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True lilies, members of the genus Lilium, are hardy, come in a full spectrum of colors, are spectacular in bloom, and may be sweetly scented. Lilies grow on straight green stems crowded with leaves and topped by profuse flower clusters. These royal perennials emerge each spring from a bulb deep underground. Lilies come in many types and almost every color except for blue and purple. By selecting different types of bulbs, you can have lilies that bloom from June through September.

This fall Echter’s will have selected bulbs from five different types of lilies. In the hybrid Oriental lily we will have the Casa Blanca, Star Gazer, and the “new” Hot Lips varieties. These average in height up to 36” to 48” and caLilyn produce a flower size of up to 10”. Oriental lilies bloom in July and August and have a sweet fragrance.  In the Asiatic hybrids the two we have are Cancun and the Monte Negro. Both lilies are red and can grow as tall as 4’. These two bloom in June and July and produce as many as 12 flowers per stem. The Trumpet varieties are always a favorite lily.  We have Pink Perfection, Regale, and African Queen in this series. All are easy to grow and naturalize well. They can grow up to 60” and bloom in July and August. The tiger lily comes in four colors and we are proud to offer you a new, improved orange tiger lily. These bloom from July through September with anywhere from 12 to 20 blooms per stem.  The tiger lilies can grow between 24” and 60” tall and also naturalize once they are established in your garden.

The ideal time to plant lilies in Denver Metro is in October. Fall planting means the bulb will have half a year to put down anchoring and sustaining roots before spring growth starts. Growing lilies is easy in an area with well-drained soil. Loosen the soil with 2” of compost tilled into the top 8” of soil before planting. All lilies prefer full sun to partial shade. A general rule of thumb in determining planting depth is to measure the bulb diameter and multiply this by three to figure the correct depth. Space lilies 10” to 12” apart in the garden. These bulbs are heavy feeders and will do well if you place a prepared bulb food in the hole at time of planting. In the spring, spread a general purpose 5-10-5 fertilizer around the plant evenly, dig it into the top 1” of soil, and water well. In summer, when the lilies are up and growing, you can use Jack's Classic Blossom Booster, which gives the plants lush foliage and nice blooms. Then enjoy the blooms on your lilies next summer and many more to come.

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