As some of you might know I started writing a piece on plants and gardening since past month here. Taking it ahead this month I’ve come up with an interesting plant for the month of August.
Tiger lily or Lilium Tigrinum as it is called in scientific jargon is a plant native to far east and has naturalised in many parts of the north eastern Himalayas. It is one of the most forgiving true lilies that do very well even in the most humid and wet garden. Monsoon thus provides the perfect conditions for its growth and for its rich colourful flowers. The flowers can be single, double or even triple in some case, almost always looking towards the ground. As the plant can grow really tall, 4-5’in a season, the flowers can be easily enjoyed.
Now like all true lilies, they grow from scaly bulbs which can be planted at any time of the year but preferably during early spring. A spot with 3-4 hours of direct sunlight is ideal for them. They will most likely not show any sign of growth until mid-April or early May. And then when the stem is at least a couple of inches above the ground you can start feeding them. Liquid seaweed works fine. Look for big bulbs without any sign of damage or rot on them. Plant the pointy side up at least 3″ below the soil. Prior to planting add lots of compost in the planting hole and mix it thoroughly. Cover the bulbs, tap the soil to make sure there are no air pockets left and water it. As the plant grows taller it might need staking. They should be flowering sometime in mid to late July or early August, depending on the weather and will keep on doing that for years to come. Once in 3-4 years you can lift the clump and divide the bulbs. That is all you need to do for them and they’ll reward you with exuberant flowers in the monsoon month.