Lilies for your Garden! (Part 1)
More and more Pinoys are discovering the business potentials of growing lilies.
The aroma of love is in the air not because it’s Valentines day but because the month of June has come. June is considered one of the most awaited months because it is this moment when the dream of a woman will come true – to be a June bride. For her, even the slightest detail should be perfect to make everything special and memorable. One of these details is choosing the right flower for her special day. Lily is one of the flowers always considered during church weddings especially lilies white and “stargazer.” These flowers have high market value because of their unique beauty and its usefulness from simplest to extravagant occasions.
Lilies in the Philippine market
Filipinos nowadays have discovered the beauty of lilies. They do not stick alone to classic flowers and let their selves explore into something new yet as beautiful as the traditional ones. More and more people can see the value and indulge in the beauty of lilies. According to Mr. Jay-ar Erabon, a long time florist in Tecson Flowers, lilies are one of their items that sells a lot especially during weddings, and All Souls day. In Tecson Flowers, lily is one of the flowers they are happy to have because it has so many advantages than other flowers they have in the flower shop. First, lilies have a shelf life of as long as lo days which would only take one week for ordinary flowers. Second is that these flowers could be used in many ways. The flowers are usually bought stem by stem to be put in tall vases or as centerpiece in the table. A stem of lily usually costs from Php150 to Php300. At the price of Php55 per stem, these lilies are usually imported from Baguio City or bought from Dangwa, which is considered a junction place for ornamental flowers in Metro Manila.
The most common types of lily here in our county’s ornamental market are the Asiatic hybrid, the Trumpet and Aurelian hybrid, and the Oriental Hybrid. The earliest to bloom and the easiest to grow among these types of lilies are under Asiatic hybrid. The most popular and the bestseller among all the lilies is called the “stargazer.” It belongs to the oriental hybrid. Knowing the species of lilies will help you in deciding what type of lily is suitable to your garden.
Lilies are divided among nine divisions. These divisions are classified according to their parentage and flower shape. Depending on these divisions, some may need full shading while others only need partial shading.
Types of lilies
Asiatic hybrid is the most suitable type of lily here in the Philippines. It could be planted almost anywhere especially under full sun. This hybrid has the most colors than any other division. Among these are the whites, pinks, yellows, orange and reds. Leaves of this hybrid are narrow and numerous.
This is the second division which is also called martagon hansonii hybrid which came along with the Asiatic hybrid when it was first discovered. This division is known for tall lilies which are composed of little down facing lilies and whorled leaves. This hybrid grows under some shade. This hybrid usually has spots and color which varies from yellow, white, pink, lavender, light orange, and dark red.
This hybrid is not common in the market and covers few species of lilies.
Growing lilies under this hybrid outside western part of United States and Canada could be a challenge. Cool light soil and dappled shade are the growing conditions suitable for this hybrid. This is made up of little jointed scales, and the flowers are like bright balloons on swinging curved pedicels
Lilies under this hybrid are usually and are easily grown from seeds and yield flowers that look like white trumpets. However, these lilies do not grow that well in gardens.
Trumpet and Aurelian hybrids
Trumpet is popularly described as a lily- fragrant, tall, still and splendid. Its colors are glistening white, gold, yellow, chartreuse, pink, plum, and apricot. Some trumpets also have backs of brown, purple or green. Aurelians are lilies that vary only from yellow to orange.
Lilies under trumpet and Aurelian hybrid bloom from mid to late season. The long season of this wonderful bloom may require little requirements which include protection against frosts and mulch during cold season.
The bestseller among flowershops here in the Philippines, the “stargazer,” belongs to this hybrid. However, lilies under this division are not easily grown especially here in our country since they are not suitable to the hot summer weather. They are known as huge flowers which vary in color from white, pink, salmon and crimson, and with their fantastic fragrance. Lilies among this hybrid requires partial shading, soil that is rich in humus and slightly acidic, plenty of water, and a mulch in the soil to make the run freely.
This includes crosses between divisions. An example of this is the Orientpet, which is the cross-breeding of oriental hybrid and the trumpet and Aurelian hybrid. Lilies under this division combines the good qualities of each division and is more advanced than any other division. Orientpets are more susceptible to the hot summer weather than Oriental hybrids and more resistant to cold than Trumpets and Aurelian hybrids.
These divisions are wild lilies that originated from North America, Europe, and Asia like Japan, China, Burma, and India. All of the hybrids mentioned originated from the breeding of these wild lilies. These lilies are good garden plants while others are a challenge.
Before, lilies were considered difficult to grow as it needs horticultural knowledge in order to make it grow healthy. Today, knowing how to take care of your plants is the key in ensuring its healthy growth. Aside from enough love and attention, lilies, like any other flower, need specific requirements. Among the requirements would include the factors of soil conditions, rainfall and sunlight. These are the primary requirements. If these needs are met, lilies will continue bringing beauty in your garden and could also be a source of income to aspiring entrepreneurs.
How to prepare the site
One of the important things to consider in growing lilies is the place where to plant it. First, it should have good drainage. A site that is open and allows water to flow freely is the perfect spot for lilies. If the soil is not naturally well drained, the soil must be granular or sandy, and gravel should be put at the bottom of the bed in order to make it a suitable site for lilies. In line with this, you should supply the soil with plant nutrients to ensure that the lilies will grow healthy. Humus is very important to be present in the soil because it helps trap the moisture for the roots to absorb. Soil pH is also a factor. Some of the lilies like Asiatic hybrid like acidic soil while some lilies like Orientals prefer alkaline soil.
to be continued…