Lilium 'Forever Susan'
Common Name: Asiatic lily
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Deep burgundy flowers with orange accents
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers rich, organic soils. Adapts to a wide variety of soils as long as well-drained. Best with upper plant in full sun and roots in shade. Mulch around plants to keep root zone cool. Plant bulbs 4-6” deep in fall or very early spring. Potted plants may be planted any time from spring to fall. Plant in groups of three for best display and space 12” apart. Bulbs need good moisture year-round. Do not allow soil to dry out. Remove flowers as they fade to prevent seed from setting. After bloom, cut plants back only after leaves and stems turn yellow. Taller plants may need staking.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lilium is a very large genus of about 100 bulbous perennials native to Europe, Asia, the Philippines and North America. Extensive hybridization has occurred in recent years.

Asiatic hybrid lilies (Division I) have large, usually non-fragrant flowers which are borne in racemes or umbels (4-6” wide) on plants typically rising on strong upright stems to 2-5’ tall. Asiatic hybrids are noted for early summer bloom (among the first of the lilies to bloom) and a wide range of flower colors including yellow, orange, pink, red, purple, cream and white. Each flower has 6 showy petals (technically tepals). Flowers can be a solid color or two-toned, often with contrasting spots, brushmarks or halos. Flowers are upward-facing, outward-facing or downward-facing. Narrow lanceolate bright green leaves (to 4-5” long) are typically shorter than those found on Oriental lilies. Plants bloom over a long season.

Genus name comes from the Latin name meaning lily.

‘Forever Susan’ is an Asiatic hybrid lily that typically grows to 2-3’ tall. Upward-facing flowers are deep burgundy highlighted by bright orange accents. Flowers bloom mid-June through July.

Problems

For the average gardener, Asiatic hybrid lilies are perhaps the easiest lilies to grow. Usually pest free, but potential diseases include: (1) lily mosaic virus (prompt control of aphids which vector the disease is highly recommended, since there is no cure once infection occurs); (2) bulb rot (particularly in wet, poorly drained soils); and (3) Botrytis. Plants may need staking if grown in too much shade (stems weaken) or in locations exposed to strong winds.

Garden Uses

An excellent, showy flower that provides color and contrast to the summer perennial border. Also may be grown in pots or containers, but plants and flowers will be somewhat smaller.