Lilies in all their beautiful forms are a mainstay of summer gardens. Blooming from early summer through late fall, these colorful perennials with the trumpet-shaped flowers are a carefree garden choice. Highly adaptable and extremely hardy, lilies can be found blooming everywhere from dank roadside ditches to the world’s most beautiful gardens. Lilies typically prefer sunny locations but will also bloom in partial shade. They prefer soils that are evenly moist but will generally survive bouts of drought or soggy weather without damage.
Here’s a primer on the delightful variety of lilies available at home garden centers:
- Asiatic Lilies (Lilium) are tall and stately with a lovely fragrance. A duet or trio of trumpeted blooms rises on a tall stem, the length of which is fringed with narrow leaves.
- Easter Lilies (Lilium) share the characteristics of Asiatic Lilies but in a more compact plant. Multiple trumpets top leafy-fringed stems that rarely rise above 18 inches.
- Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia) are an old-fashioned favorite popularly used in bridal bouquets and wedding decorations. Striking heart-shaped flowers on slender stems rise in clusters from attractive mounds of dark green leaves.
- Canna Lilies (Canna) are the giants of the lily family. Stout stalks that soar 5 to 6 feet into the air; huge, broad leaves; and exotic ruffled blooms give Canna Lilies a tropical air.
- Hemerocallis, the common Daylily, is a compact version of the taller lilies often seen along country roads. Stems of branched trumpet-shaped blooms rise from a nest of narrow green leaves. Its short height makes this a popular border and bedding plant.