Lilium 'After Eight'
DWARF ORIENTAL LILY
Sunset zones: All.
USDA zones: 5-9.
Height: 18 inches (45 cm).
July to August.
Fragrant flowers have deep rose-red petals with white margins.
Humus rich, slightly acidic, moist, well-drained soil.
In spring, when lilies are at the spear stage of growth (like asparagus), fertilize with a complete organic fertilizer. Do not feed again for the rest of the year; excessive fertilizing can promote disease and soft growth.
As soon as the foliage dies back, dig bulbs and remove scales, bulbils and offsets from bulb; immediately replant.
Remove dried stems only after foliage dies back.
Rainy Side Notes
Coleus and lilies in a container. ©2011
Except for its height, this lily could be a L. 'Star Gazer' twin. The dwarf Oriental lilies such as L. 'After Eight' are great candidates for pot culture. I planted three bulbs in a black plastic one gallon container in fall and wintered them over in a protected spot under the deck. When the first flower opened in this group, I nestled the pot down in between the coleus plants. When the blossoms began to fade, I whisked the pot away to mature its leaves, leaving the coleus to fill the void. When autumn came knocking on the garden gate, I planted the bulbs in the garden.
Cut flowers when the first flower is first opening. The flower lasts from 5-9 days in the vase. Pull the pollen sacks off when the flower opens to keep pollen from staining linens beneath the vase. If pollen should get on clothes or linens, let it dry before wiping it off. If wiped when wet, the pollen will stain.
To grow lilies well, mulch with composted manures or compost and shredded bark to keep the roots cool, while adding humus to the soil.
Photographed in author's garden.