What Is Most Likely Eating My Tiger Lilies?

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What Is Most Likely Eating My Tiger Lilies?
Tiger lilies have bright flowers. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

The tiger lily was first described in 1753 by Swedish botanist Carl von Linne. Many parts of the plant are edible including the bulb, which is said to taste like potato. However, the lily is better known for its fiery, decorative flowers. The lily is resistant to disease, but the red lily beetle and some mammals may attack it.

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Normal Growth Habit

The tiger lily - or Lilium lancifolium - is an easy to grow garden plant. The flower has curled petals of either orange or red-orange with a dappled or spotted pattern. The flowers have a long stamen protruding from the centre, while the flower heads face downward along the stem. Some species can grow up to 6 feet in height, but most garden plants generally grow between 24 and 48 inches in height.

Planting and Growing Conditions

Tiger lily bulbs should be planted between early and mid-autumn when temperatures are cooler. If you live in a warmer area, bulbs can be planted in late autumn. They thrive in damp soil and full sun exposure, but can grow in the shade provided they receive some direct sunlight. Bulbs should be spaced between 9 and 12 inches apart when planted. Watered regularly to make sure they have an ample supply of water, but do not overwater.

Tiger Lily Pests

Tiger lily is highly disease-resistant, but is susceptible to attack from the red lily beetle. The beetle eats leaves, stem and flowers. The female red lily beetle lays eggs, which hatch and infest the plant. Voles and shrew also eat tiger lily bulbs, while deer and rabbit eat the entire plant.

Pest Prevention

Pick off and destroy red lily beetle larvae, manually or with a soft brush. Alternatively, spray an insecticide listed for red lily beetles, following manufacturer's directions for use. To protect the lilies from rabbits and deer, fence the flowerbed with wire deer fencing.

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