Lilium cultivation

The lilium

The lilium or lily is a genus of plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family and originates from Europe, Asia and North America. The genus includes plants that show a variable height between 80 cm and 2 m. The lilium has the characteristic of having a bulb from which the roots, which are perennial and do not renew, and a main stem are born. The lilium has lanceolate leaves arranged around the stem, while the flowers show a trumpet shape, are terminal and have many different colors, varying between white, red, pink, yellow and orange, depending on the species. The flowering period coincides with summer. There are many different species of lilies which are grown to decorate terraces and gardens or to exploit the medicinal properties.

Characteristics of the lilium

The ideal soil for growing lilies should include a good percentage of organic material and should be adequately drained to avoid harmful stagnation of water, which the plant particularly fears. The planting of the lilium should take place in the autumn or in the spring and the bulb should be positioned at a depth that does not absolutely exceed 2 cm. The pot should be placed in full sun to be able to have adequate growth of the roots and stems. The lilium usually prefers to be exposed in half shade, in fact an excessive light and too much heat could ruin the blooms, on the contrary, the lack of light could make the plants less luxuriant and with an unsatisfactory flower production.

Cultivation of lilies

The best period for planting lily bulbs in the ground should be spring, in order to be able to obtain flowering during the summer. The soil should be prepared properly so that it is ensured that the roots can extend deeply. For the correct cultivation of the lily, the withered inflorescences that could weaken the bulb should be removed. Fertilization is important and should be done constantly until the stem dries up and can be removed. The soil should be neutral or slightly acidic, loaded with nutrients, which are guaranteed through the addition of manure. Being a rustic plant it does not need to be removed from the ground before winter.

Lilium cultivation: Diseases and parasites of the lilium

Lilium is a resistant plant, but it can be attacked by pests and diseases. The main parasite of the lilium is the beetle Lilioceris lilii (known as the lily crycerid). This insect has developed the ability to live on the lily in any stage of life, both the larvae and the adults are able to feed on the leaves causing damage. Other parasites, less harmful for direct damage, could be aphids which, however, are carriers of viruses that would equally damage the plant. In spring it would be advisable to prevent infestations of slugs and snails that could damage the plants. Molds of the genus Penicilium could attack the plant during winter or spring

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