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Tell me about Orientals & Trumpets...

Tell me about Orientals & Trumpets...
Oriental Hybrids - The fragrant Oriental Hybrids produce some of the most exotic and showy flowers in the plant kingdom. Indeed, casual observers will often mistake the blooms for orchids. Oriental lilies perfer slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Where temperatures are consistently above 90 degrees, plant in dappled shade or where hot afternoon sun will be blocked. In areas where the summer temperatures rarely exceed the mid-eighties, Orientals require little care. Best in Zones 5-9. Fine in colder areas with a good snow cover or if the bulbs are mulched heavily after the ground freezes.

Plant in full sun or light shade with good air circulation and good drainage. If you have heavy clay soil, raised beds are the answer. Do not simply dig a hole and backfill with "good" soil, you must allow water to drain freely from around and under your bulbs.

Rock-filled garden sites or windy areas can be a good place to grow lilies. The rocky soil assures good drainage and a constant wind will help dry the foliage after irrigation or heavy rain. The foliage of vigorous plants must not crowd emerging sprouts or growing stems; lilies need open access to light and air for best growth.

Stems and flowers do fine in breezy locations. Some of the most beautiful lilies in the world are grown on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. As the sprout emerges from the ground, the growing stem will adapt to local conditions. High winds generally do not damage either stem or flowers in breezy sites.

Trumpets & Aurelian Lily bulbs - Trumpet and Aurelian cultivars are highly fragrant and can be somewhat overwhelming to sensitive noses if too many are brought indoors at one time. In the garden they are wonderful with imposing height and perfume. Bulbs grow best in areas of moderate winter temperature (winter minimums in the 30's to about zero). Success can also be experienced in colder climates where there is a reliable snow cover or where mulch has been applied after the ground begins to freeze in the fall. Sprouts survive most Midwestern winters with additional protection; freezing can occur if sprouts are not protected during late or hard frosts. Cover with inverted flower pots if severe frosts are expected in late spring. Light frost usually does no harm.

First year plants are typically only one-half or two-thirds mature height. As bulbs establish, heavy flower heads can bend stems. Position a 12-inch wooden marker next to the bulb when planting, and if support is needed later, replace with a 3 to 4-foot sturdy stake without fear of damage to bulb.

A STRAIN is a selection of plants, similar in breeding, grouped together, with may resemble one another, but are not identical. CLONES are genetic duplicates - each bulb blooms exactly like the original cultivar. Occasionally we may add bulbs of the named clone to a batch of seedlings in order to "stretch" the supply, but we never deliberately substitute a strain for advertised clones.

These purple-colored bulbs normally are about 6 inches in circumference with a maximum shipping size of about 8 to 10 inches. The "monster" pictured above was a single, 5 to 6-inch circumference bulb planted three years earlier. This bulb produced two stems, seven feet in height, with flowers firmly pressed against the eaves of the house. When dug, this double-nosed bulb had grown to 19-1/4 inches in circumference! Divide Trumpet & Aurelian bulbs every 3 to 5 years, whenever clumps become overcrowded or flower quality is reduced.
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