The Q&A Archives: Tiger and hybrid lilies in same garden?

Question: A friend told me I shouldn't plant tiger lilies in the same garden as hybrid lilies because tiger lilies carry a mosaic virus that can easily spread to the hybrids. Is this true? Stephen C. Haywood Vassalboro, ME

Answer: Although tiger lilies carry a mosaic virus that affects hybrid lilies, it's not something you should be concerned about, says Warren summers, president of the North American Lily Society in Tolland, Connecticut. Mosaic virus occurs naturally in hybrid and tiger lilies, and any lily that's been around a few years has the virus and has proved it can grow in spite of it, he explains. Most hybrid lily cultivars can sustain a virus infection and produce vigorous, healthy plants. There isn't enough testing of new hybrid lilies for the virus before they're released, so some new hybrids may die from the disease. They are usually dropped from the commercial trade soon after, he adds. Some reliable cultivars that resist the mosaic virus are Red Velvet, Back Beauty, Lime Ice, and Connecticut King, Summers says.

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