Growing 'Madonna Lily' - Lilium candidum in Australia

18 years ago

I'm not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, but since I couldn't find a bulbs forum, I guess this one looks the most appropriate.

OK, to launch into the topic of this post: Lilium candidum. A few months ago I managed to find potted specimens of this magnificent lily at the Digger's Club in Dromana. One thing I've been astonished at is how extremely rare this lily is in this country. I'm of european origin, and one thing I can say is that the Madonna lily is extremely common there, barely a garden without it.

Now, I planted the three bulbs in my garden in Melbourne. The soil in my garden is slightly alkaline

(pH 7.1) and very very sandy, and the garden receives sunlight up until 1.00pm. The garden has had plenty of cow manure added to it.

My question is this: I noticed that one of bulbs that still has its basal leaves (or, rather, leaf,) has had a purplish discolouration around the margin of the leaf. In addition to this the purple-bronze areas have now started to die off. Furthermore, I've noticed yellowish streaks further down the basal leaf, and when I look through the leaf, it appears that the cells have died and dried up where the streaks appear.

Whilst I know that this lily does go dormant in summer time, and I can expect the basal leaves to die during that time, I am utterly terrified that this specimen has been infected with a virus. Just as a note, it was planted in the garden at a time when the surrounding plants were minimal, and it was getting scorched pretty badly by the sun. The surrounding plants now almost completely shade it now, and I do water the garden quite regularly.

If anyone has any handy hints regarding this potential problem or has experience growing this lily here in Australia, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you in advance.

PS: I've just noticed how incredibly long this post is! So sorry!!

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