Top 10 Lilies to Love

From asiatic lilies to oriental lilies, these are the blooms you’ve been waiting for.

Prized for their showy, often fragrant flowers, and ease of cultivation, lilies are among the most popular of garden plants. You can purchase and plant bulbs in spring or fall. Most lilies do best in sunny locations with well-drained soil. For a nonstop flower show, combine early bloomers like Asiatics with mid-season Orientals and late-blooming trumpet lilies.

Forever Susan Asiatic Lily

Forever Susan Asiatic Lily

Lilium Forever Susan,’ Zones 3 to 9

If you love bold blooms, then this lily will definitely meet those needs with its orange and burgundy hues. These plants have a long flowering life, and they do great in both full sun and partial shade. They’ll grow up to 36 inches, and they also make excellent cut flowers. 

Why we love it:
 They are one of the earliest blooming lilies out there. The show begins as soon as the daffodils and tulips fade, and they stay flowering for

Turk’s Cap Lily

Turk’s Cap Lily

Lilium martagonZones 3 to 8

This European native adds exotic flair to the perennial garden when it blooms in early summer. It can be slow to establish, but be patient. When mature, the vigorous plants will throw up clumps of 4-foot stems that can be topped with as many as 50 fragrant flowers!

Why we love it: Gardeners adore this striking lily, but so do the swallowtail butterflies. Support these native pollinators by tucking a few bulbs in the perennial border.

Magic Star Double Oriental Lily

Magic Star Double Oriental Lily

Lilium Magic Star,’ Zones 3 to 8

Double Oriental lilies are among the most flamboyant of the summer bulbs with layers upon layers of ruffled petals in a range of colors. The enormous flowers of Magic Star are particularly dazzling with pink petals striped in red, edged in white and dotted with crimson freckles. 

Why we love it: Did we mention it’s super fragrant? And the lack of pollen means the blooms are very long lasting, especially as cut flowers.

Regale Trumpet Lily

Regale Trumpet Lily

Lilium regaleZones 4 to 8

Regale is a mid- to late-summer showstopper with massive, deeply perfumed flowers. Established plants can grow very tall (up to 8 feet) but heights of 3 to 5 feet are more common. Feed annually with compost, and water in dry spells if you want to encourage colossal-sized plants. 

Why we love it:Regale’s enormous, trumpet-shaped blooms are simply spectacular. The white flowers will grow 8- to 10-inches long, and have pink-tinged outer petals and golden throats.

Tom Pounce Oriental Lily

Tom Pouce Oriental Lily

Lilium ‘Tom Pouce,’ Zones 3 to 8

Named after a Dutch pastry, Tom Pouce lily is a treat, with each candy pink petal brushed with a stripe of bright gold. The upward-facing blooms grow in clusters of four to eight and flower in July. The blossoms are very robust and make long-lasting and exceptionally fragrant cut flowers. 

Why we love it: The semi-dwarf plants grow to 3 or 4 feet tall, making Tom Pouce a good choice for containers, as well as the garden, though they may require

Stargazer Oriental Lily

Stargazer Oriental Lily

Lilium ‘Stargazer,’ Zones 4 to 8

Stargazer was introduced almost 40 years ago, and it still remains one of the most popular lilies in cultivation. Why? Just look to the flowers, which are a breathtaking blend of crimson, pink and white, with dozens of bright red freckles spilling across the petals. They’re extremely fragrant and borne on sturdy plants.

Why we love it: Stargazer is an easy lily for beginners with tremendous payback—weeks of glorious color and dizzying scent. 

Lilium Yellow

Lilium Yelloween

Lilium Yelloween,’ zones 4 to 8

This lily was developed in the Netherlands to be a superb cut flower, even in cooler temperatures. It definitely accomplishes this task. Once it’s established, this plant can reach heights of 8 feet, and you could easily get 10 to 15 blooms per stem. 

Why we love it:This bloom is like pure sunshine. It’s one of the most striking lilies available with bright yellow petals, which will brighten up any backyard space.

Silk Road Orienpet Lily

Silk Road Orienpet Lily

Lilium ‘Silk Road,’ Zones 4 to 8

Orienpet lilies are a cross between oriental and trumpet types, offering the best of both worlds. They bear very large, heavily scented flowers, are long-blooming and form hardy, vigorous plants. Silk Road is an outstanding selection with white blossoms and cherry red throats on plants 4 to 6 feet tall. 

Why we love it: Silk Road seduces with its powerful aroma and stunning color combination. Plus, the stalks are bursting with large flowers.

Lollypop Asiatic Lily

Lollypop Asiatic Lily

Lilium ‘Lollypop,’ Zones 3 to 8

The white and cherry-pink blooms of Lollypop are as sweet as candy. The stocky plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and begin blooming in early summer. Tuck them among sun-loving perennials or grow them in large tubs on a sunny deck or patio. 

Why we love it: It’s hard to beat Lollypop’s jolt of color! Plus, it’s very easy to grow and thrives with minimal fussing.

Casablanca Oriental Lily

Casablanca Oriental Lily

Lilium Casa Blanca,’ Zones 3 to 8

For sheer wow factor, you can’t beat Casablanca, an Oriental lily that grows up to 4 feet and bears massive white, star-shaped flowers. It’s captivating in the sunshine, but also a favorite in moonlight gardens where the pale blooms seem to glow. It grows well in most garden soils, but requires full sun in order to produce its heavenly scented flowers.

Why we love it: Casablanca is extremely popular among gardeners who appreciate its exceptional vigor, pure white blooms and intoxicating fragrance. It also makes an excellent cut flower. 

Stargazer Lily

Lilies 101

If you want to know the different types of lilies, here’s a cheat sheet to help you out.

Asiatic lilies
Among the first to bloom, they’re easy to grow, but little to no scent.

Oriental lilies
Not quite as easy to grow, they demand rich soil, ample water and mulched roots. But the large flowers with great scents are worth it.

Trumpet lilies
Trumpet lilies are showstoppers. The plants are tall and elegant with fragrant flowers.

Martagon lilies
These lilies add visual drama with their lofty heights and spires of downward-facing blossoms. Plants can take some shading.

Orienpet lilies
These are a cross of Oriental and trumpet lilies. Flowers are large and heavily scented.

Turk’s Cap lilies
Several species go by this name, and can include both European and North American natives. They tolerate sun and shade.

Niki Jabbour
Niki Jabbour is the best-selling author of three books, including Veggie Garden Remix and the Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.