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Lilies: The Most Common Species

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Lilies are becoming increasingly more popular and widely used.  More and more people are choosing lilies as their wedding flowers because of their elegance and sophistication, or as the main flower in bouquets or cut flower arrangements.  Furthermore, an increasing number of people are planting these gorgeous flowers into their gardens to produce a spectacular, stunning and chic landscape.

There are a variety of species of Lily, all of which range in their various colours, sizes, shapes and even fragrances.  Deciding which lily or lilies you would like to grow, or buy from a gardening shop, to plant into your garden, can get a little confusing. To give you a better understanding here is a list of some of the most common and most loved lilies: 

Belladonna Lily:  Otherwise known as Naked Ladies or the ‘Jersey Lily’, these beautiful flowers originate from South Africa, and require hot and dry locations in order to grow successfully.  The blossoms are typically very big, and are coloured in various white’s, pinks and purple tones. Belladonna’s come into full bloom in late Summer time, and flower every year thereafter.

Calla Lily (Zantedeschia): The Calla lily is a unique and elegant looking flower, it is quickly becoming the most popular flower for wedding flowers becoming a close rival to the romantic rose.  Furthermore it is a beautiful flower to use in cut flower arrangements.    Calla lilies are very hardy and can grow in most soils, as long as the soil is kept damp (but not wet as this could cause the bulb to rot), they have the potential to bloom all year round, and are available in a range of colours, from pure white to magenta/purple.
Casa Blanca Lily:  These large, pure white and beautifully scented lilies are the most commonly used lily in wedding flower arrangements and bouquets.   These bulbs are easy to grow in most garden soils, they prefer full sun to partial shade, and can grow up to 1 metre tall.

Tiger Lily:  The Tiger Lily is easily recognisable with its large and bright orange blossoms, covered with dark spots.  These lilies blossom every year and can reach 7-9cm in diameter, they have a strong, sweet fragrance and look magnificent in your garden.  These lilies can only be planted by bulbs, they can grow in most environments and can be dug up and moved or divided if need, you should avoid doing this during the winter.

Rain Lily:  These soft and delicate lilies grow between 15 and 30 cm tall, and are called rain lilies as they are known for blossoming more than once, and usually following a good down pour of rain. Rain lilies vary in colours, they should be planted in bulb form, planting at least 3 of these bulbs together. Ensure you regularly water rain lilies, but don’t soak them.

Asiatic Lily: These large lilies are the hardiest of the lily family and unlike most lilies, are unscented. Asiatic lilies come in various colours, such as white, yellow, orange and pink, the only colour it is impossible to find is a blue Asiatic lily. As with most lilies, Asiatic lilies are becoming more widely used, in bouquets and fresh cut flower arrangements by florists, they add the wow-factor to a garden.

Most lilies can be planted directly into the soil in your garden as they are relatively hardy, however, to ensure your plant does blossom, buy bulbs and plant these into the soil.  Water the lilies regularly, but do not soak them.  Most lilies will blossom every year, when they start dying back, let them do so naturally, avoid cutting or trimming them back, this will help them to blossom again the following year.

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