Lilies are the fourth most popular type of flower in the entire world, but it is hard to decipher which varieties or true lilies and which are not. There are fewer than 100 known species of lily, but they grow all over the world and may have been under cultivation longer than any other ornamental flower. Many of the plants you believe are lilies are not actually true lilies. For example, day lilies, water lilies, arum lilies and callas all actually belong to other groups of flowering plants. True lilies form from bulbs that store food over the winter or dry season and are made up of fleshy scales with no protective outer coating. True lilies are also never dormant. Two of the most popular types of lilies are Asiatic and Oriental.
Asiatic Lilies. Asiatic lilies are recognizable by their small flowers, which come in a great variety of colors. These lilies are among the very easiest to grow. They are hardy and do not require any type of staking. They are also not fussy about their soil and can grow in poor soil as long as it drains well. You can choose Asiatic lilies to plant based upon your favorite colors. If you choose the right selection of plants, you can enjoy blooms from June through September. Asiatic lilies grow best in full sun.
Oriental Lilies. Oriental lilies have fewer blooms, but the blooms they do have are large and extremely fragrant. Oriental lilies are very popular with home gardeners because of these big, frilly flowers. These lilies prefer organic and acidic soil. They will thrive if you mulch them heavily in the autumn. Oriental lilies are a bit trickier to grow than Asiatic lilies. They cannot live in standing water, so if you have no well-drained soil then you can plant them with a lot of compost in a mound so that the soil drains more freely.