Plant martagons 12–18" apart in well-drained, even gravelly, slightly alkaline soil. Add compost or leaf mold, but no peat. Make the hole deep enough that the top of the bulb is about 4" below the soil. If you’ve got pines or other signs of acid soil, a sidedressing of compost and lime after planting and each fall is beneficial.
Martagons don’t like to be disturbed, and may appear to perform poorly or not at all the first season after transplanting, only to be fine in year two. After planting, mark the spot, mulch, then do not disturb. Refrain from poking around to check growth during year one, lest you set it back again.
The species is the Turk’s Cap Lily—martagon comes from a Turkish word meaning ‘turban.’ The Martagon hybrids, also called Dragon Lilies, feature recurved petals, often with marked spotting from the throat to the tips. The 3" pendent flowers, on 5" relaxed S-shaped pedicels branching from the central stalk, hang as if suspended in the air. Established plants may put out up to 50 flowers.
Loves filtered sunlight, or light to dappled shade, and brings welcome color to shady spots. Tolerates full sun only a few hours a day.
Descriptions and Codes
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