Lilies are one of the most popular flowers for gardens. Lilies come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, making it possible to find a variety that will fit any garden setting. Some common lily varieties include Asiatic hybrids and Oriental hybrids.
If you’re looking to grow some gorgeous lilies, this post is for you! There are so many different types of lilies that it can be hard to know where to start.
So we’ve written about a few of the most common varieties and what they look like in full bloom. That way, you can make the most educated decision to help you grow gorgeous blooms in your backyard garden. Once you’ve read our list if you feel like adding some variety to your lily garden, head to our article on other low-maintenance flowers to grow.
15 Kinds of Lilies to Grow
1. Madonna Lily
The Madonna lily, known for its gorgeous white trumpets and its sweet, cloying fragrance, is native to the Middle East. You’ll find multiple hybrids of this kind of flower, too, with colors including pink, yellow, orange, and even mauve. They are hardy in zones 3-9 and this type of lily includes popular cultivars like ‘Moonlight Madonna’ and ‘June Fragrance.’
2. Asiatic Lilies
Asiatic hybrids are lilies that are bred from a number of different lily species. Generally, these flowers have three to six flowers on each stem along with spotted petals. These flowers do not, unfortunately, offer any kind of fragrance, and because of this, tend to be favorite sources of food for rabbits and deer.
That said, the long, straight stems of these flowers remove the need to stake them, especially when planted in full sun. They also last a long time when cut for indoor vases. You can find Asiatic lilies in just about any color, including red, orange, yellow, and white.
Some popular types of Asiatic lilies include:
- Night Rider
- Netty’s Pride
- Rosella’s Dream
3. Turk’s Cap Lilies
These lilies are difficult to ignore in a garden – and also tough to misidentify. Turk’s cap lilies look much like small butterflies curled up and hanging from the end of flower stalks. Each stem offers a dozen or more blooms!
These flowers are sometimes referred to as Martagon lilies and can be found in colors like red, orange, pink, and yellow. Some varieties grow up to six feet tall. Most are extremely fragrant, too.
4. Nankeen Lily
The Nankeen lily is another gorgeous option to choose from. It had lovely flowers that are usually bright orange on stems growing up to four feet tall. It blooms starting in the late spring.
5. Oriental Lilies
Some of the most fragrant lilies you can grow, Oriental lilies produce a perfume that is much stronger during the evening hours. These flowers have broad leaves and offer both foliage and blooms that resist predation by rabbits and deer.
The only downside to growing Oriental lilies is that, when used as cut flowers, their anthers can produce blooms with lots of pollen. This can trigger allergies for some and also stain your furniture.
Otherwise, there are plenty of good reasons to grow Oriental lilies. Their flowers are large with buds on each stem and they come in a variety of pink and red shades – there are also yellow and white shades available. On average, an Oriental lily will grow to around two to five feet in height. Get the bulbs from Blooming bulbs.
6. Canada Lilies
As you might expect, Canada lilies are native to North America. These plants produce flowers that can be yellow or orange, with petals curled in slightly. Plants grow up to four feet tall with up to 20 separate blooms that look as though they are nodding off! These flowers are more shade-tolerant than other types, meaning you can grow these flowers in a woodland garden with ease.
The bad news about Canada lilies? Rabbits and deer will enjoy them just as much as you do.
7. White Heaven
White Heaven lilies are Longiflorum hybrids, blooming in the mid to late summer in zones 4-8. These flowers are closely related to Easter lilies and multiply rapidly.
8. Trumpet Lilies
Sometimes referred to as Aurelian lilies, these hybrid cultivars are gorgeous, colorful, and shaped like trumpets. Like Oriental lilies, they are quite fragrant and the flowers last on the stems for quite some time. You may find some trumpet lily with dozens of buds per stem, though others offer just a few limited blooms. Like most lilies, hummingbirds love these flowers. If you’re keen to attract hummingbirds to your garden then you can find more flowers that they love in this article.
You’ll find these flowers in shades including pink, orange, cream, white, and yellow. You will enjoy the statuesque heights to which these flowers rise – often eight feet tall or more! Get the bulbs from Etsy.
9. Longiflorum Lilies
Sometimes referred to as Easter lilies, Longiflorum lilies are sold right around the holiday, since they are grown by gardeners for forced out-of-season blooms just in time for Easter. Though these flowers can be tougher to grow, they reach just one to three feet in height and offer a gorgeous display of color for the Easter holiday.
They are also extremely winter-hardy. Longiflorum lilies can survive winter temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit!
10. Orienpet Lilies
Can’t decide between a trumpet lily and an Oriental lily? Grown an Orienpet! This hybrid offers the best of both worlds, offering gardeners a gorgeous glimpse of a trumpet-shaped flower before the flowers eventually open into broader blooms. Flowers are about six to ten inches in diameter and can be found in shades like orange, pink, red, yellow, and white. Like both the trumpet and Oriental lily, these flowers are highly fragrant and make wonderful cut flowers (with none of the pollen issues of the Oriental lily, either).
The Casablanca lily is an oriental hybrid and is so breathtaking that it is often used in wedding bouquets. It has a light, sweet scent that is attractive without being overpowering. It grows to about three to four feet tall and blooms in midsummer.
12. Flore Pleno
A double tiger lily, Flore Pleno can add some serious drama to the garden! It has the same bright orange color you would find on tiger lilies but has dark freckles and double petals for added appeal. It grows up to six feet tall, one of the largest lilies around, and can produce up to 25 flowers per stem.
13. LA Hybrid
LA Hybrid lilies are a combination of Asiatic and “Easter-type” lilies. These flowers are larger and bolder than those of Asiatic lilies but sadly offer no fragrance. They’re wonderful but flowers, blooming for weeks in blossoms that are about seven inches across and plants that grow to four feet tall.
Another hybrid of the tiger lily is Splendens. This lily blooms prolifically, offering downward-facing flowers that are bright orange with black spots. It blooms later in the season than other kinds of tiger lilies, offering flowers in the late summer through the early fall. Plants grow up to four feet tall. Get bulbs from Etsy here.
Last but not least on our list of lilies to grow (though this list is far from exhaustive!) is Corleone. This plant produces gorgeous tall flowers on sturdy stems, growing up to four feet tall in most cases. It is perfect for gardeners who want to grow flowers to cut and bring inside, as the bright red blooms last quite some time in a vase of water.
Tips for Growing Lilies
To plant your lilies, start by placing the roots down in the soil with the stem end up. All lilies are grown from bulbs and therefore, they grow best in well-draining, fertile soil. Make sure the location isn’t too wet, since the bulbs will rot in waterlogged soil.
You will also want to select a planting location that receives around six to eight hours of full sun each day. This will help keep lilies growing tall and straight, rather than forcing them to reach toward the light and to develop a crooked pattern of growth.
The bulbs should be planted so that the tops are about three inches beneath the surface of the soil. Water well, then add some mulch, following our guide to mulching.
After your flowers begin to appear, they require minimal care. For some lily types, you may have to add a stake to support your plans as they get taller. At the end of the growing season, you can allow your lilies to naturally die back – there’s no need to cut back the leaves or stalks, though you can do this after they have turned brown later in the fall if you’d like.
The lily is the perfect plant for any garden – and with varieties that enjoy both shady and sunny conditions, you’ll have plenty of different kinds of lilies to grow no matter where you live. Enjoy!
This post was first published here