Lily – Asiatic

Lilies are tall perennials that can grow in height from 2-6 feet high.  They form naked or tunicless scaly underground bulbs.  In some species the base of the bulb develops into rhizomes, on which many small bulbs are found.  Most bulbs are buried deep in the ground, but a few species form bulbs near the soil surface.


Asiatic lily planted along the railway path, interplanted with gladioli and day lily.  The pergola supports a climbing wild blackberry whose fruits are enjoyed by all.  Photo by G (July 2019)

Many species form stem-roots.  With these, the bulb grows naturally at some depth in the soil, and each year the new stem puts out adventitious roots above the bulb as it emerges from the soil.  These roots are in addition to the basal roots that develop at the base of the bulb.

The plants are late spring- or summer-flowering.   Lily flowers are large, often fragrant, and come in a wide range of colours and markings including spots and stripy brush strokes.   

Naturally most species originate from cool temperate climates and are deciduous.  This means that they go dormant in winter in their native environment.

I planted a potted plant of ‘Perfect Joy’ Asiatic Lily (purchased at a garden centre and already in flower) on 11 July 2018 into the front flower bed along the railway path (to side of rose and blackberry arbour).  In the summer of 2019 it was absolutely demolished by red lily beetle.   The taller pink flowering specimen withstood the onslaught of the lily beetles.


Lily Asiatic ‘Perfect Joy’ 

  • Perfect Joy bears large pink flowers with a gleaming white centre.
  • Perfect for any sunny flower garden.
  • Grows up to 40 cm high.  (Lower than the day lillies)
  • Plant in sun or semi-shade.  Prefers bright light but away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep soil moist but do not overwater.
  • Deadhead regularly.
  • Allow foliage to die naturally after the lily has finished flowering.
  • Should flower the next year.
  • Apply a balanced fertilizer when the plant breaks dormancy, and then again when flowers begin to open.