What should I look for in a bulb?

The condition of the bulb at planting time is of vital importance The fleshy scales should be firm, not soft and externally shriveled as is often the case with bulbs which have been stored for long periods or under unfavorable conditions. Such stock can not possibly give best results. Freshly dug bulbs should have their basal roots intact to a reasonable degree.

Where should I plant lilies?

Lilies are adaptable to a great variety of situations and types can be selected which will thrive in almost any degree of sun or shade, except the very deep shade of evergreen forest. The ideal situation for a majority of them is one with morning sun and some shade from midday until late afternoon. The pink and pastel colors are always benefited by shade during the heat of the day. Generally speaking the white trumpets and the recurved and erect hybrid types are easily grown in full sun. The Asiatic and American species prefer varying amounts of shade.

When should I plant bulbs?

The best time to plant lilies is during the fall months from late September to November. All lilies do not mature at the same time, some varieties being available in late September, others not until late October. It is always advisable to order as early as possible, enabling the grower or dealer to supply the bulbs promptly after digging.

How do I care for them?

At the end of the growing season and after the stems and foliage have browned cut the stems to the ground and remove all old foliage which may have dropped on the soil previously. An ounce of prevention here will go a great way toward assuring a pest and disease­free lily garden during the ensuing year.

What kind of Soil do they need?

The most important point in selecting a situation for planting lily bulbs is sharp drainage. This is a matter which is often overlooked or not explored carefully enough. The lack of proper drainage will not only seriously impair good growth but in more cases than not cause the disappearance of the bulbs in a very short while. Heavy, moisture retentive soils are usually poorly drained and not suitable for lily planting.

What about fertilizers and mulches?

Lilies are moderately heavy feeders and enjoy a well aerated soil abundant in humus. For best results the ground should be dug deeply and some compost or leaf mold incorporated below the level of the bulbs. Humus in the form of well rotted leaf mold or compost may be well mixed in the layer of soil above the bulbs to which it is advisable to add a moderate application of bone meal – one pound to 20 square feet of planting area. This latter material must be well worked into the soil; if allowed to lie on top during damp weather there will be danger of mold. The combination of leaf mold and bone meal seems to be ideal for newly planted bulbs and will usually supply all the fertilizer necessary for a season or more.

are lilies poisonous to my CAT?

The petpoisonhelpline.com says YES.  They are extremely poisonous to cats, and just 1-2 leaves or even pollen can kill a cat.  Common signs of poisoning develop with 6-12 hours of exposure, and include vomiting, inappetence, lethargy, and dehydration.  Signs of not urinating or urinating too frequently, not drinking or excessive thirst should be taken seriously.  Antidote and treatment must happen quickly.  Other plants with lily in the common name are not related to lilium, and do carry the same threat.

can i plant my easter lily outside?

I would answer No for most parts of Ontario.  They are not particularly hardy for our climate.  For Niagara, there’s a different answer – you can try. The nearby Trillium Hill Garden Centre had some bulbs in the compost pile a few years ago and they bloomed the following year.

One of the problems is that Easter Lilies do not really bloom at Easter, so they have been forced by the florist, which makes it hard for them to make the transformation into a thriving plant in your garden.

Another concern is that Easter Lilies can bring the lily beetle with them in the soil, so there’s a caution about introducing them to the garden.

Find out more

Here is one of our resources on growing lilies:  ALL ABOUT LILIES