Dreaming of a garden filled with color? Think lillies. Di Rau grows every kind of lilly imaginable at her Betsie River Centennial Lilly Farm. Here are her six tips for successfully growing lillies of your own.
1. Lillies do best in sandy loam. If you have clay, build a raised bed. Mulch with hardwood shredded bark or even pine needles to increase loam.
2. Avoid over-watering. In dry weather, give lillies a deep soak only once a week. Soaker hoses work well.
3. Six hours of sunshine per day is mandatory for maximum blooms. Morning or dappled sunshine is fine. Prune limbs from nearby trees to increase garden light.
4. Use a fertilizer high in potash.
5. Cut foliage only after it has turned brown. Deadhead for aesthetics only–it won’t help blooms. Split plants every ten years.
6. Take as much green stem as possible when cutting for arrangements. Except for the short-lived daylillies, cut lillies will last for up to two weeks inside.