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In terms of beauty and popularity, lilies are hardly inferior to the queen of flowers - a rose. The elegant and fragrant flowering of garden lilies still attracts the attention of many flower growers who are eager to grow these flowers.
Not all of them know where to start breeding lilies, which varieties of lilies are easy to grow and care for, and which require increased care. Before buying bulbs, you need to have a basic understanding of the care and planting of lilies in the garden.
- What are lilies, general description
- Planting lilies
- Lily care
What are lilies, general description
All lilies are united into one genus Lilia of the Liliaceae family. Their life form is a perennial herb that forms a bulb. Lily bulbs are made up of downstream leaves that are layered on top of each other. Lily bulbs are light, most often white, yellow or pink. The stem is straight and slightly branched. It is a continuation of the bottom of the lily bulb. Lilies and seeds also propagate by bulbs.
With seed propagation, a small bulb is formed in the first year. It increases in size over several years and the first flowers can appear in three years or after a longer period. Almost all lilies have sessile leaves. These plants are capable of forming small bulbs in the corners of the leaves, which have roots and, crumbling, they immediately take root.
Most lilies have large perianths. They are formed by six petals. The flowers are shaped like a funnel or a large bell. In some, the petals are bent back. The fruits of lilies are capsule, the seeds are flat, dense. In total, the genus has about a hundred species. Most of them grow in Europe and Asia, there are several species on the North American continent. In floriculture, about 30 species and many varieties and hybrids are cultivated. The following are especially popular:
- Asian hybrids, they are the most hardy and unpretentious
- oriental hybrids, distinguished by large and very large flowers
- tubular hybrids, there are varieties with tall, up to 2 m, stems, there are new miniature varieties up to 30 cm in height
Breeding work on the creation of new varieties is very intensive in many European countries and in the USA. All species have general requirements for growing and their own characteristics.
It is most convenient to plant lilies with bulbs. The process begins with choosing a place in the garden. Most lilies prefer sunny, sheltered places. If possible, it is necessary to create such conditions so that the inflorescences are in the sun, and the root system is protected from overheating. This can be done by planting undersized plants next to it:
- Afila peas
In partial shade, curly lilies feel good. The soil for all lilies is light, well-drained and dries quickly. Better to plant them on a small elevation where the water does not stagnate. If, nevertheless, it is not possible to select a site with light soil for lilies, then sand is introduced into the clay soil. The application rate is one cubic meter of sand per square meter of land. If the site is with sandy soil, then peat can be added to improve it.
Video about lilies:
Given that lilies have been growing in one place for many years, it is advisable to add organic matter, compost or rotted manure to the ground. The norm is one - two buckets per sq. meter. You can complete the fertilization of the soil under the lilies with a phosphorus - potassium mixture, one hundred grams per square meter is enough. All fertilizers are applied under a deep, up to 40 cm, digging. If you take care of the fertility of the soil before planting, then in the first three years you can not apply other fertilizers under the lilies.
If for any reason this was not done, you need to feed the lilies at least twice a season, starting from the first year. An important point is the acidity of the soil. A slightly alkaline, neutral in extreme cases - slightly acidic earth is suitable. In acidic soils, you need to add chalk or ash, at least 200 grams per sq. Bulbs can be planted both in spring and autumn. In the spring they are planted in May, in the fall - in August or September. It is better to start with Asiatic lilies, they tolerate transplanting well at any time of the year, although spring planting can be recommended for most regions.
For large bulbs, the depth of the hole is about 15 cm, for small ones - 8 cm. A sand pillow is poured at the bottom. Before planting in the ground, the bulb is soaked in a strong solution of potassium permanganate for one hour. The distance between the bulbs is from 25 to 50 cm. Lilies look most impressive in small groups, 3-5 plants together. If planting occurs in the fall, then cover everything from above with foliage, and in the spring the protective layer is removed. In order for lilies to bloom regularly and magnificently, they need some care.
Most lilies grow and bloom beautifully with the most common care, which boils down to the main agrotechnical measures:
Weeds under young lilies need to be removed regularly, under mature strong plants there are less weeds and they need weeding less often. The first spring watering can be done when it gets warmer outside + 10 degrees, and green cones appear above the surface. Loosening can be carried out at the same time. Loosen very carefully, without damaging the hatching greens. At the same time, you can plant or sow ground cover plants to protect the lily roots from overheating in the sun.
It is recommended to sow viola, it prevents the development of fungal diseases. During the period of bud formation and flowering, plants need to be watered regularly. To do this, it is more convenient to take a watering can with a long narrow spout so that water can be brought directly under the root, without falling on the leaves.
To reduce the evaporation of water and prevent the soil from drying out, sprinkle everything with a mulch mixture immediately after watering. At the same time, it is advisable to feed the lilies with complex fertilizers. Lilies respond well to watering with an infusion of fresh or dry nettle. Before winter, as soon as the stem dries up, it must be cut off flush with the ground, leaving nothing on top. This will protect the bulb from the cold winter air. As a rule, most bulbs winter well in the soil. As a safety net, they are covered with leaves and covered with spruce branches. The lilies will respond to their regular care with magically beautiful flowers.