Oriental lilies are the classic “late bloomer.” Growing oriental lily plants is fairly easy provided you have a well-prepared site for bulbs, plenty of sun and good drainage. These lillies grow tall reaching 3 to 6 feet.
Asiatic and Oriental are two of the most popular forms of true lilies available. Asian lilies bloom in June to July while Oriental bulbs start to appear in August. Both are quite easy to grow with thick, rigid stems, strappy leaves and showy flowers. Oriental lily cultivars, however, tend to have larger flowers. Orientals also thrive in cooler regions and can tolerate less than ideal soil conditions. To answer the question, “what is an Oriental lily,” we first need to concede what a true lily is. There are many flowering plants referred to as lilies, but only true lilies are in the genus Lilium. They spring from bulbs with scales on the exterior and no protective skin. Oriental lilies are larger than their Asian counterpart and very fragrant, making them popular additions to the cut flower garden.