Growing: Madonna Lily

Botanical Name: Lilium candidum
Life Cycle: perennial bulb
Planting Time: early fall
Height: 3' to 5'
Exposure: sun to partial shade (protect from mid-day sun)
Soil: rich, well-drained soil
Hardiness: zones 3 to 7
Bloom Time: mid summer
Flower: fragrant, pure-white funnel-shaped flowers with yellow throats; stems hold up to 15 outwardly facing flowers
Foliage: tall, green stems, with narrow, laterally stretching, blade-like leaves
Propagation: bulbs, offsets, seeds, rhizomes and tubers
Suggested Use: beds, borders, mass plantings and cut flowers.
Growing Hints: Madonna lilies are different from other lilies in that they grow their foliage in the fall, bloom in the spring and go dormant in the summer. For this reason, bulbs should be planted around mid-September to see new growth in the fall. Bulbs should be planted with the tips only an inch or two below the surface of the soil. Feed an occasional bulb fertilizer to maintain robust growth.
Interesting Facts: A symbol of purity for literally thousands of years, the Madonna lily is one of the oldest cultivated lilies in existence, possibly dating back to as far as 1500 years B.C. Originating in the Middle East, possible Israel or the Balkans, it was thought to have been brought to Europe by Phoenician traders and as Christianity spread, quickly became associated with the Virgin Mary.

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