It's the Plants, Darling

Enough With The Beauty Already!

Pink_giant Is it possible for a plant to be too beautiful, too tall, too healthy, too prolific?

I have an Asiatic lily in my yard called ‘Pink Giant’ that is definitely exploring the boundary between pleasure and pain in the ass.

According to the Brent & Becky’s catalog from which I ordered this monster three years ago, it’s the flowers that are supposed to be giant, but not the plant, which B&B estimates tops out at between 2.5 and 4 feet.  I beg to differ.  I find the flowers rather delicate, but they dangle from candelabras that reach 8 feet tall in my yard.

Stakes They also clearly produce offsets like mad, since places where I planted three bulbs now have dozens of stalks. 

Why do I mind?  Only because the staking is getting positively onerous.  Bundles of 7-foot bamboo, and still, some stalks invariably keel over before I get to them. But I’m out there staking every evening nonetheless, because I cannot resist a big, beautiful plant.

Posted by on July 4, 2008 at 10:00 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling.
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11 responses to “Enough With The Beauty Already!”

  1. susan harris says:

    I’m sorry. Plants that need staking seem like big hort mistakes to me, and I won’t have ’em.

  2. Michele Owens says:

    But Susan, this eliminates the glories of the summer garden–lilies and dahlias!

    I mean, I won’t stake a delphinium–but a tall dahlia that will produce a hundred huge flowers over a three-month period–definitely.

  3. Nancy Bond says:

    Holy Hannah — that’s one BIG lily! Do enjoy those lovely blooms!

  4. chey says:

    Those lilies are HUGE! They must love the spot where they’re at.

  5. Kim says:

    How do they behave without stakes?
    Are the blooms so giant that they make the plant fall over?

  6. Karen says:

    Those are amazing lilies. Do you have any problems with the red lily beetle? What is the best way (other then pick and squish) to get rid of them?

  7. ewa says:

    This is it! Perfect, beautiful, reliable plant and flowers. I am in love.
    I also have a lily that grows about similar size – I bought it as regular lily – no warning!
    Its scent is wonderful!
    When it blooms, you know it from far 🙂

  8. naomi says:

    While still in Atlanta, I planted some of those lilies, expecting the 3-5 foot height. Instead, TEN feet, slouching over, rubbing their faces in the dirt. I gave them to a neighbor. Does that make me a bad person?

  9. What a wondrous problem to have. Are you sharing those bulblets?

  10. eliz says:

    I have been tempted, but I do believe those Asiatics demand full sun and light soil, which I cannot give them. Sadly, because they are gorgeous.

    But what’s wrong with staking? It’s a bit of an art form, if done stylishly.

  11. Michele Owens says:

    The blooms are not that big. Sometimes an unstaked stalk will snap in half, other times,it will just bend over, as wonderfully described by Naomi.

    Elizabeth, I find these lilies do best in part shade. I do, however, think my light soil is the explanation for their size. I don’t mind staking per se–but my garden’s bigger than yours and my front is sunnier. I am staking and staking and staking and staking and staking.

    Clearly, however, since both lilies and dahlias are so important to me, this is my fate.