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Growing-Lilies-THUMB.jpg

Growing Lilies

I want to add hardy lilies to my garden. Are they hard to find? What type of care do they need?

Hardy lilies are available at many garden centers and through many garden catalogues. Pre-cooled bulbs and plants are available at garden centers during the growing season. Garden catalogues usually sell bulbs for fall shipment and planting. Many florists are using hardy lilies in place of the traditional white Easter lilies. These forced hardy lilies can be saved and planted outdoors in spring for future enjoyment. Plant the lilies in full sun and well-drained soil. Add several inches of organic matter to the top 8 to 12 inches of soil to improve drainage and avoid bulb rot in heavy soils and increase water holding capacity in sandy soils. The bulb should be planted two to three times its vertical diameter deep. Do not plant deeper than six inches in heavy clay soils to avoid bulb rot. Lilies can be fertilized with a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer in spring as the foliage begins to emerge. Northern gardeners may want to apply a winter mulch after the ground freezes to protect the bulbs from early sprouting caused by mid-winter thaw.

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