Lilies are a jewel of the summer garden! They have large, showy flowers that are often fragrant. Lilies grow in a wide range of hardiness zones. Most of the United States can enjoy these beautiful flowers in their summer garden. Lily bulbs are relatively easy to grow. They require sun to part sun and soil that drains well. While planting a garden area that is exclusively dedicated to lilies has its appeal, having companion plants for lilies will increase the diversity in your garden. Continue reading for suggestions of what to plant with lily bulbs.
Companion Plants for Lily Bulbs
Like most flower bulbs lilies will go dormant a few weeks after blooming. Therefore, when considering what to plant with lilies take into account the fact that they will disappear a few weeks after blooming. This can leave a void in the garden, therefore companion plants are extra helpful to ensure the garden stays full all season.
Veronica and Asiatic Lilies
Veronica is also known as speedwell it is a perennial that blooms in early summer. It is easy to grow and provides a large burst of candle-like blooms at the beginning of the summer.
Asiatic lilies are the first of the lilies to bloom in early summer. Their blooms face upwards and come in vibrant colors. Therefore, lilies and veronica are a great pair. Most varieties of Asiatic lilies will mature at a slightly taller height than veronica. Therefore, plant the Asiatic lily bulbs behind veronica or surround the lily bulbs with veronica plantings.
Asiatic Lilies and Veronica Planting Combinations
- Classic Contrasting Color Combination
- Perfectly Pink Color Combination
- Vibrant and Bold Color Combination
Daylilies and Oriental Lilies
While daylilies have the word lily in their name they are different in many ways compared to traditional lilies. Daylilies grow from a root as opposed to traditional lilies that grow from a bulb. Daylilies have grassy-like leaves that often are clump-forming. While Oriental lily blooms form on a single stem with leaves that radiate around the stem. Daylilies do not go dormant after blooming. The differences between daylilies and oriental lilies make them well-suited companions.
Daylilies often begin blooming in mid-summer; this bloom time makes them a perfect companion for mid-summer blooming Oriental lilies. The clump-forming habit of daylilies will help to cover the skinny stems of Oriental lilies. The daylilies will also help ensure there is no void in the garden when the Oriental lilies go dormant.
Oriental Lilies and Daylily Planting Combinations
- Contrasting Colors Combination
- Vibrant Bold Colors Combination
- Extra Pink Combination
Tiger Lilies and Rudbeckia
Speckled and spotted tiger lilies bloom after the Oriental lilies finish blooming. The blooms hang down with petals that bend backward. Tiger lilies have a stately appearance and grow 3-4′ tall.
Rudbeckia is the botanical name for perennials that are often called Black-Eyed Susans. There are many varieties and cultivars of Rudbeckia with varying characteristics. One characteristic they all have in common is their late bloom season. Tiger lilies and rudbeckia bloom toward the end of summer, which makes them a great duo.
Tiger Lilies and Rudbeckia Planting Combinations
- Sunny and Warm Color Combination
- Pink Lemonade Color Combination
- Light and Dark Contrasting Color Combination
Orienpet Lilies and Tall Garden Phlox
Some of the tallest lilies that bloom in summer are Orienpet Lilies. They grow so tall they are sometimes called Tree Lilies. Orienpet Lilies are hybrids of Oriental lilies and trumpet lilies. They grow tall like trumpet lilies and have showy fragrant blooms like Oriental lilies.
Tall garden phlox bloom mid-to-late summer with many clusters of colorful blooms. Phlox form a solid 2-3′ clump that helps fill in the late summer garden. Orienpet Lilies make a lovely backdrop for groupings of phlox.
Orienpet Lilies and Phlox Planting Combinations
- Pink Peppermint Color Combination
- Bold and Zesty Color Combination
- Pretty Pink Color Combination
Lilies Do Better in Groups
It is true that lilies grow best in groups. When planting lily bulbs it is ideal to plant 3-5 lily bulbs per planting hole. The same can be said for lily companion plants. When planning your lily garden plan to plant 3-5 lily bulbs in an area with a similar number of perennials depending on space.
Lilies bloom in a variety of colors and have different bloom times. Due to their versatile characteristics finding companion plants for lilies is easy. Try to match the bloom times of the companion plant with the lilies that are being planted. Also, consider the bloom color when finding companion plants. Mix different flower shapes and plant heights for a diverse garden.
Now that you have some companion plants for your lily garden brush up on lily garden knowledge with our Beginners Guide to Gardening with Lilies.