It’s no secret that many people love beautiful flowers. Are you one of them?
If you are here, there’s no doubt that your answer is yes.
The beauty of Turk’s cap lilies is irresistible. The most valuable part of this plant is that it serves as a flower and produces edible fruits. Isn’t that awesome?
According to research, many people do not know how to grow this plant.
In this guide, you will learn how to grow your Turk’s cap lilies and how to care for the plant yourself in your garden.
Before we go to that, do you mind knowing about the Turk’s cap lilies? Where they originate, and why was it named like that?
Well, stick here with me to know more.
What Are Turk’s Cap Lilies?
Turk’s cap lily, also known as Malvaviscus, is a shrub-like perennial with thick mallow leaves and red hibiscus flowers that never open. Its appearance resembles a Turkish turban. Turk’s cap is a common name for plants like Malvaviscus, Melocactus, Lilium superbum, Lilium michauxii, Lilium martagon. It came from eastern North America.
Turk’s cap plant is a tall flower that grows as a bushy, rising from 2ft to 8-9ft. It has large, fuzzy leaves. The flowers have petals that wrap around each other, and their long stamens and pistils extend well beyond the petals. This plant is especially useful in shady situations.
This plant blooms from early summer, and new flowers pop out daily. It can produce up to seven blooms during flowering seasons, while others have about 40 blooms on the same stem. Moreover, the flowers are attached to the stem through long peduncles.
Turk’s cap is a unique plant with beautiful flowers that range from deep yellow to fiery orange with red petal tips which attract butterflies, hummingbirds, moths and mammals. It has fruits that resemble small red cherries that attract birds and other wild animals. You can differentiate this flower from others because this flower has a green star at its centre. When the fruits ripen in fall, it splits into five segments.
The most ironic thing about this plant is that it dies to the ground during winter and emerges from the roots in early spring.
It also flowers from late spring to the first frost. They are the most beautiful in the garden because they have showy flowers and are shade tolerant. Also, when they flower, your garden will be full of birds and other animals.
Uses Of Turk’s Cap Lilies
Turk’s cap lilies have sweet nectar at the base of anthers and stamens. The nectar attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, birds, insects, and animals. These animals make your garden look lively and environmentally friendly as well.
The plants beautify your garden or areas planted with their outstanding flowers and are also the best ornaments for shady sites.
The best thing is that Turk’s cap lilies produce edible fruits that one can eat raw or cooked. The fruit is just like an apple because of its sweet starch flavour. The fruit is also used in cooking to thicken soups.
How To Grow Turk’s Cap Lilies
Turk’s cap lilies plant grows in the US department of agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. The plant does well in moist woodland and well-drained soils. They grow from bulb lilies.
Bearing in mind that this plant can grow in either a shady or sunny area, it can bloom well when you follow the instructions below. What to use;
- Lily bulb
- Use either loamy, sandy, limestone, or clay soils.
- Compost manure
Prepare Your Garden
The first step is to prepare your garden area. Make sure your garden doesn’t have excess sand or hard soil. If there are fewer nutrients, you can mix your soil with compost manure to boost nutrients and improve proper drainage.
For example, if you are planting several plants in one area, add about 4 inches of compost manure to your site until it reaches a depth of 11 inches. The soil should be in either full or filtered sun. But, the best thing about Turk’s cap lilies is that they are not too picky about soil conditions.
Space Your Plant Correctly
Plant your Turk’s cap lilies bulb at about 5 inches deep and space them in approximately 30cm intervals.
Moreover, you should provide full support to the plant before the flowers start to appear. After that, place your bulb in the hole and cover it well using natural mulch so that it can regulate the temperatures and hold moisture.
Give It Adequate Sun
The best time to plant Turk’s cap lily is during late summer or in springtime. Place it in the best place to get full sun and some shade, especially in the afternoon if you are in a dry area. You can also keep it in a place where it will get light for about 16hours.
How To Care For Turk’s Cap
Caring for Turk’s cap lilies is very easy.
Choose The Best Site
First off, Turk’s cap lilies grow healthy in either full sun or part shade. When the plant is young and developing, it requires partial shade, partial sun, and 10-28 degrees Celsius. To meet these conditions, place your plant in a greenhouse or a site where it will get indirect sunlight.
Water And Feed Your Plant
Turk’s cap lilies do not require a lot of watering during their flowering season. But in the growth period, make sure to regularly water the soil and do it most preferably weekly when you notice the top inch of the soil is dry.
Moreover, it is vital to frequently fertilize your Turk’s cap lilies when they are young to boost their growth. You can apply a good layer of compost at the plant base two to three times annually. Also, you can fertilize your plant with the recommended fertilizers. For example, you can use a 5-10-5 fertilizer.
Adding mulch during summertime is vital to keep the roots moist and cool.
How To Propagate Turk’s Cap Lilies
The best time to conduct Turk’s cap lilies propagation is after the plant blooms and also during springtime. This plant propagation is done by dividing the bulbs.
All you need to do is to dig the plant and separate all the bulbs carefully. Then take your separated bulbs and plant them in a pot as discussed above. While planting, make sure you place the pointy part facing upward, and lastly, care for them as they grow.
You also need to collect the fallen bulbs and propagate them or store them for planting next season. You can also throw them away to avoid too many Turk’s cap lilies growing in the same area.
Turk’s Cap Challenges And Their Solution
Turk’s cap lilies are among the few plants that rarely get diseases. However, that doesn’t mean that they are safe. The reason being, when you fail to take good care of them, dangerous virus diseases will attack them, affect and stunt their growth.
Red lilies beetles are big enemies of the plant because they eat even the leaves! Once you spot them, you need to cut them as soon as possible before damaging your plant. Use the right pesticide to stop them.
If your goal is to beautify your garden, Turk’s cap lilies are the best choice for you. Yet, to grow this plant, you need to be patient because this plant will take a long time to grow and bloom. To achieve this, you need to feed and water it properly.
I know you have gained all the required knowledge about Turk’s cap flowers in this article. Now, are you going to plant your Turk’s cap lilies?