Liliaceae Lilium Tango Lily


Pros: Easy Grow, Beautiful Cultivar

Cons: None Found

Liliaceae Lilium Tango Lily, Strawberry Cream is hardy in planting zones 4 through 9. Growing to heights of nearly three feet; lilies like almost any type soil including clay and poor soils so long as it is free draining. Sun to partial shade is suggested for peak growth in most climates with more shaded time during very hot summers. Spacing is 8 – 12 inches with triangle formation with bulbs placed about 3 to the square foot to allow for spread and optimum blossom impact. The old lily garden rule; feet in the shade, faces in the sun, remains pretty accurate today as it has been from those earlier cottage garden days.

I use a step on bulb planting device for digging holes for planting, damp soil is easier to penetrate than is cement hard clay. I place the Lily bulb about three times as deep as the bulb is high in a hole with pebbles, topped with compost in the bottom to help provide drainage and growing medium for young roots. Feeding the Lily cultivars in early spring as new growth thrusts upward and again buds begin to color and before the blossoms open.

Testing soil for potassium may be done if desired to assure best bulb and root growth. Muriate of potash, or a fertilizer high in the nutrient is available from most garden shops and where bulbs are sold.

While nearly all Lilies favor full sun most will flower in partial shade. Because our Oklahoma summers are often quite hot and dry I plant lilies where they will have good shade during afternoon into evening. I find my shaded blossoms tend to retain color better when summer sun is hot in the sky.

Cooler climes allows planting lilies in full sun, I don’t want to take the chance I will singe my pretty cultivars. I generally water once a week during droughty periods.

Because Lily bulbs are never entirely dormant, blubs should be planted pretty quickly following purchase. Bulbs are available from local Lowes and big box stores, online sites, White Flower Farm and Brecks are two, and Hirt’s Garden Lilies are offered online by Amazon. The Lily Store online, as well as many of the various catalog and other sites offers suggestions, guidelines and helps for those new to raising Lilies. Local garden clubs and neighbors are also a source of bulbs for trade and for sales and for information regarding raising Lilies in the area in which you live.

Should need arise; storing bulbs for 14 – 21 days in a cool, about 34-40° F, area is about the longest time and temp to consider before planting or risk damage to the bulbs. Lily bulbs do best when they are put into the garden where growing new roots is begun straightaway.

Asiatic Hybrids recently introduced for garden aficionados, Tango Lilies are early bloomers; blossoms appear at the peak of stout stems standing a tad shorter than earlier variety Orientals. Plant in an area sheltered from strong winds, and plan on staking the taller types.

While Iris remain my absolute first love in the garden; Lilies are a close second among blossoming cultivars. I particularly enjoy cultivars producing large, showy blossoms. Both Iris and Lilies fall in that category. Lilies yield outstanding trumpet petaled blossoms rising from bulbs contrived of non-overlapping scale shaped sections.

I like that these elegant beauties work well in the perpetual border and may be effectively grown in pots. Lilies are often used for bouquets even a single stem in a vase creates a definitive declaration. Stamens may be removed to circumvent contact with pollen; pollen stains tend to be stubborn to remove.

One beautiful feature of these lovely additions to the lily family are the blossoms having a central contrast color area at the throat of each flower with petal tips appearing in another color. The Strawberry Cream lily tends to feature magenta centers with strawberry pink petal tips. Attracting birds, bees and butterflies these gorgeous beauties provide lovely summer color when the Iris has come and gone and the garden is needing a pick me up.

Asiatic Lilies are among the first to blossom during the lily blossoming season.

I like to mulch during most of the year, winter to protect the tender bulbs from the snow and deep cold we have begun to experience over the past several winters, and during spring into summer to help retain cool and damp, not muck, but damp and cool helps my Lilies remain strong and blossoming.

I particularly like to use leaves during fall, and leave them in place until spring when they are raked up and added to the compost heap. Commercial mulch, cedar shavings and the like tend to help keep weeds down and soil cool during hot summer days. Be sure to mulch bulbs in cold climates if a good winter snow cover is not expected. Likewise, in more temperate areas, cold saturated soil will rot lily bulbs some years, so a raised area and fast-draining soil is recommended.

Although more moderate climates only require enough mulch (one to two inches) to reduce winter weed germination, colder climates need a bit more attention, in the same way that roses and other “softer” perennials are protected.

As a rule, to date, I have not seen much pest or disease problem with my lilies. Keeping the planting bed open to allow foliage to dry between rain or irrigation helps to keep incident of fungus to a minimum. Ferns and other shallow rooting cultivars planted in proximity help cool Lily roots during long hot summer days.

For more robust bulbs, blossoms should be removed as they fade to prevent the formation of seedpods. Energy is directed back to the bulb and not to forming of seeds. When all flowers have come and gone the stem should be cut directly below the stems, and foliage left to feed the bulb.

As Lily bulbs go dormant during late autumn is the best time for moving or dividing the clumps. Split the clump taking care to handle the chubby bulbs gently before replanting at the same depth in well-draining, crumbly soil. Smaller offset bulbs if present, can be replanted at a depth three times their height. I tend to lift clumps, separate and replant about every third year.

Once foliage has died back at the end of the growing season, stems may be cut off at ground level. If desired a few inches can be left above soil line if you plan more planting in the area. I add old foliage, mulch, clippings and the like from the garden to the compost heap.

All in all Lilies are a lovely addition to the planting bed and garden as a whole.

I like my yard to have pretty color for as long as is possible. Iris set the state followed by Lilies in myriad heights and colors, and then blossoming shrubs and vines including Rose of Sharon, Crepe Myrtle and Trumpet Vine.

Lilies are a majestic and beautiful addition to the garden, and best of all, they are easy to grow and even those with brown thumbs can plant and enjoy lilies. I have some in soil, in beds and tucked here and there, and I have some in pots.

I find Asiatics to be a lovely addition for my garden. And these wonderful Strawberry Cream are gorgeous.


Cost varies by when and where purchase is made

Leave a Reply