It's the Plants, Darling

Lily love begins


Got kind of a crappy shady spot with heavy clay soil you’ve never done one thing to improve? I have had the most tremendous luck with martagon lilies in such a spot. They are lovely when in bloom, multiply readily, and, unlike just about every other lily I’ve grown, NEVER need staking. There is a white variety, but I’ve found them to be a bit fussier. The better mail order places all have these. I’ve never seen them in a pot at a nursery or, indeed, as bulbs, so I think mail order is the best bet.

Oh, almost forgot. Their whorled foliage is actually an attractive feature, another first for a lilium. The foliage remains attractive (though I see I have a bit of yellowing here—should have pulled that off!) even after bloom. The only drawback is that their scent is .. ahem acquired taste (one that I can’t imagine too many people acquiring). But they don’t actually stink.

Posted by on July 2, 2008 at 9:00 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling.
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12 responses to “Lily love begins”

  1. Michele Owens says:

    Gorgeous. My yard is stuffed with lilies, but I never tried martagons because the bulbs are comparatively expensive. You’ve convinced me to just cough it up and give them a try.

  2. arythrina says:

    I may or may not have one or several “crappy shady spot with heavy clay soil you’ve never done one thing to improve.” I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of such spots – but this looks like a great solution! Thanks!

  3. Nice lilies – great photo! Hi – I’m new to your blog, but I like what I see. Great job – I’ll be checking back in.

  4. Benjamin says:

    Yes! I have Mrs. R.O. Backhouse from Ambergate Gardens in Minnesota, and it is doing well in such a craptastic spot. More people should most absolutely have these.

  5. commonweeder says:

    Hmmmm. Lilies in the shade. I love the form of martagon lilies but this is just the encouragement I need to plant some. thanks for the tip.

  6. Rosella says:

    Do I have crappy shady spots with unimproved clay soil? Does a bear ……… well, you know how it goes. Next year (should there be a next year at my advanced age) there will be martagon lilies. I have hesitated thus far because of their relative expense, which led me to think that expensive = picky.

  7. Frances says:

    Okay, I bought the white and it never even came up, twice. But you have made the best sales pitch ever, no staking, crappy shade,so red martagon is getting a try here. Thanks.

  8. DJ Monet says:

    I’ll have to check them out. I have A LOT of shade, so this will help brighten up a few spots.

  9. Kim says:

    Really? In SHADE? I have to look for some of these – we have a part sun, part shade spot that is so crappy not much will grow there. I’ll try these.

  10. Layanee says:

    Well, is there a gardener alive that doesn’t have crappy soil and shade somewhere? On the list…you are costing me $$$$ and feeding the addiction. Thanks.

  11. KatieB says:

    It took three years for my martagons to finally bloom. It was worth the wait. Must have more!

  12. Wandasflowers says:

    Marties are cool, aren’t they? We go a special price on a group and gave them to all our volunteers at last weeks Iowa Regional Lily Society Bulb Sale.

    I got mine!!!