White lily: description, care and reproduction

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In botanical reference books, when describing White Lily, this species often appears under the names Pure White Lily or Snow White Lily. The main natural habitat of Lílium candídum is the Balkan Peninsula and Southwest Asia. Over the years of breeding, several dozen varieties of white lilies have been cultivated, suitable for growing in open ground in the middle zone.


The white lily belongs to the Liliaceae family. It is a perennial herbaceous bulbous plant with a straight, strong stem up to 150 cm high. The bulbs are round, up to 10 cm in diameter, covered with many white or light yellow scales.

Leaf blades alternate, lanceolate, narrowed at the base, smooth, light green. Their length is 10 cm, width – 1 cm. The lower leaves are collected in a loose rosette. The flowers are large, up to 15 cm in diameter, funnel-shaped, with six petals of a plain snow-white color. In the central part of the petals there are greenish-yellow longitudinal stripes. The stamens are brown.

The flowering of this type of lily begins in mid-summer, lasts for a month or longer, depending on the variety. After flowering, the fruit remains on the plant – a small spherical box with seeds.

Popular varieties

“White Haven” is a long-flowered variety up to 120 cm high. It differs in flowers with long, slightly recurved petals of white color and a yellow-green throat. The diameter of the opened buds is 15 cm. The stamens are orange. The plant is unpretentious to growing conditions. Suitable for making bouquets.

“Apollo” – an elegant lily 110 – 120 cm high. The flowers are boiled white, with small dots inside the petals. The stamens are brown. Flowering lasts from July to August.

“Regale” – a plant with a height of 80 – 110 cm. The lily variety under this name has expressive white flowers with a diameter of 19 cm, with a slight powdery tint. The stamens are orange. Flowering begins in the second half of July – early August.

‘Bright Diamond’ is one of the most beautiful cultivars with 20cm diameter flowers pointing down and out to the sides. Petals are white. Burgundy stamens. The plant reaches 130 cm in height. Blooms begin in early July. Winter-hardy variety.

“LA-hybrid Eyeliner” – valued for beautiful buds with white petals, along the edge of which there is a thin burgundy border. Inside the petals there are many small burgundy dots.

“Premium blond” – a variety with wavy white petals and large orange stamens. It has a strong pleasant aroma. On a peduncle 110 – 130 cm long, 4 – 6 buds develop. Flowering lasts from the second half of July to mid-August.

“Siberia” is a spectacular lily with large turban-shaped flowers. The petals are creamy white, with wavy edges and small convex patches on the surface. Terracotta stamens. On one peduncle 2 – 3 buds with a rich aroma are formed.

Reproduction methods

Propagating a white lily is not difficult; it successfully takes root in a new place and continues to develop. Flower growers use several methods of propagation of this culture:

  • By division.
  • Children.
  • Scales.
  • Seeds.
  • Stem cuttings.

Each of these methods is described below.

  • Division. It is possible to divide a bush to obtain seedlings if there is a perennial plant in the garden, on which several healthy large bulbs have developed in 3-4 years. This work is combined with a transplant in August or September. When transplanting, the plant is carefully dug up, the bulbs are carefully separated from the mother bush and planted separately. This method is not suitable for those who need to get a lot of copies of young lilies.
  • Children. This method is practiced in the fall. Before propagating a white lily with children, you need to remove the bush from the ground, separate small bulbs with a sharp clean knife and plant them to a depth of 3–5 cm. In order for the bulbs to successfully overwinter, they make a shelter from straw or dry leaves. Throughout the year, the young plant will intensively grow and develop. It is important at this stage to remove the buds. After a year, grown flowers can be transplanted to a permanent place.
  • Cuttings. Propagation of white lilies by cuttings is carried out in the spring. Cuttings 10–15 cm long are cut from healthy adult plants, then placed in a solution that stimulates root growth for several minutes. After that, the planting material is placed immediately in open ground or in a container with a nutrient substrate. The soil is watered abundantly, the stalk is covered with a plastic cap or polyethylene. The root system will be formed within 10 – 15 days. The shelter is removed, the young plant is spudded. Transplantation to a permanent place is carried out in August. The flowering of lilies obtained by this method can be expected the next year, sometimes after two years.
  • Scales. You can successfully propagate this culture with the help of scales. This method allows you to get several new white lilies at once, and also save the bulb. The essence of this method is that up to 1/3 of the scales are removed from the bulb, placed in a pre-prepared loose moist substrate, stored in a room with a temperature of 20 – 23 degrees. After a couple of months, the sprouted scales are planted in separate pots or plastic glasses. In open ground, you can plant with the onset of warm days. Flowering can be expected in 2 years.
  • Seeds. The seed propagation method is useful to those gardeners who do not yet have a white lily, and therefore all of the above methods are not suitable. In addition, seed propagation is practiced by breeders who need to get a new variety. Seed material can be immediately planted in the ridges on the site. If there are few seeds, it is recommended to plant them for seedlings in pots. Seedling care is standard. After it grows up and gets stronger, it can be planted in open ground, but not earlier than after stable warm weather is established.

Outdoor care

  • Location. White lilies are recommended to be placed in lighted areas of the garden, protected from the winds. You should not plant this crop in the lowlands, where there is a high probability of flooding in the spring when the snow melts. Or you will need to make a thick layer of drainage when planting to avoid flooding the bulbs. Completely shaded places are also not suitable for a light-loving flower. The lack of light negatively affects the formation and size of the buds.
  • The soil. The soil for growing lilies should be loose, slightly acidic, containing minerals.
  • Watering. Recommended moderate watering 2 – 3 times a week on hot days, 1 time in 7 days at normal times. Water during irrigation should be poured under the root, trying not to get on the foliage and buds.
  • Topdressing. When caring for a white lily, fertilizer must be applied 3 times per season, using a mineral composition. The first time the substrate is enriched before flowering, the second – during the intensive formation of inflorescences, the third – at the end of flowering. When breeding white lily, it is important to consider that this flower does not like organic matter.
  • Preparing for the winter. Preparing a white lily for wintering includes a number of activities. At the end of flowering, the seed pods are removed so that the plant’s strength goes to the maturation of tubers. After the lily has completely withered, the stems are cut with a sharp clean knife, leaving a length of 15 cm from the ground. The soil under the plants is treated with antifungal drugs. The soil is loosened, potassium-phosphorus fertilizers are applied. Before the onset of frost, the bushes cover. In varieties with low frost resistance, bulbs are dug up and brought into the house for the winter.

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