Oriental Trumpet Lily, Boogie Woogie

Quick Overview


FULL SUN The Oriental Trumpet Lilies are some of the giants of the home flower garden. Some plants can reach heights in excess of 6 feet. From towering flower stems cascades of often fragrant blossoms fall. A flower stem can have as many as 20 blossoms per stem. Boogie Woogie is a study in how numerous subtleties can be combined to create an image of memorable beauty. The colors are not strong in Boogie Woogie, but the combination produces a strong impression. The incredibly broad, pale yellow petals are widely edged in salmon pink. The pale yellow intensifies to brilliant lemon yellow near the throat of the lily. Each petal has a unique raised double central vein. The mahogany sepals contrast beautifully with the lemon yellow. This is a lovely, unpretentious flower.

Lilies must have well drained soil and prefer an acid soil. They should not be lifted each year because they can tolerate deep cold and frost conditions. They should be planted 8-10 inches deep as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.

Height: 36-44 inches
Bloom Time: Early to Mid-Summer
Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Maturity
Oriental Trumpet Lily 8-12 in. 8-10 in. 21-35 60-75

Oriental Trumpet Lily, Boogie Woogie

Lilies are believed to be some of the oldest plants in cultivation. Both the Greeks and the Romans cultivated the flowers and perhaps even older civilizations. Only one lily was known to Europeans prior to the 16th century. It was The Madonna Lily, and this was the lily brought by colonists to America in the 1630s.

Turk’s Cap lilies were introduced into Europe in 1596. Thomas Jefferson grew lilies from Greece at Monticello, and the Tiger Lily was popular in America by the 19th century.

In the horticulture world of today there are 7 major lily divisions: Asiatic, Martagon, Candidum, American Hybrids (Turk’s Cap), Longiflorum, Trumpet Hybrids and Oriental Hybrids. The Trumpets, the Martagon and the Longiflorum are the tallest, with the Trumpets being the tallest of all.

The Oriental Trumpets are largely the creation of Jan de Graaff of Oregon who along with his team developed the Oriental Trumpets and Oriental Hybrids throughout the 20th century.

Lilies belong in every garden. You just need to pick the style, color, height and bloom time of your favorites. From the time their stems emerge from the soil until their blooms have faded and disappeared into the wind, they produce a horticultural show that is without equal.

Planting Lilies in Your Garden

Two important facts that must be remembered when cultivating lilies is that they cannot stand wet feet. They need well drained soil, and if they do not have this, they will rot quickly. The second fact is lily bulbs are never dormant. There is always some activity going on in the bulb. It can be strengthening due to seasonal exposure to cold, food transference from roots to scales and scales to the growing point or top growth production. Because of this constant activity, lilies must be handled gently at all times.

To plant lilies in the ground, dig holes that are 8-10 inches deep and dust the holes with bone meal (1/4 cup per bulb). Place the bulb in the hole, pointed side up, and fill the hole with soil. Lilies prefer organically rich soil, so mixing peat moss, compost, and/or dehydrated cow manure into the soil produces stronger plants and more flowers. The Oriental Trumpets and the Oriental lilies should be planted12-14 inches apart. The Asiatics should be planted 12-14 inches apart.

Once the lilies have emerged from the soil, you can fertilize with a blossom booster fertilizer, but you do not have to do this. You will still get beautiful blooms if you do not fertilize at all. Lilies also like their heads in the sun and their feet in the shade. This can be accomplished by planting low growing annuals like alyssum, ageratum or non-vining nasturtiums where you are also growing the lilies or planting the lilies beneath shrubs or perennials.
Dividing or moving lilies should be done in the fall of the year about every 3-5 years.

Planting Lilies in Containers

Lilies LOVE being grown in containers, but the containers must be deep – at least 10-12 inches. Use the soil mix described in detail in our Harvesting History YouTube video. Do not use prepared soil mixes.

The Best Soil Mix for Containers

Briefly the soil mix is 60% topsoil, 20% peat moss and 20% compost or dehydrated cow manure. You can plant according to the following chart:

Type 10-12 inch 14 inch 18 inch
Asiatics 3 Bulbs 5 Bulbs 10 Bulbs
Orientals 2-3 Bulbs 3-5 Bulbs 6-8 Bulbs
Oriental Trumpets Tigrinums 2 Bulbs 3 Bulbs 4 Bulbs

Plant the bulbs 8 inches deep. Dust the hole with ¼ cup bone meal per bulb. Cover the bulbs with 8 inches of soil. Water heavily, but do not allow the pots to stand in water. Once the lilies have emerged from the soil, fertilize every two weeks with blossom booster fertilizer.

In the fall, when the top growth has died completely back, remove the dead growth and dust the surface of the soil with bone meal. Mulch with 2 inches of compost, if possible, or a mix of peat moss and dehydrated cow manure-5 parts peat moss to 1 part manure.

Make sure you water your lilies throughout the summer. Do not allow the pots to dry out.

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