Tigrinum Lily, Splendens

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Quick Overview

TIGRINUM LILY, Splendens

FULL SUN Native to Japan, the Tigrinum lilies were introduced into Europe in 1804. This species has been cultivated (with the possible exceptions of L. martagon and L. candidum) longer than any other species on the planet. Splendens is an elegant and familiar cultivar in the lily garden. It blooms late in the season when most of the other lilies have finished. Its relatively short stature and multiplicity of blooms make it a great container plant. The elegant, gracefully reflexed salmon orange petals are covered with chocolate freckles. Each blossom dangles gently and leaves one with the impression of a ballerina dancing circles. Splendens is very vigorous, disease resistant and not fussy about soil.

The mature plant can reach heights of 36-40 inches and can produce 20+ blossoms.

Tigrinum lilies are very vigorous plants, but they cannot tolerate the heat of Hardiness Zones 10-11. You can try planting them in partial shade and sometimes the plants will grow, but not always. 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: 36-40 inches
Bloom Time: Late Summer
Hardiness Zone: 3-9

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

Tigrinum Lily, Splendens

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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