Scarlet lily beetle.
The garden lily
The following lilygroups are ideally suited for planting in the garden and in pots or planters; A.O.A. hybrid lilies, Lotus double oriental lilies®, trumpet lilies, upward facing trumpet lilies, specie lilies, turkish lilies, O.T. Hybrid Lilies, TigerLilies, Pearl Asiatic Lilies, Pollen Free Lilies, Double Flowering Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, Bicolour Asiatic Lilies, Pot Asiatic Lilies, Oriental Lilies, Pot Oriental Lilies and Martagon Hybrid Lilies. The lily, because it forms underground thickened petals with reserve food in the shape of a bulb, like the tulip and the narcissus, is classified with the bulb, but in fact a lily is a perennial. For the sake of convenience, however, we speak of a lily bulb, eventhough a lily bulb, unlike the tulip, the narcissus and most other flowerbulbs, does not have a skin that protects it from drying out. Moreover, the roots of a lily bulb do not die as is the case with tulips and daffodils. With a lily bulb, the same roots that remain on the lily bulb in the fall are used again to grow in the spring. However, if the roots are broken during processing and transport, this is not a problem, because the lily bulb will immediately make new roots again after planting. Of course it is always better if as many roots as possible remain on the lily bulb. What is important is that during transplanting the roots, just like with perennials, dry out as little aspossible. It is therefore best that lily bulbs are planted as soon as possible after receipt. This way you prevent the bulb and the roots from drying out. If you have lily bulbs above the ground and you do not have the right opportunity to plant them immediately because the weather is bad or the ground is frozen, it is best to keep the lily bulbs in a large plastic bag with potting soil.Leave the bag a little open or poke a few holes in it so that the lily bulbs donot suffocate. But it is still best to plant your lily bulbs as soon as the conditions allow, so that they can find connection with the soil before thetemperature rises in the spring. A lily bulb that is well connected to the ground really does better than a lily that was only planted after May. An early planted lily grows taller, is stronger and produces larger flowers. Lily bulbs that are planted after May will certainly flower, but will remain a bit smaller than a lily that was planted earlier.
Planting lily bulbs:
Normally you plant lily bulbs well at depth, the best is at least 10 cm of soil on top of the bulb. If you have very big size lily bulbs, this can also be 15 cm. Because the lily first makes stem roots immediately after planting, planting deep enough is very important. The stem roots that are formed as soon as the lily emerges from the ground are very important for a good start. They ensure that the plant can absorb enough water during the rapid growth in the spring. When the lily stems grow taller later in the year, the stem roots are important for the stability of the plant. They ensure that when the fully grown lilies are in full bloom, they remain firmly fixed and can withstand the wind.
Where can you plant lilies?
All lilies do well in all European countries. It is best not to plant your lilies on a windy spot, because when a lily is in full bloom and at its best, the wind can cause a lot of damage. When planted deep enough and well rooted, lilies are fully hardy. Once a lily is firmly in the garden, it is able to survive the harshest winters. Lilies belonging to the oriental group are also hardy as long as they are still underground. However, the young shoots of the oriental lilies must be protected against frost in the spring when they are just above the ground, for example with leaves or branches. Lilies like a light position with preferably direct sunlight for at least half the day. In lesslight, lilies will certainly bloom and will also bloom for several years, but they will become longer and weaker, it is recommended to support them with a stick to prevent them from snapping during flowering. Lilies feel at home in a perennial border and they also like to have their feet in the shade. Lilies can therefore be used excellently among the perennials in your garden. The perennials are not a burden to the lily, especially in the higher varieties, but can give the lilies extra support. It is a beautiful sight to see liliesbloom above the plant border. This way you can see that there is a good place for the lily in every garden.
Which soil type?
Lilies are not choosy about the soil type. The lily flourishes in any good garden soil whereother plants also thrive. It should be noted, however, that lilies belonging to the oriental group prefer a slightly more acidic soil. With oriental lilies itis advisable to sprinkle a good amount of garden peat in and around the planting hole. Make sure you use garden peat and not potting soil. This is because potting soil has a neutral pH (or acidity), garden peat has a slightly lower pH and is therefore a bit more acidic. If you live in an area where the soil has a slightly higher acidity, don't worry about anything. If the soil in your area is slightly more acidic, you can see from Rhododendrons, Camelliasand heather plants. If these do well in your area, it means that the soil is slightly more acidic.
Care of lilies:
Lilies grow explosively in spring, as soon as they emerge from the ground. It is therefore very important that, especially in the first year of planting, the soil always remains sufficiently moist so that the stem roots can develop properly. As long as the water can drain, a lily never gets too much water. Once lilies are established, it is less important to keep them continuously moist because inthe following years, also under the bulb, they develop a good root system that can provide the plant with good water. Usually there is enough rain in the spring, but keep an eye on the right humidity, especially the first year after planting. The top layer of the soil can dry out quickly and this is precisely the part where the stem roots that provide the rapid supply of water are located.
Plant lilies in pots or containers
Lilies can be grown as solitary plants in pots or containers on the balcony or terrace. For planting lilies in pots or containers you need the following: pots or containers withdrainage holes, potsherds or pebbles, potting soil (possibly mixed with compostand / or coarse sand), lily bulbs, capsule with herb mixture.
· • Step 1: Prepare the pot or tray:
Place potsherds or pebbles at the bottom of the pot or container where you will be planting the lilies so that any excess water can easily drain away.
· • Step 2: potting soil, lily bulbsand capsule with herb mixture in pot:
Put about 5 cm of potting compost (possibly mixed with compost and / or coarse sand) on the bottom of the pot or container covered with potsherds or pebbles. Then place the lily bulbs with the roots down on the layer of potting soil at adistance of 5 to 15 cm, depending on the size of the bulb. Then cover the lily bulbs with potting compost to about 2 cm below the edge of the pot or the container so that a so-called pouring edge remains. Then make a hole about 5 cm deep with your finger and place the enclosed capsule with the pest repellent herbal mixture in it. Then cover the hole with potting compost.
· • Step 3: Care after plantingAfter planting, moisten the potting compost with a watering can. Water the potting soil regularly after planting so that the lily bulbs have enough water during the growth. When it rains, place the pots and containers with lilies under a somewhat drier place and in winter (if you leave the bulbs in place) under a shelter. If you put the pots or containers outside again in the spring, youshould protect the young lily plants that belong to the oriental group in the spring when they emerge from the frost until the night frost has passed.
· • Step 4: potted lilies as aperennialIf you choose touse your lilies as a potted perennial, they will require proper care. We are happy to help you grow your own organic lilies. In order to enjoy your organically grown lilies for years to come, you should take the following into account. Make sure your lilies have plenty of moisture at all times. Remove overblown flowers. Remove the dead crop before autumn. After the winter, make sure that the lilies have enough nutrition available. This can be done by sprinkling a small amount of dried fertilizer granules over your lilies every spring. Every spring, water your lilies with, for example, “Pireco Bladinsecten” to prevent harmful leaf insects. To prevent soil fungi, it is wise to treat your lilies every spring with, for example, “Pireco Bodemschimmels”.If you leave your lilies in the same pot for several years, it is sensible to treat your lilies every spring with, for example, “Pireco Bodemaaltjes”.
Just like aperennial, you can safely let the bulbs overwinter in the pot. They will just emerge again in the pot next spring and if they are well cared for they will certainly be as beautiful as the previous year.
The Scarlet lily beetle
When talking aboutlilies, the Scarlet lily beetle is almost always mentioned. If you don't do anything about it, the Scarlet lily beetle is actually the only problem that will prevent your lilies from doing their best in the garden. Most gardeners think that the red beetle of the Scarlet lily beetle are the culprits that eatthe leaves of the lily. However, this is a misconception because in reality itis the larvae of this Scarlet lily beetle that cause much greater damage andeat up the leaves of the plant. The larva of the Scarlet lily beetle is asmall, thick white-gray caterpillar. The caterpillar cannot be seen when it ison the lily, because it settles completely in its own excrement. The Scarletlily beetle caterpillar looks like a small blob of slimy goo that is usually onthe underside of the lily's leaf. This blob contains the caterpillar of the Scarletlily beetle, which is quietly eating the lily plant, leaf by leaf. You have toremove these lumps because this is where the culprit is.
* The scarlet lily beetle, redlily beetle, or lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii)
The scarletlily beetle is a leaf beetle that eatsthe leaves, stem, buds, and flowers, of lilies, fritillaries and other membersof the family Liliaceae. It lays its eggs most often on Lilium and Fritillariaspecies. In the absence of Lilium and Fritillaria species, there are fewer eggs laid and the survival rate of eggs and larvae is reduced. It is now a pestin most temperate climates where lilies are cultivated.
DescriptionThis lily beetlebelongs to the order Coleoptera, and the family Chrysomelidae, the leafbeetles. The adult lily beetle is about 6 to 9 mm (¼–⅜ in) in length, withrelatively long legs and antennae. Its elytra (harder forewings) are bright scarlet and shiny. Its underside, legs, eyes, antennae and head are all black.It has large eyes, a slim thorax, and a wide abdomen. Each antenna is made upof 11 segments. The eyes are notched and there are two grooves on the thorax. This lily beetle may be confused with the cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis),which also has red elytra and a black underside. The wing cases of the lily leaf beetle are dimpled and are shinier and more rounded than those of the cardinal beetle, which are relatively dull, and narrower, flatter, and more elongated. The cardinal beetle also has comb-like antennae. The lily leafbeetle is herbivorous, while the cardinal beetle preys on insects. The lily leaf beetle is also confused with unspotted ladybirds, but it is narrower inshape.
The lily leaf beetle is indigenous to parts of Europe and Asia. It is thought to have been introduced to North America through the importation of plant bulbs in 1943. First spotted in Montreal, it spread throughout Canada and appeared in Massachusetts in 1992, and by 2012 was in all six New England States, as well as New York and Washington states. In Canada it is found from the Maritime Provinces west to Manitoba. As of 2001, it spread as far west as Alberta, and as of 2017 full infestations reported as far north as the Edmonton, AB area. It has also become established as an invasive species in the United Kingdom since being first recorded in 1839, although the first colony did not become established until1939 and it did not spread far until the 1980s, then more rapidly from the1980s. Since then it has spread from Surrey in southern England as far north as Inverness, Scotland. It is also found in Ireland. It is also found in the Middle East and North Africa.
The beetle overwinters in the soil and emerges early in spring. The adult is generally found in moist, cool environments. It emerges in spring to feed and mate. The female can lay up to 450 eggs each season in batches of about 12 on the undersides of leaves. It arranges the red-orange to brown eggs in narrow irregular lines along the midrib, where they are more concealed. The eggs then hatch into yellow, brown or orange larvae in about 1–2 weeks. The larvae feed for up to 24 days, beginning underneath the leaf then working up the rest of the plant, and cause the most damage. Their preferred feeding locale is underneath the leaf or at the node where the leaf meets the stem. They then burrow in the ground to pupate in a cocoon of soil bound with saliva. In about 20 days they emerge as adults and continue to feed until winter. More than one cycle can occur in one year.
Often the first evidence of lily leaf beetle infestation is sticky brown frass piles containing larvae on leaves. The larvae remain in the frass for protection from the sunand predators. However, the fecal shield is not effective protection against parasitoids, and it may actually make it easier for parasitoids such as the wasp Lemophagus pulcher to locate the larvae. An adult that senses danger displays a defense mechanism, thanatosis, becoming motionless, folding up its appendages and falling with its black under surface facing up, thereby helpingit camouflage with the ground to get away. If unable to escape, they are alsoable to ‘squeak’, by rubbing two parts of their body together, which may be used to startle the attacker. This process is known as stridulation and could even shock a bird or any other predator that may attack the lily leaf beetle. Lilies may first show evidence of holes chewed in the leaves from consumption, and if left unchecked rapidly progress to blackening, and total loss of the leaves, leaving only the stem. Beetles and their larvae may also inhabit and devour the developing flower buds. Invasion may occur shortly after the new plants emerge from the soil, particularly if there are nearby Fritillaria which emerge earlier than Lilium. While Lilium and Fritillaria are affected, Hemerocallis is not. All types of lily may be affected, but while Asiatic lilies are the most vulnerable, some Oriental lilies may be more resistant. Resistant types include Lilium henryi 'Madame Butterfly', Lilium speciosum 'Uchida', and Lilium 'Black Beauty'. Other garden plants affected include Convallaria majalis, Polygonatum, potato (Solanum tuberosum), flowering tobacco (Nicotiana), hollyhock (Alcea)and Hosta.
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