Asiatic Hybrid Lily

Lilies have been around for quite some time, but they were expensive and difficult to grow because they behaved unpredictably. They were beautiful and smelled great, but they didn’t always live very long. Around the 1950’s, people began to take the species of lilies with the most desirable characteristics and breed them to get new varieties which are more dependable. Breeding many different species native to Asia has produced what we now call Asiatic Hybrid Lilies, which are considered the most durable of lilies.

There are many other plants called Lily that are not true Lilies, such as calla lily, toad lily, daylily and peace lilies. These may look similar to Lilies, but they belong to a different genus. True Lilies are an exclusive club open only to those plants that belong to the genus Lilium, which contains about 110 species, including the Asiatic hybrids.

Asiatic Lilies grow from bulbs, which are made of overlapping scales, and have no protective cover. They have stiff stems with narrow leaves from top to bottom. They are very hardy, growing as a perennial in zones 3-11. The stems are strong and need no staking to hold up the big, brightly colored flowers. Plants can be anywhere from 2 to 5 feet tall, and there are even dwarf varieties that are under 2 feet tall.

Of all the true lilies, Asiatic Lilies are the easiest and the most commonly grown. All they ask is full sun, a period of cold temperatures, and well drained soil. The bulbs of satisfied Lilies should double each year, and they can be divided every few years. After blooming, leave the stem until the leaves turn brown, in order to store up nourishment for next year.

Asiatic Lilies are among the first lilies to bloom each year, flowering in June and July, for 2-3 weeks. Though most of them have no scent, they are attractive to butterflies. The flower with 6 tepals usually faces upward, though some types are pendant or outfacing. The tepals have smooth edges, and are frequently freckled with dark spots. A huge range of colors is available, including many shades of pink, red white, yellow, plum and orange. As with many types of flowers, there are no blue Asiatic Lilies.

A lot of the flowers growing in my yard were gifts to me from my family. On Mother’s Day and my birthday, I usually have a few new plants to enjoy. In this way, I have acquired many Asiatic Lilies in orange, red, white and yellow. They require almost no care, and look so beautiful. A couple of them are literally covered with flowers, so many you can barely see the leaves. These are a great addition to any sunny spot!


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One Response to “Asiatic Hybrid Lily”

  1. Which are the best / easiest plants / flowers / veggies to grow in pots / containers in small ish UK garden th | potted vegetable garden Says:

    […] Asiatic Hybrid Lily « Margaret's Garden Blog […]

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