Martagon Lilies - Plant in Fall for Spring Flowers

Martagon Lily in our garden
on this rainy morning.
Last fall when the lily bulbs were carefully placed into established beds, we could only hope that they would grow into the beautiful specimens they are this spring.

The Martagon Lily, Lilium martagon, from Old House Gardens is even prettier than it was in their photo! It is loaded with flowers and seems to like its location under a deciduous red maple tree. 

Even as far north as Minnessota, the North Star Lily Society comments that they are the darlings of the shade garden.

While I love my bulb source, another one that is highly recommended is B & D Lilies though I haven't ordered from them yet. If you have, let us know what you think.

These lilies need a cold winter so they are recommended for zones 3 through 8 with protection but no hotter. That's why I put ours in part shade.

These are a Turk's Cap variety with dozens of little flowers that dance in the wind. Other colors include white, dark red, yellow with red spots, gold, and a few more shades of pink. There are 150 martagon lilies all told.

Martagon is a Turkish word that means cap or turban, referring to the shape of the flowers. The other, similar names include Lily of Istanbul, Sultan Lily and Dragon Lily.

Portugal, Europe, Asia and Mongolia make up the native range of Lilium martagon so think rocky, good drainage and cool winters when selecting the right location.

Another planting thought that those locations bring to mind is soil high in minerals. Avoid clay soil spots in your yard that retain water. Funkie Gardens recommends planting them in woodland settings where they will receive dappled light among hostas.

Bulbs are planted 4-inches deep in the fall and mulched well. Betty Earl reminds us that they resent being disturbed or moved so put them in a place where they can live for 100 years!


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