NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN FOR APRIL 14, 2007
BY GLADYS JEURINK
question I get is “I received this Easter
Lily so what do I do?” First you must either take that foil wrap
off or poke holes in the bottom so the water drains as Lily bulbs rot easily.
They like moisture but not water. If
you have a cool spot the blooms will last much longer and if you cut out the
anthers as the blooms open you won’t have pollen scattered around and the
blooms will last much longer. I
happen to like the anthers so opt for the shorter bloom life.
most often used for Easter is Lilium
lonjeflorum which normally in its native habitat will bloom during summer.
The florists use warm temperatures and also artificial light so the plant has a
long day to get them to bloom for Easter. You
do not need to fertilize while the plant is in bloom and then only if you
plant it outside after the last frost in order to have a bloom the next few
years. After they are out of the
pot and planted in the yard, treat them like all your LILIES. They may not bloom the first year.
LILIES have been classified by type:
Bowl with large flowers opening wide;
Trumpet with the base of the petals fastened together for a ways past the
Turks cap with smaller flowers and the petals sweeping back.
people divide them into two types-those that face upward and those facing out.
The general classification lately has been by hybrid classes. The Asiatics are
usually June blooming, easy to grow, with many colors, and 2 to 5 feet high.
Aurelian hybrids (sometimes call Trumpets) are 3 to 8 feet high, usually
fragrant. The Orientals are 2 to 7 feet tall, also fragrant, blooming a little
later and usually are spotted. In his group are the Imperials in red, pink, and
silver. In the last several years a new name has arrived: the Orienpet which is
a new line of hybrids of Oriental and Trumpet lilies. These are about 4 feet
tall with 8 to 9 inch wide blooms.
do not like wet feet! Especially during winter, or they will rot. They work
every well in raised beds. Many growers recommend a deep hole with gravel in the
bottom. I have had the short lilies growing in
whisky barrels for years. They seem to do better and divide more than those in
the garden. Probably due to better drainage.
Some lilies may grow as tall as 9 feet and need support when
the heavy flowers develop. Others may never get over 2 feet tall.
are never really dormant so don’t wait to plant them! A rule that can be used
is 3 times the depth of the bulb. Some do better in partial shade so the colors
will not fade as fast. Madonna lilies must be
planted as early as possible in the fall and not covered by more than 2 inches
the beginning of the growing season to encourage larger plants. If the season is
dry, keep the ground moist, not wet by watering until bloom time is over.
Then reduce watering, giving them some time in drier soil. I cut mine off
if the foliage browns or a frost occurs. If your lilies are in pots
they will need fertilizer more often as it tends to run out the drainage holes.
When choosing a fertilizer try to get one that is “balanced” and also has
the minor nutrients, especially if you use the same potting soil more than one
Most of our lilies
originally were from wooded areas of Europe and Asia. Many of them do better in
light shade and protected from harsh winds.
The bulbs consist of overlapping scales.
If you are patient, these scales can be separated to produce new plants.
Some, like the old fashioned TIGER LILIES,
produce little black bulbs in the leaf angle. The majority prefer slightly acid
soil so it is a good idea to check if you can when buying new bulbs. They can be
anywhere from 1.5 feet to 10 feet tall. Some may take as long as ten years to
bloom from seed.
are the favorite food of rabbits in my yard! They eat the leaves off the stalk
and stand on their hind feet to reach up as far as possible. So I have several
little fenced yards inside my back yard. The
one Lily they don’t seem to bother is the old fashioned tiger
Easter Lily plant in a bright light, in a cool room, damp soil, and add it to
your other Lilies after May 10th. Since it was forced early it will
probably be the first Lily to turn yellow in the fall.
TIME TO PRUNE YOUR CHRISTMAS CACTUS
BY GEORGE EDGAR
Yes it is time
to prune your Christmas Cactus (Zygocactus). Some may have a Thanksgiving cactus while others an Easter
Cactus (Schlumbergera). Whichever one
you have, it can be pruned whenever the plant gets too big, the stems are longer
than you want, or you want to make it more bushy. To prune, just pinch off the
flattened stem segments. Some may call these stem segments leaves but
technically they are not. Flowers are produced on new growth at the ends of
these stem segments. So if you want to reduce the size of your plant or make it
fuller, prune the tips sometime during early April. New stem segments will grow
that will produce flowers next winter. The stem segments you remove can be put
in a good container mix to root so you can have a plant to give to a friend next
Christmas. Put a plastic bag over pot and all until segments are rooted
last tip-Christmas Cactus like to be pot bound so don’t be in a hurry
to re-pot your plant. When you do re-pot it, use a container mix rather than a
cactus mix as Christmas Cactus are not a true cactus. It is ok to re-pot now if
you just have to.