Wintering Lilies: Tips And Tricks From The Experts

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Lilies can delight with their flowering for several years. It is important to know how to properly overwinter the lily.

Lilies ( Lilium ) with their impressive flowers transform every garden and balcony into a midsummer night’s dream. But what happens to the exotic onion plants when summer ends and the first frost arrives? Most of the species are not hardy with us. But since the different types of lily are distributed all over the northern hemisphere, there are also a few types that are hardy here. Simple winter protection is still necessary. Here you can find out how you can successfully bring your lilies through the winter, whether hardy or not, in pots or beds.

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Select hardy lily species and varieties

Fortunately, with 150 different species and a good 2000 hybrid species and varieties, there is also one or the other lily that has no problem with the German winter. Failures can indeed occur in the event of continuous snowfall, rain, and severe frost, but the following species are generally considered to be winter hardy:

Asian hybrids: the mostly star-shaped flowers open in June or July; Growth height up to 1 m; Location: Partly shaded with fresh, humus and nutrient-rich and well-drained soil; The following varieties are considered to be particularly hardy: ‘Monte Negro’, ‘Netty’s Pride’, ‘Grand Cru’, ‘Mapira’, ‘Yellow County’, ‘Kushi Maya’.

Tree lily: fragrant flowers between June and August; can be up to 2.5 m high; Location: Sunny and sheltered from the wind with permeable, nutrient-rich, and humus soil.

Fire Lily ( Lilium bulbiferum ): mostly orange flowers with brown spots; Umbellate flowers with up to 20 flowers and 1 m in height; Location: Sunny and slightly calcareous soil.

Japanese mountain lily ( Lilium auratum ): Several fragrant, large flowers on a stem; winterproof with light winter protection; Location: cool and moist with lime-free soil; hardy varieties: ‘Cupido’, ‘Sphinx’, ‘Nobility’.

Canada lily ( Lilium canadense ): In June and July the umbel-shaped inflorescences bloom, which contain up to 20 flowers; Stature height over 1 m; Location with lime-free soil.

Wintering lilies: tips & tricks from the experts

Fire lilies can stay in the bed in winter

Madonna Lily ( Lilium candidum ): Up to eight beautiful white flowers; Growth height up to 1 m; hardy with winter protection; Location: Sunny with fresh and loose, chalky soil.

Oriental lily ( Lilium oriental ): Several very fragrant flowers; Flowering period: July – August; Flower colors: white and yellow or pink; Petals usually curled or curled; particularly beautiful cut flowers; Location: partial shade with calcareous soil; hardy varieties: ‘Muscadet’, ‘Josephine’.

Panther lily ( Lilium pardalinum ): The flowers, which are rolled back and shaped like a Turkish collar, appear in August; the flowers shine in yellow-orange with red tips and brown spots; Growth height of up to over 2m; Location with lime-free soil.

Tiger lily ( Lilium lancifolium ): Several pendulous flowers with backward-curved petals and speckles.

Trumpet Lily (Lilium aurelianum ): Several trumpet-shaped, pendent flowers; strong sweet fragrance; Heights of up to 1.5m; Flowering period: July – August; Location: light shade; hardy varieties: ‘Pink Perfection, ‘Royal Gold’, ‘White Elegance’.

Turkish lily ( Lilium martagon, Lilium cernuum ): Up to seven delicately scented flowers that are shaped like a turban; Location: partial shade with calcareous soil; hardy varieties: ‘Manitoba Morning’, ‘Orange Jam’, ‘Guinea Gold’.

A layer of straw, brushwood, or twigs serves as winter protection for the onions that remain in the ground. This is distributed over the plants after the withered parts of the plant have been cut off about a hand’s breadth above the ground after the first frost. Pile up some soil at the base of the stem.

Wintering lilies: tips & tricks from the experts

Covered with straw, snow, and frost shouldn’t harm the onions

Hibernate lilies: Do not overwinter hardy species

In summer, decorate your garden with the flowers of exotic species of lily from warmer climes, if these should be dug up after the first frost and overwintered indoors. Proceed as follows:

  • Cut off the withered parts of the plant to a hand’s width above the ground
  • Carefully dig up the onion without damaging the roots
  • Rinse off adhering soil with running water
  • Check onion for diseases such as rot; Remove diseased onions
  • Let onions dry for a few days in a dark, cool (15 – 20 ° C) and airy place (garage, shed)

Store the bulbs in a cardboard box with air holes until transplanted in spring. Be careful not to let the bulbs touch each other to prevent fungal infections from spreading. If the onions begin to wrinkle over time, you can easily spray them with a water sprayer. In spring, when there is no longer any risk of frost, the bulbs are planted again. Here you can find out what care lilies need during their growth and especially the flowering phase.

Wintering lilies: tips & tricks from the experts

Non-hardy bulbs will dig up in the fall

Hibernate lilies in a pot

With a pot culture, there is always an increased risk in winter that the soil with the onion will freeze through completely. That would be fatal for the lily and should be prevented. It is, therefore, best to overwinter your lilies in a pot in a frost-free, dark cellar or garage. Alternatively, a gazebo or a greenhouse can also be used. After the first forest, the pots move to their winter quarters. Before this – as with the lilies in the bed – the withered parts of the plant are cut off about a hand’s breadth above the ground.

Pot lilies must also be watered in winter because the onion must never dry out completely. In February you can move the plants to a nice window seat if they overwinter in a dark place. This is where new growth is initiated. Lilies that do not spend their place in the home walls can be placed in the garden as soon as there is no longer any danger of frost.

Wintering lilies: tips & tricks from the experts

After overwintering in the pot, the onions sprout again

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Note: After overwintering, you can seize the opportunity and repot your lily immediately. In this way, you can divide the onion for propagation and ensure an even more impressive flowering time thanks to the fresh substrate. With Gardender organic potting soil, your lily is ideally cared for. It provides all the nutrients required for a great bloom and is also peat-free and sustainably produced.

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