Lilies

Decisions, decisions -- elegant blooms come in a host of sizes, shapes and colors

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What lilies need
Set bulbs in the ground immediately after purchasing them (wait until the ground thaws in cold climates).

Planting: Choose a site in full sun or dappled shade with well-drained soil. Locate bulbs away from foot traffic to protect fragile stems and flowers. Dig holes 6 to 7 inches apart and 8 inches deep; position bulbs with pointed side up. Refill the hole and water to settle the soil. Mulch to keep the soil damp and bulbs cool.

Fertilizing: In spring, top-dress the soil with a low-nitrogen fertilizer.

Watering: Most types of lily bulbs never go dormant, so water regularly during the growing season, then occasionally the rest of the year. The exception is Humboldt lily ― allow it to go dry during summer dormancy.

Sources: B&D Lilies, the Lily Garden (360/253-6273), or Lilies in the Valley (705/732-2224)

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