Genus Lilium comprises about 110 species and falls in the family of Liliaceae. It is native to northern temperate regions. Majority of the species form underground bulbs (tunic less scaly) from which they produce ?owers. Lilies are usually erect leafy stemmed herbs and are globally in high demand for cut ?ower purposes.
Among lilium the most sought after in the market from cut ?ower point of view include Asiatic, Oriental, OT, LO and LA hybrids. Although Asiatic and Oriental lilies are famous in cut ?ower trade but introduction of LO,LA and OT hybrids has diversi?ed the lilium trade. Oriental and OT lilies have fragrant ?owers. LA hybrids are increasing in popularity compared to the Asiatic hybrids. LA hybrids generally have a larger ?ower size and the ?owers are more clustered at the top of the stem,more upward facing than Oriental lilies. LO hybrids provide unique flowers with good market accessibility.
In India Lilium cultivation for cut ?ower purposes has remarkably increased. It is estimated that annual import of lilium bulbs is in crores from the Netherlands and this is a matter of concern as it involves huge constant foreign exchange. Lilium is a temperate bulbous ?ower crop that produces good quality bulbs under temperate conditions. The bulbs bloom well in subtropical conditions of northern plains, however the plant fails to produce bulbs. Therefore the farmers are forced to purchase bulbs year after year. During the last two decades Indian farmers have imported sizable quantities of Lilium bulbs from across the world as Lilium cut ?ower alone is an industry of around 50 crores as far as annual turn over is concerned.
Kashmir valley is highly suitable for bulb production owing to temperate climatic conditions. Also, there is a huge demand for these bulbs in plains where summer temperatures are high enough which render these areas unsuitable for bulb production. This confers Kashmir a unique place and envisages a vast scope for bulb production on commercial lines which will help in promoting ?oriculture trade with good returns and will minimise the import of lilium bulbs.
Soil Sterilisation :
Hydrogen perioxide with silver Add Hydrogen perioxide with silver 35 ml per liter of water and 1 L/ m is required for sterlisation. Planting can be done 6 hours after treatment. In the market multi component complex formulations containing hydrogen peroxide and silver in nano form are available.
Formalin is used as well for soil sterilisation and the ratio is 1: 10 (formalin: water).After treatment the soil is covered with plastic for 7 days 2followed by removal of traces with water at the ratio of 1 m: 100 L of water. After 2 weeks of this planting can be carried out.
Soil should be ploughed and 2 to 3 Kg of Well rotten FYM to be 2incorporated. 2-3 Kg/m of well rotten FYM should be thoroughly mixed with soil before planting. Good structure soil particularly the top layers and well drained is prerequisite for Lilium.During soil preparation 60g CAN,MOP 60 g or DAP 30-40g should be incorporated so as to avoid any nutritional de?ciency.
Soil pH plays a vital role in the development of roots and is an important factor for nutrient uptake. Care should be taken to maintain soil pH of 6 to 7 and chlorine level to be maintained below1.5 mmol/lit. Bulbs should be planted in fertile and permeable soil otherwise the bulbs may rot.
Use of moisture retention and soil sterilization chemicals: Nowadays in the market different products are available for soil moisture retention and soil sterilization. Application of these chemicals varies from product to product. Nano based products are available which are mixed with soil during soil preparation and this ensures moisture retention,safe guards the soil from harmful microbes and enriches soil through nutrient mobilisation. Raised Beds and Planting Raised beds are important for Lilium production as it helps to improve drainage as well as help in preventing disease problems caused by root rots. Planting method Depth of planting bulbs and spacing plays an important role in quality produce. Depth of planting is related to size of bulb but as a thumb rule lilium bulbs are planted at 6 inches depth. Keeping in view its moisture loving nature, soil is irrigated after planting frequently which will decline soil about an inch. Deep planting ensures excellent results from a root 3 development point of view. Shallow planting will result in poor stem root development and hence one compromise on the quality of the ?ower. Planting depth varies according to the size of the bulb. Generally the bulb should be planted to the depth of three times more than the diameter of the bulb. Planting time: March-April is the ideal time for planting Lilium bulbs for bulb production point of view as it encourages the length of growth cycle which helps in proper bulb and propagule development. For cut ?ower purposes, planting season include March-April and July August. Bulbs can be stored at -2 to 2 C for ?ower regulation purposes. Irrigation . Lack of frequent watering produces shorter stems so soil should not be allowed to dry out. However, the general rule is that the plants are watered frequently during the growth stage keeping in view the thumb rule that soil should not dry out. Watering requirement is less after the end of the reproductive phase. EC of irrigation water should be 0.5 mS/cm or lower. The maximum acceptable Chlorine level of irrigation water used for greenhouse irrigation is 200 ppm. Moisten the soil few days before planting to enable rooting to start straight after planting. Because the stem roots develop in the top layer, it must be kept constantly moist. The amount of water depends on type of soil, greenhouse climate and the variety. Water 2requirement in summer is 6 to 8 lit / m/ day, Water require-ment in other 2season : 4 to 5 lit / m/ day.
Use of Biofertilisers and Fertilization: Bulbs and bulb plants respond well to organic formulation which may be manures or biofertilisers. Bulbs need treatment with Azotobacter, PSB and KSB combination so that its pace of development in terms of qualitative and quantitative traits can be enhanced. Before and during the blooming period it is recommended to use a fertilizer with a considerable amount of phosphorus and potassium. Temperature Initial temperature of 12 to13°C is required for root development. During the cultivation stage the optimum daily temperature requirement is between 15 to 22ºC. Temperature below 15°C can result in bud drop and yellowing of the foliage in oriental hybrids. The optimum temperature for LAs and Asiatics is 50–55°F and 62–65°F whereas for Oriental, OTs, LOs 58–62°F and 65–68°F is considered ideal. OT, Oriental and LOs show decreased performance below 55°F.
Humidity Relative Humidity inside the greenhouse should be 80 to 85 %. It is important to avoid large ?uctuation in humidity levels which will cause stress and leaf scorch in susceptible varieties. .
Light affects the growth of lilium and their development. Depending on the time of year, the location of production, amount of light penetrating in the greenhouse and the variety, lighting may even be essential. The insufficient minimum light intensity in the greenhouse for Asiatic hybrids 2is 190 Joules/cm. Insufficient light results in inadequate growth and bud drop. Asiatic hybrids are most susceptible to bud drop as compared to oriental and longi?orum. Shade net Shading not only reduces temperatures but also avoids leaf scorching on the plant, The percentage of shading depends on the light conditions at the site and time of the year. 50% to 75% shade nets are recommended for Lilium depending upon cultivar and season. Ventilation and Green House To control high temperature rise proper ventilation is required. It is advisable to build a structure with a top ventilation gap of minimum 3 feet to have proper ventilation inside the greenhouse. Depending on the design and size of the greenhouse one can have a provision for side ventilation as well.
Deheading: It is an important practice for bulb production. It involves removal of ?ower heads, especially of stocks. Deheaded stocks yield a greater number of large bulbs with superior quality. The operation of deheading consists of snapping-off or preferably cutting off with a knife, the blooms just below stthe ?ower. When the 1 indication of colour appears in the ?owers is probably the best time for deheading. Drainage: Bulbs need good drainage because they will rot under wet soil moisture conditions. Therefore plant them in well-drained soil and raised beds. As a thumb rule avoid planting bulbs where water stands after a rain. A good loam soil is best. If the soil is heavy clay, add organic matter such as compost or peat moss to loosen it.
Schedule can be adopted.
1) Recommended dose of nutrients (Kg/Ha): N 125-150 kg/ha, P 22-33, K 210-250 Mg 30-45
2) OPTIMUM TEMPERATURE: 15 to 22ºC OPTIMUM HUMIDITY: 80 to 85 %.
3) OPTIMUM LIGHT INTENSITY: 190 Joules/cm SHADING NET: 50% agro white shade net
4) IRRIGATION: 6 to 8 lit / m/ day
5) Harvesting of Flower: Harvest cut lilies 8 to 10 cm above the ground and avoid stem drying. Harvesting is done when lower most bud shows colour (colour b r e a k i n g s t a g e ) b u t i s n o t o p e n
6) Grading of cut ?owers is done on the basis of the number of buds per stem. Removal of around 10cm of foliage from the base before bunching is prerequisite.
7) Bulb Harvesting: Maintain optimum moisture of soil till the foliage withers. It takes 4-5 weeks to harvest bulbs in such a way that no bulb injury occurs. Bulbs should be washed properly and treatment of bulbs with 2%fungicidal solution for 10 minutes duration is recommended followed by shade drying.
8) Storage of bulbs is done in crates in the media and coca peat has been considered ideal. Group
Asiatic hybrids : 8 - 10 weeks
Oriental hybrids : 14 - 16 weeks
Yield: The average yield is 30 - 40 ?ower stems/m2