Lilies forum→Longevity of lilies in the garden

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Name: Ellen
Chicagoland, north suburbs (Zone 5b)
oerickson
Jun 7, 2020 9:05 AM CST
I have well established perennial garden which is part shade or high dappled shade. I grow a number of perennials . Lets just say I have few spots where roses will thrive.
Over the years some martagons, asiatic lilies and tiger lilies seems remained perennials but oriental and trumpets are not, give me show for year or two and disappear.
Besides shade factor and I mean high pruned dappled shade, what else I might be not considering?
My soil pH usually runs 6.5 or 7. I have full lush gardens but partial sun at best .
I really love trumpets, oriental and OT lilies.
Any suggestions on varieties? Specifics I might be
missing ? Growing in pots?
Name: Luka
Croatia (Zone 9a)
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Lucius93
Jun 7, 2020 9:28 AM CST
Lilies should have at least 6 hours of light per day to be good and happy. Exceptions are martagons which can survive on more shaded area. Martagons also love more alkaline soil. Oriental lilies are picky. They need great weather conditions during whole year and they need acid soil. I never had luck with them. Trumpets are very easy. Really don't know why you have problems with them. You're living in Chicago so winter frosts and winter weather can be a cause of your problems.
Perfect drainage and sunny location are main conditions for every/most lilies.
Edit: Growing in pots; I would recommend that for dwarf varieties and orientals but it's always better to grow lilies directly in the soil. I have a lot of potted lilies and sometimes it's really hard to manage them. Also potted plants are more stressed and more sensitive on weather conditions.
[Last edited by Lucius93 - Jun 7, 2020 9:34 AM (+)]
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Name: Tracey
Midwest (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Jun 7, 2020 12:35 PM CST

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You're probably a bit warmer than I am here. I can tell you some lilies do fade over time, they have less vigor to them. Besides losing vigor, there are other ways for bulbs to leave the soil,.....slugs, chipmunks, squirrels, and thieves.

Martagons do really well with high shade and seem to multiply gradually. Most of them survive the crazy temperatures we experience, but not always, as some stems did not survive this year, but that does not necessarily mean that bulb is done for good. Take note of it and look for it the following spring.

Lilies that have stood the test of time here include, Black Beauty, Scheherazade, Anastasia and Tiger Babies. All have been here nearly 2 decades. I have seen many come and go, but these I would call rock solid and will stand the test of time in your climate.
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
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Leftwood
Jun 7, 2020 4:19 PM CST
in addition, oriental lilies don't like heat. Even up here in cooler Minnesota, I would never plant an oriental in full sun. So, it is good that your garden has dappled shade. But they really do want acid soil. Early this fall, when the stalks are yellow or completely dead, I would think about digging the bulbs and replanting in amended soil: half sphagnum peat and half original soil. The amended area needs to be at least a foot in diameter.
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Name: Ellen
Chicagoland, north suburbs (Zone 5b)
oerickson
Jun 7, 2020 5:33 PM CST
Oh, yeah I can drop pH to 6 by adding sulfur and peat moss can be mixed in but that will have to be annual event...
Thank you for suggestions and info!
How about Orienpet ones?
Also is now good time to plant? I generally have had good luck with bulbs from Van Engelen. Am think if I plant now they will have better time growing root system?
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
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Leftwood
Jun 7, 2020 6:49 PM CST
Remember that the pH scale is logarithmic. pH 6 is ten times more acid than pH 7, but pH 5 is ten times more acid than pH 6 (and a hundred times more acid than pH 7). Orientals will do fine even at pH 5. In the end, you will never make your soil too acid. But it is certainly possible to do it temporarily with chemical based products, like iron sulfate, aluminum sulfate, ammonium sulfate, and even just sulfur.

The peat moss is semi permanent. If you mix a cubic foot of soil half and half with peat, with your native soil around it, I think you would need to redo it every 4 to 5 years. If you amended a bed (say 6x6ft) half and half, then I think more like 10-15 years. Adding the aforementioned products, or sulfur in small quantities can only help, but it's easy to over do it. Apply only once a year, sprinkle as you would a fertilizer (best to read the directions, of course!). Don't every use powdered anything, only granules or flakes. Powder is too fast acting and the soil pH will take a rollercoaster ride. Sulfur and sulfates work by "turning into" sulfuric acid to acidify the soil. Unfortunately sulfuric acid is very mobile in the soil and easily drains away with rain and watering. Peat makes soil acid by ion exchange (put simply) and is generally not susceptible draining out of the soil.

If you have already growing lilies in pots, or if you want to buy already growing lilies or if you already have bulbs, sure, go ahead and plant now, realizing that you're planting for next season, and this season they will look pretty ugly. it will be better than waiting until fall to plant them. If you want to buy more bulbs, buy them for planting in the fall.
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Name: Ellen
Chicagoland, north suburbs (Zone 5b)
oerickson
Jun 7, 2020 9:56 PM CST
Many thanks, very useful info!
I usually use powder sulfur for veggie beds. End of a season as in a year later , fall to next fall, gives me drop to 6.1 from 7.0 after calcitic lime, gypsum and sulfur application in raised beds.
Very interesting.
Sure food for the thought. I am getting few bulbs from Brecks clearance sale and will try to amend my bed as suggested.

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