Lilies are wonderful flowers that offer a plethora of colors and sweet fragrances to any garden. These magical blooms are large, bright, and beautiful to add to the aesthetics and wonder of your home garden.
Garden lilies are classified into nine different horticultural divisions. There are more than 80 species in the Lilium genus and many of them fall into one of these types.
Most of the lilies that are grown in gardens are hybrid crosses from different native species.
Here are the nine types of garden lilies as well as a few of their common cultivars that are good to plant in your garden so you can expect lovely blooms from spring to fall.
Table of Contents
1. Asiatic Hybrid Lilies
A classic garden favorite, Asiatic hybrid lilies are easy to grow, especially for beginners. They have a broad range of bright colors and patterns that will look very lovely in your garden.
These lilies are the shortest types of lilies, have strong and straight stems, and are mostly unscented. They grow to 1 to 2 feet and produce up to 12 flowers per bulb.
These types of lilies are among the first to bloom producing colorful flowers that are often spotted with colors ranging from red, orange, and yellow, to creamy white. Asiatic hybrids bloom in early to mid-summer.
The parent species are native to eastern and central Asia. A reliable bloomer in your garden, they also make good cut flowers and attract pollinators.
Asiatic Hybrid Lilies to Grow in Your Garden
‘Tiny Bee’ Lily
‘Tiny Bee’ lilies have a vibrant golden color with small dark spots. They are tiny flowers that grow 1 to 2 feet and blossom in mid summer. They have been developed to grow in garden pots although you can plant them in beds as well.
These two-toned lilies in white and pink blooms make a spectacular sight when planted in masses. They are wonderful to plant in garden beds.
Beautiful, sweet and elegant looking, Elodie lilies have pale, pink and two layers of petals with tiny maroon spots.
2. Martagon Hybrid Lilies
Also known as Turk’s Cap lilies or mountain lilies, the tall and spiky stems of this variety produce many layers of flowers which are downward-facing. Their petals are curved and adorned with freckles.
You can plant them in the fall and expect these gorgeous lilies to bloom in May or June. Choose a sheltered location that has good drainage for these lilies to thrive.
They will grow in all soil types if drainage is sufficient. Turk’s Cap lilies tolerate a fair amount of shade and are sensitive to extreme heat.
Plant these lilies in groups of three in your garden. They are suitable to plant in large containers, perennial beds and woodland fringes.
Martagon Hybrid Lilies to Grow in Your Garden
‘Marhan’ lilies were cultivated in the Netherlands in 1891 and were one of the first recognized Martagon hybrids. Its petals are heavily spotted with dark green stems. It can grow up to 6 feet in height and blooms in early summer.
‘Mrs. R.O. Backhouse’ Lily
Native to Europe, these lilies were created in England. They have yellow, recurved petals with tiny red freckles and attract pollinators such as butterflies.
The colors of these lilies range from lilac, tangerine, and mahogany, to yellowish orange with maroon spots.
3. Candidum Hybrid Lilies
Candidum hybrids are a small division and include most European species. They bloom in the summer reaching from 4 to 6 feet. They prefer moderately dry conditions and require a sheltered spot to thrive.
Candidum Hybrid Lilies to Grow in Your Garden
One of the most famous lilies, ‘Madonna’ lilies have a long history of association with religion. This simple and classic lily has large, white, trumpet-shaped petals with yellow anthers that face outwards.
They grow in clusters of up to 20 blooms in one stem and have a sweet and intoxicating fragrance.
4. American Hybrid Lilies
These lilies came from the wild lilies that are native to North America. The American hybrids can grow into large colonies when planted in the garden. They grow up to 7 feet in height and work well in dappled shade.
Their flowers come in deep hues of red, orange and yellow and have recurved petals. American hybrid lilies work best in informal landscapes, cottage and wildflower gardens, meadows, woodland conditions and you can grow them with shrubs.
American Hybrid Lilies to Grow in Your Garden
A garden favorite with its mesmerizing look of orange recurved petals with dark red spots, ‘Columbia’ lilies are native to western North America.
A native of eastern North America, Canada lilies are also known as meadow lily or wild yellow-lily. These downward-facing flowers bloom during the months of June or July.
5. Longiflorum Hybrids
These are also known as the seasonal Easter lily by most gardeners and are used as Easter decorations. Its native area is in the Southern islands of Japan and Taiwan.
Longiflorum hybrids are slightly fragrant and have white-colored, trumpet-shaped, outward-facing petals. These elegant looking flowers multiply rapidly.
These types of lilies are not hardy in a garden and need a protected location for them to flourish. You can plant them outside in the ground, in perennial beds and the dwarf varieties for containers.
6. Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrid Lilies
Trumpet lilies and Aurelian lilies are classified in the same division and are the largest division of lilies. These lilies are tall and spectacular with elegant trumpet-shaped flowers that come in different shades of yellow, cream, white, orange and pink.
They flourish in full sun and grow from 3 to 6 feet and sometimes can reach up to 8 feet. These lilies are fragrant, long-lasting and can grow many flowers per stem.
These types of lilies are less cold hardy compared to other lilies but can easily grow by staking them and by giving them an insulating mulch to protect them throughout the winter months. They work well in containers and flower beds.
Trumpet and Aurelian Hybrid Lilies to Grow in Your Garden
‘African Queen’ Lily
This plant has huge and vivid orange blooms with a soft purple-pink hue on its outer petals. The African Queen lily is a show-stopper. It can stand extreme temperatures and can grow up to 6 feet in height.
‘Golden Splendor’ Lily
These lilies are tough plants that can tolerate bad weather. They reach up to 4 feet tall and are fragrant with large and stunning yellow blooms.
‘Bright Star’ Lily
Big, white flowers with a bright orange hue in the center give this lily a star-like appearance, earning its name, Bright Star. It blooms in the late summer to early autumn at about 3 to 4 feet in height.
7. Oriental Hybrid Lilies
Oriental hybrid lilies are the most fragrant among all the other lilies. They come in various shades of pink, purplish red and white, and creamy yellow flowers that are large and heavily scented.
The flowers are at their showiest in August. They are great to plant in cutting and perennial gardens or big containers.
Oriental Hybrid Lilies to Grow in Your Garden
A popular type of lily, the ‘Stargazer’ lily performs well in the garden. Petals are upward-facing and are dotted with vibrant pink.
They are very fragrant and good as cut flowers. These lilies can be grown in containers and attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
‘Casablanca’ Lilies are popular as cut flower arrangements in bridal bouquets. Its white and waxy petals have a light and sweet scent.
A stunning addition to your garden, ‘Acapulco’ lilies have an exotic yet delightful scent with bright, pink blooms.
8. Interdivisional Hybrid Lilies
These lily hybrids are made by crossing plants from other divisions. They produce large, flat blooms with a slight scent.
These types of lilies are suitable for large containers, cutting and cottage gardens, perennial beds, and naturalized areas. LA Hybrids crosses L. longiflorum with the species of Asiatic lily creating large flowers with a slight fragrance.
The Orienpet Hybrid is a cross between the Oriental lilies and Trumpet lilies and makes large flowers that are highly fragrant and have an upward and outward-facing appearance with curved petals. These types of lilies are robust and durable.
LA Hybrid Lilies to Grow in Your Garden
‘Forza Red’ Lily
The Forza Red lily is a popular flower for florists. These large, brilliant and red blooms will be so impressive in your gardens. They are fragrant and bloom in the month of June.
These charming flowers will look lovely in your garden with their pale yellow color in the center and bright, dark pink hues on the edges. Give them plenty of sun and well-drained soil to see these lilies grow with many fragrant blooms in the early summer.
Orienpet Hybrid Lilies to Grow in Your Garden
These types of lilies can tolerate alkaline soils. It grows a lot of flowers per head and its petals have a dark crimson color and lime green in the center.
This type of lily produces a lot of flowers in a single stem with its petals a crimson shade and with huge anthers. They bloom in mid to late summer and can reach up to 7 feet tall.
Species lilies are a type of lilies that haven’t been hybridized. They are pure wild types and are the parents of the other eight hybrid lily divisions.
They are found in temperate climates in Asia, Europe and North America and are highly adaptable. They propagate from their seeds in the wild.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have a delicate appearance. Some lilies are easy to cultivate while others are a bit challenging to grow at home.
Lilies are a great addition to your garden. They grow best in well drained and fertile soil and it is essential to plant them in locations that suit them. Lily bulbs need to be exposed to cold temperatures to form their blooms and need a period of cold winter dormancy.
Once the lilies begin to grow, they require little care. During the growing season, let the lilies die naturally and do not cut the green leaves as they will continuously photosynthesize during this season.
For perennial gardens, Asiatics, Oriental, and Trumpet hybrid lilies are the best ones to grow to keep your garden colorful all summer long. Lilies are known to be long-lasting cut flowers, and Asiatic and Oriental hybrid lilies are excellent for cutting gardens.
Asiatic lilies are also good to plant in container gardens and are ideal for pots and planters. Some Oriental varieties of lilies that are short can also be planted in containers.
Lilies are a lovely fit to grow in your gardens. They’re beautiful, vibrant, and elegant and will definitely give your garden a stunning, colorful, and fresh look.