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Lean into Lilies

Lean into Lilies

Hold onto your gardening gloves, ladies (and gent), because we're diving into the wild world of lilies! With over 100 species, these prima donnas come in all shapes and sizes. Trumpet-shaped, cup-shaped, reflexed, bowl-shaped—you name it, they flaunt it. 

Now, brace yourself for something extraordinary: these beauties can be as dainty as 3cm across or as humongous as 25cm. Yes, you read that right—25 whopping centimetres! That's one seriously supersized bloom! The one thing they all have in common though is six tepals and six anthers. 

With an array of colours and types, there's a lily out there for every garden, whether you're after a traditional look or going for a whimsical fairyland. Plus, they come in various heights and blooming times, so by mixing and matching, you can enjoy a parade of petals for months. 

Get ready to unleash your inner garden designer and make those flower beds and pots pop!

Where is the best place to grow lilies?

You may be wondering if lilies need full sun or shade. Well, the answer comes in twos. Aurelian hybrids are best grown in semi-shade while other species require a combination of sun and shade. To achieve this, you can tuck your bulbs beneath trees and shrubs. If container gardening is more your style, you can surround your lily pots with other heat-tolerant plants, creating a cozy little hideout for their roots. It’s all about giving those roots a cool retreat while letting the stems soak for hours in the sun!

Do lilies come back every year?

Lilies are the kind of tenants who stick around for five years—and they’re more than happy to return each year, as long as you treat them right. Just give them some bulb food during, and after blooming, and they'll be flowering on repeat. They also appreciate a drink, so keep the water coming year-round. Nurture them with care, and they'll reward you with a spectacular show year after year. 

Are lilies easy to grow?

Lilies and especially Asiatic hybrids are incredibly easy to grow. By following the simple formula for planting, watering and feeding, you’ll have lilies stealing the show for many seasons to come. 


How do I plant and care for lilies?

Ready to get your hands dirty? The first step to planting lilies starts with preparing your soil. If you’re planting in a garden bed, dig to a depth of about 40cm. Turn the soil, mix in some compost, and make it a welcoming home for your lilies—they'll be there for a while. Place your bulbs in their designated spots according to the instructions on the bulb pack, then cover them with soil. Water deeply for about 10 minutes and make sure you add a thick layer of mulch. Overplanting with vibrant annuals creates a delightful effect, but if not, compost is your best option. Water every 3-4 days and be patient as you wait for your sprouts to emerge.

What to do with lilies after they bloom?

Remove spent flowers after they bloom to redirect energy back to the bulb. If you intend to let them seed, you can leave the flowers on the plant.

When to plant lily bulbs in South Africa?

The month of May marks the marvellous start to planting out Lilium, and if May doesn’t suit you, you have the option of planting in June, July or August too. Just make sure you purchase fresh bulbs. 

Growing lilies in containers 

You can grow lilies in containers by following these eight easy steps:

  • Use a deep pot so the roots have space to grow, with a minimum of 10cm below the base of the bulb.
  • Ensure the container provides space on the sides of the bulb to guard against heat.
  • Ensure the soil is well-draining.
  • Use a pot with a drainage hole or two at the bottom.
  • Add compost to the soil, and sand if necessary, to promote drainage.
  • If you are using a saucer, empty it soon after watering.
  • Place the pot in shade, but the growing stems should receive ample sunlight.
  • You can also achieve this by surrounding your lilies with containers filled with heat-tolerant plants.


Different types of lilies you can grow 

Here we delve into different types of lilies and what makes them distinctly different from each other. 

  • Asiatic lilies are scentless early bloomers, flowering in early spring. They are known for their distinctive 3-12 upward-facing flowers per stem. This variety boasts a rainbow of colours, including pink, red, orange, yellow, and white. They grow rapidly and are ideal for perennial beds or containers.
  • Lilium longiflorum, the runway supermodels of the Lilaceae family, start blooming in midsummer, flaunting their large, fragrant flowers with thick, waxy petals and deep trumpets. While they’re predominantly white, they have been hybridised enough to now offer cream, yellow, peach and pink varieties. Growing up to a statuesque 2 meters tall, they’re best planted at the back of perennial borders. Just a heads-up: if you plant them in a windy spot, you might need to break out the stakes. Ironically, they are called an Easter lily although that’s nowhere near the time they flower in South Africa.
  • Lilium asiflorum is a stunning hybrid between L. longiflorum and L. asiatic. Their flowers, though smaller than those of trumpet lilies, boast more blooms per stem. They inherit trumpet-shaped flowers, long vase life, and vigour from L. longiflorum, while their vibrant colours and upward-facing clusters at the stem's apex come from L. asiatic.
  • Oriental trumpet lilies bloom later than L. asiatic, flaunting large, luxurious flowers that face outward or upward like they're striking a pose. With broad petals forming an open, star-like shape and lush leaves that thrive in partial shade, these lilies are ready for their close-up. Their colour palette ranges from yellow and white to pink and burgundy, often adorned with contrasting freckles or stripes. Also known as Japanese lilies, these beauties are among the world's most popular cut flowers, always ready to steal the show, with their gorgeous blooms and intoxicating fragrance. 
  • Asiatic orientals combine the brilliant colours of L. asiatic with the larger flowers and longer stems of L. oriental. With a very light scent, they’re as easygoing as their L. asiatic relatives. They bloom later in the season, gracing gardens from summer to mid-autumn. Typically, these lilies come in single colours, except for the show-stopping lollipop hybrid. 

Ready to start planting? Us too! Happy gardening! 

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Hadeco Bulbs - June 5, 2024

Our summer bulb preorder starts in July. You are welcome to follow our social media or sign up to our newsletter for the exact launch date.

Hadeco Bulbs - June 5, 2024

At the moment, we do not have tiger lilies available. Thank you for checking!

Gerhard Havenga - June 5, 2024

Hi I am looking for seeds of the following
Orange-red Tiger lily. Also known by the old names: L. lancifolium var. splendens en L. tigrinum splendens.

Doreen Daubermann Mrs - June 5, 2024

Please up to date with your summer bulbs later too please

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