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You can have lilies from June to September

Published: Sunday, July 22 2012 7:44 p.m. MDT

They usually do not rebloom the first year after planting but if they survive the winter, they will bloom the following August.

For those that do not have a sunny location, don't give up. Martagon hybrids, a type of Turk's-cap lilies, are prized for their ability to bloom well in shady conditions.

After your plants finish blooming, they need some attention. Remove blooms when they die because you do not want them to form seedpods. Seed formation diverts the energy away from the bulbs and reduces the blooms for next season.

Leave the stems in place as long as they remain green because that energy is diverted into the bulb. Wait until the stalks die in the fall and then cut down the dead stems.

By selecting different types and cultivars from early, midseason and late-blooming flowers, you can have lilies in bloom from mid-June through mid-September.

Fortunately, these flowers have few pest problems. Slugs and snails often damage the new shoots so hunt and bait for them as needed. Flower buds are sometimes damaged by aphids and thrips so carefully wash the affected plants with a strong stream of water to remove them.

These are wonderful garden additions. Select favorites from the many species and hundreds of cultivars available. Don't forget to plant some extras as they make superb cut flowers.

Garden tips

Garden Talks in the Park. Join expert horticulturists for complimentary one-hour garden talks. July 25, 8 p.m., "Friends You Can Count, Dependable Perennials That Are the Backbone of the Garden" No tickets required and all ages are welcome. Brigham Young Historic Park is on the southeast corner of State Street and North Temple.

Red Butte Garden class "Western Wildflowers of the Mountain West," July 30, 6:30- 7:30 p.m. Presenter: Jerry Goodspeed, co-author of a new wildflower book. Free, public welcome. Contact: Jessica Buxton, 801-468-3187 or jessica.buxton@usu.edu

Larry A. Sagers is a horticulture specialist for the Utah State University Extension Service at Thanksgiving Point.

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