Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Bulbs
Lovely Lilies (page 2 of 2)
by Suzanne DeJohn
Asiatic lilies are relatively pest-free and easy to grow. Few diseases seem to bother them; however, slugs may damage foliage and buds. Also, the lily beetle is threatening to become a major problem. Look for a bright, orange-red, quarter-inch-long beetle eating the leaves ? and if you find one, handpick and destroy it. The lily beetle has been in the US for several years and has recently found its way to the Northeast. The beetles' young larvae also feed on lily leaves and sometimes on lily buds.
Like tulips and daffodils, it's important to allow lily foliage to die back naturally, rather than cutting it back once the show is over. This allows the bulb to store energy for next year's blooms.
Asiatic lilies multiply quickly in favorable conditions, and will need dividing every few years. Divide them in the fall, after the foliage has died back. Lift the entire clump, separate the bulbs, and replant.
Suzanne DeJohn was National Gardening Association's reporter for the New England region until moving to Asheville, North Carolina, where she has assumed reporting for the Middle South region.
Photography by Suzanne DeJohn/National Gardening Association