We are back with another Tiger lily topic. In our previous post, you have learned to divide and grow Tiger lilies. Now we will discuss how to keep tiger lily plants healthy? Growing tiger lilies is quite easy. Even a newbie gardener can successfully grow these beautiful flowers. This plant doesn’t require much attention and care as other seasonal flowers. Once established successfully, it will grow bloom, and multiply without any extra care. All it needs is full sun, some nutrients, and a little bit of water every week. You can grow Tiger lilies anywhere from USDA zone 3 to 9. You can also grow it in Zone 10 and 11 with overhead sunlight protection during summer days.
The bright orange or pink petals with dark beauty marks attract lots of pollinators especially butterflies. So it would be nice to be prepared for these visitors. Treat them well as they do to your garden.
Check out my previous post: How To Propagate Daffodils?
How to Keep Tiger Lily Plants Healthy?
Keeping your tiger lily plant healthy is pretty easy. You just need to give it a comfortable environment with lots of nutrients and water. Sunlight is also necessary for good booming and yes tidiness matters to avoid diseases. If you want to dig deep then follow the step carefully as much as you can.
- Grow Tiger lilies with good quality disease-free bulbs. If the bulb has any pathogen or maybe any fungal disease then it will not result in a good healthy plant. Simply avoid any squishy, soft bulbs or any bulbs with cut marks.
- Next, choose a warm well-lit garden spot or container with good quality fungus-free soil. Soil should be nutritious and well-drained. Waterlogging and fungal diseases are the main causes of bulb rot. So make sure the soil is free from all pathogens.
- Feed the growing Tiger lily plant regularly and at fixed intervals. I know you may have heard they can survive with a single feed for 6 months but a little more will get you bigger blooms. Be generous and apply an abundant portion of old mature compost once every month. This will keep the bulbs healthy.
- Water abundantly once every week and don’t worry about the soggy soil unless it dries out quickly. Avoid collection of water around the bulb base. It can cause root rot. Instead, you can make a low-depth circular trench around the bulbs to water. Make sure the soil has good drainage else add some sand to the soil mix.
- Remove any dead foliage once flowering is over. Keep the plant clean and the foliage dry to prevent pest attacks. You can deal with common pests like aphids, mites, and mealybugs with neem oil spray.
- Divide and separate new bulbs to keep the growth in control. If you have grown tiger lilies in a container then make sure it contains only 2 to 3 bulbs for better blooming. Too many bulbs growing together can cause nutrient deficiency for each plant. This can lead to smaller or sometimes no blooming at all.
- Mulching is also helpful to keep the tiger lilies healthy. Apply organic light mulch once in fall and repeat in spring. this will keep the bulbs warm and safe from frost. It also prevents unnecessary water loss due to evaporation. weed control is a positive side-effect of good mulching. The organic mulch will feed the plants after decaying.
Tiger Lily: Plant Care Tips
There are very few things to worry about while growing a Tiger lily plant. The most important of this checklist is proper watering. Keep in mind most of our garden plant dies due to overwatering instead of underwatering. Although it can happen, still our curiosity makes the other chance possible. Propper feeding, availability of sunlight, good soil conditions, mulching, and proper spacing are some other important points to consider while growing Tiger lilies.
If you are fond of these magnificent beautiful orange flowers then keep reading for the sake of their health.
Managing the Water Requirements
Tiger lilies can grow in a limited water supply. Still, you should apply at least 1-inch water per week to every single lily plant. Of course, make sure the soil dries out before the next spell.
Most lilies prefer deep watering once instead of shallow regular watering. The whole idea of watering tiger lilies is to keep the bulbs hydrated and roots moist. Anything less or more than that is harmful to the plants.
I would recommend watering generously and letting the water drip out from the drainage hole of the container. If the plant is in the garden then Pour half a gallon or more water slowly to damp the soil around the tiger lily bulbs. Once done let it dry for a week or more until the next spell.
Check out: How to Propagate Tiger Lilies?
Properly Feeding The Tiger Lily Plants
If you plan for the bare minimum resource then fertilizing tiger lilies in spring should be enough. Although for better results you should fertilize the plants at least twice or thrice every year with 30% soil mixed with compost and bone meal fertilizer. This will keep the plant healthy and growing throughout the year.
This mix is quite easy to apply. Simply dig 3inch deep circular trench around the bulbs without damaging the roots. Fill the trench with this mix and water properly to settle it down. This will slowly release essential nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Sulfur, and Magnesium.
Now if you want bigger better blooms then feed the tiger lilies once every month with compost. Also, apply seaweed extract and balanced NPK fertilizer twice every month.
Allowing direct sunlight for blooming
Direct sunlight for 6 or more hours is essential for tiger lily blooms. It is better to place the container in full sun during spring and summer and shift them inside during winter.
In the garden, you must choose an open well-lit spot where the lilies can get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Generally, you will not require any shade or protection unless you live live in USDA zone 10 or above.
Also in these zones, only overhead protection during hot summer days is required to protect the tiger lilies.
Taking Care of Pest attacks
Cleanliness is the first measure to prevent pest attacks in Tiger lilies. Generally, these plants are not prone to serious pests or diseases. Still, you must have a look for occasional aphid or mealybug attacks. Sometimes nematodes and stem or bulb borders can cause problems.
If the intensity of the pest problem is low then use jet spray and neem oil to treat them. Else cut off the infected foliage to prevent the spreading of diseases. Keep in mind there is no way to control the infestation if it keeps spreading.
You can use cold wood ash to prevent nematodes and fungal infection in roots. Also, apply some bonemeal and Epsom salt as a checking measure.
Overall the best way to prevent pest attacks is to keep the plants clean and dry.
Mulch enough to save resources
Mulching is an essential step for plant care. Lilies including Tiger Lilies do benefit from good quality organic mulch. Woodchips, sawdust, rice husk, or straw, dead dry leaves, and aged compost are some of the best choices for mulching Tiger lilies.
Mulching in fall will help with protection from frost during cold winter. In spring it can help in preventing weed growth and moisture loss.
It is also better to use organic mulch as it adds manure to the soil after decomposition. It will feed the lily bulbs and keep them warm and healthy during dormant days.
Finally divide and Propagate overcrowded Lily bulbs
The final step of Tiger lily care is to keep the growth in control. It is a dream to have 100s of plants like these beautiful lilies in your garden. Though they can cause nutrient deficiency if grown close together in a small container or garden space.
The amount of available nutrients and water in a particular spot is limited to the high demands of the plant. If you let too many bulbs grow in a small container with nutrient deficiency. Then they will either die or may not grow to their optimum height. Even if they get the required height and maturity by luck still the bloom they produce will be of inferior quality. They will not produce good quality bigger blooms due to scarcity of nutrients and space.
The best option to avoid this is by dividing and propagating extra bulbs to a new location. Separate each mature bulb from the other. Maintain a minimum distance of 5 inches between each planted tiger lily bulb.
Why are my tiger Lilies dying?
Most Spring lilies die once flowering ends in summer. So do the tiger lilies. They will lose some foliage at the end of the flowering season. It is natural and the plant will grow back again in the next spring.
If the plant seems to die before flowering then you should look out for soggy soil, lack of nutrients, improper sunlight, bad soil conditions, or any disease.
Mainly overwatering is the primary cause of sudden death in Tiger lilies. Put your finger in the soil up to first knuckle depth and feel the moisture level. If it’s too dry or soggy then amend the soil to maintain proper water level.
If water is not the problem the try amending the soil to maintain proper nutrition. At last, keep the plants clean and avoid watering on the foliage.
Moisture on the foliage can attract pests and fungal spores. It is better to avoid the prior condition than to take any treatment measures.
Read this for more details: Can Plants Drown? How to Save a Drowning Plant?
Start your tiger lilies with good-quality bulbs. Use healthy nutritious well-drained soil mix and place the growing plant in proper sunlight. This is all you need to prepare to keep your tiger lilies healthy. Once the plant is grown and established in a container or garden then you can leave it untouched without worrying about any extra care. Just water the bulbs whenever required and let them grow and bloom for years.
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