Saturday, March 10, 2012

Growing Orange Tiger Lily Flowers

The oriental orange tiger lily will add color and interest to your mid-summer flower garden.  This showy flower with its dark brown specked petals that curl downward when fully bloomed can be grown in the ground or in a container.

Tiger Lily (lilium tigrinum) grows in my yard.  I did not initially plant the bulbs as they were planted by previous owners.  I suspect that the tiger lilies were planted by the original owner a master gardener.  

The tiger lily flower bulbs are planted in groupings of 12.  They all grow together and when the lily stems emerge in late spring they will grow 30-48 inches in height.   The tiger lilies when fully grown look like a shrub as they are tall and the foliage is full.  They are a focal point in my landscape.  When the tiger lily flowers bloom; in June and July the orange flowers with the dark brown specks face the ground rather then up toward the sun. There are approximately 12 blooms for each stem and they continue to blooms for several weeks.

Growing tips for Tiger Lily Flowers

Choose a planting site where the soil moisture is average and well drained.  The tiger lily will tolerate loamy soils also. 

The sun requirement is full sun however if you reside in an area that has hot summers then it is best to provide the tiger lily with part sun to shade in the hottest part of the day. My summers are extremely hot and the tiger lily grows best with afternoon part shade to shade in the peak heat of the day as it prevents the plant from wilting.

Grow in zone Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9

Get Your Garden Ready for Planting

Ready the the garden site for the tiger lilies by removing the sod and then loosen the soil to 8 inches. Use your hands to break up the soil clumps. If you are planting more than one tiger lily you would did a hole that is six inches deep with a space of 9 inches apart.  Mix the soil with compost or manure and add some bone meal to the hole and then plant the bulb.  Cover with soil and water well.

Caring for Tiger Lilies

Like the clematis the tiger lily likes its roots shaded so it is best to apply organic mulch around the stems Three inches of mulch will keep the roots cool.  

Another way to provide shade to the tiger lily roots is to plant other perennials.  These plants will provide the shade that is needed. For a contrast you may want to grow purple verbena.  The purple flower of the verbena would be a nice contrast to the orange tiger lily.  The verbena has a spreading growing habit and it would  provide shade for the tiger lily roots.

Cut off spent blooms to encourage repeat blooms. Leave the leaves on the stems and do not cut back the foliage until after a hard frost.  The leaves gather nutrition’s and nourish the bulb for the following season blooms.

Other Tips

Tiger lilies do not make good flowers for cutting.  The stems break easily and the flower is hard to arrange in a vase.

Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the tiger lily flowers.

When shopping for tiger lily bulbs look for them in spring, if you watch the garden store circulars you may be able to get a coupon for a sale price.   Tiger Lilies look best when you grow them in a group; 10 or 12 the tiger lilies will accent your landscape.

Learn more about growing Oriental Orange Tiger Lily Flowers by viewing this You Tube video.  

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