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blooming plant of the month
hybrid lily

Hyacinth - Blooming Plant(printable PDF)
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Lilium x hybrida
(LIL-ee-um HIGH-bri-duh)

Asiatic hybrid lily
Oriental hybrid lily
LA (longiflorum/Asiatic) hybrid lily
LO (longiflorum/Oriental) hybrid lily
OT (Oriental/trumpet) hybrid lily

Depending on type of hybrid, lilies’ six-petaled blooms range from about 4 to 8 inches in diameter. The flowers, generally three to 10 per stem, can be upward facing to nodding, and the petals can be strongly recurved. Radiating from the core of the blooms are the stamens, which consist of stemlike filaments that support pollen-bearing anthers.

Hybrid lily stems, which can grow to 2 feet tall in pots, have leaves that vary from narrow and grasslike to short and broad.

Many Oriental, OT and LO hybrid varieties are fragrant, with some cultivars being stronger than others. Asiatic and LA hybrids generally have slight or no fragrance.

Hybrid lilies are available in solid colors (with or without speckles) and bicolors (speckled, striped and/or splashed). The color range includes pinks, reds and burgundies; oranges, from red-orange and rust to peach and coral; yellows, from pastel to bright; and whites/ivories/creams.

Potted hybrid lilies should last from about four to 12 days, depending on species and variety, care, environmental conditions (especially temperature) and stage of maturity at the time of sale.

Hybrid lilies are available year-round although types of hybrids and cultivars vary by month and season.

LIGHT Hybrid lily plants require lots of bright, indirect light.
WATER Keep compost evenly moist at all times, watering lightly but frequently. Be careful not to overwater.
TEMPERATURE Hybrid lilies perform best in cool interior environments: ideally, 60 F to 70 F during the daytime; 45 F to 60 F at night, if possible
HUMIDITY These plants prefer moderately humid air, so misting leaves (not blooms) occasionally can be beneficial.
STORAGE These plants can be refrigerated, at 35 F to 38 F, at the grower or retailer level, for up to three days; however, they will perform better for consumers without refrigerated storage.
FERTILIZER  During their blooming cycle, feed Freesia plants every seven to 10 days with a balanced or high-phosphorous plant food. This is especially helpful if consumers intend to save and replant the corms.
SOIL A light, well-draining potting mixture will provide best results.
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Hybrid lilies are sensitive to ethylene gas although the degree varies by species and cultivar. Asiatic hybrids are most sensitive while Oriental, LO and OT hybrids are least sensitive. Exposure to ethylene causes leaf, bud or petal drop as well as buds to wither before they open.

Make sure your purchases, especially Asiatic hybrids, are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower level or during shipping. In addition, keep them away from sources of ethylene such as ripening fruit, decaying flowers and foliage, automobile exhaust, and tobacco smoke.

POLLEN STAINS Lily pollen will stain anything it touches, so remove all anthers immediately after each bloom opens, and advise customers to do the same. If pollen gets on fabric, brush it away lightly and gently with a soft brush, piece of tissue or chenille stem. Do not wet the fabric or touch the stain with your hands. If any pollen color remains, place the fabric outside in the sunshine until the stain disappears.
This is typically a result of cold storage, too-low light conditions and/or overwatering.
PREMATURE FLOWER BUD DEATH Causes include exposure to ethylene, too-low light conditions, too-high temperatures, cold storage for too many days and/or refrigeration at too-low temperatures.
LEAF, BUD AND/OR PETAL DROP The most common cause is exposure to ethylene.



fun facts


FAMILY MATTERS Hybrid lilies are members of the Liliaceae (lily) family and are related to lilies-of-the-valley, daylilies, Fritillarias, Gloriosas, hyacinths, tulips and stars-of-Bethlehem, among others.

HOME SWEET HOME Hybrid lilies are native to Japan and China.


purchasing tips

  • Buy hybrid lily plants when only one or two buds are puffy and showing color, and before any buds are open.

  • Check flower buds, stems and leaves for bruising, browning, yellowing, mold and rot.


Some information provided by:
Botanica, by R.G. Turner Jr. and Ernie Wasson
Chain of Life Network®,
Hortus Third, by Liberty Hyde Bailey and Ethel Zoe Bailey
Houseplant Encyclopedia, The, by Ingrid Jantra and Ursula Kruger
House Plant Expert, The, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
SAF Flower & Plant Care, by Terril A. Nell, Ph.D. and Michael S. Reid, Ph.D.

Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2010
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.