Growing Lillies

Growing lillies is easy to do. Here are some tips.

There are so many interesting and easily raised tender bulbs in the Lily family that you can grow outdoors or indoors: they aren't as colorful as perhaps the Iris or Amaryllis families but I do love them.

Agapanthus- Love Flower. The genus is South Africian and these plants need full sun, liquid manure (when grown in tubs) and plenty of water during the growing period and should never be allowed to dry enough to lose the foliage. These go dormant in winter, and can be kept in the celler if the temperature doesn't go much below frezing. When grown indoors they will require a warm room when growing.

Brodiaea- These are Western American bulbs named for a Scotchman, james Brodie, Carl Purdy of California divided them into two classes, the early blooming Woodland varieties, that rquire light shade, and the Harvest Brodiacas, a later flowering group that rquires full sun. In the second group the bulbs are more showy, and also on the whole more tractable. These are cheap and easy to grown and would probably bloom for at least a season or so. They can be grown in pots, but really aren't showy enough for house flowers. They really do belong in a rock garden or among some wild flowers, and there they should be planted in two inches of gritty soil.

Calochortus- This genus includes some of the more beautiful members of the Lily family. Actually there are three types called Start Tupip, Globe Tulip, nad Mariposa Lily and are all beautifully proportioned and unique in their markings.

All of the species can withstand extreme cold, but not alternate freezing and thawing. Essential to their culture is a light loam, good drainage and freedom from excessive moisture.

Galtonia- Summer Hyacinth 4'. This is a South African genus named for Sir Francis Galton, l9th Century anthropologist. These are really not hardy north of Philadelphia, and even in North Carolina the bulbs often do not persist when left in the ground. They are grown rather easily if planted in the spring and stored over the winter in a cool, dry place. The bulbs planted early in April bloom early in July. They should be planted six inches deep in a rich, moist soil that is also well drained. The flowers are fragrant, drooping white bells on tall, slender stalks.

Kniphofia- Torch Lilly, Red Hot Poker. These are native to Africa. The plants are perfectly hardy south of Philadelphia and may winter farther north, but in severe climates it is considered safe to lift them in the fall, and also to store the roots in dry sand in a warm place. In the south they should just be left undisturbed in rich, deep, moist soil in full sun.

Lachenalia- Cape Cowslip. A South Africian genus named in honor of de Lachenal, a professor of botany at Beasel in the late l8th century. These are for frost free climates only because they bloom too early to be held over for spring planting. They are desirable for pots as they will bloom at Christmas time. Plant them in early August or early fall. After flowering they will require water and liquid manure until the foliage ripens, then they should be dried off.

Ornithogalum- These are a tender species from the Mediterranean region and South Africa. These are recommended for outdoor culture with some protection in the milder northern sections. They can also be taken up and stored during the winter.

When planted outdoors they will need full sun, light soil nad good drainage. Set these six inches deep, and they are also easily grown in pots for spring flowering if they are planted early int he fall.

Tulbaghia- These are a South African genus named for Tulbagh, a governor of the Cape of Good Hope in the l8th Century. They are closely related to Agapanthus. Some botanists place both genera with the Amaryllids, these prove to be most hardy in North Carolina. The bunches of lavender flowers are more like an Allium than an Agapanthus, and the leaves seem to have a garlic odor. They make a large clump when established, and the flowers ar more effective in a mass. Tulbaghias are not hardy in the norht, but they are recommended for spring planting if tey are dried in the sun before being stored for the winter. In a garden they do best in the sun before being stored for the winter. They are easy to grow in pots with the crown planted at the surface of the soil and are long in bloom.

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