Caring for lilies
The lily (Lilium) makes a lovely garden flower but planted in an attractive large planter on the patio or decking, this bulb will explode giving a fabulous floral display! Mixed in with other plants in the border, potted up or used in a bouquet on the table, this easily cared for bulb will always be noticed! Caring for lilies is easy and if you pay them just a little bit of attention, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful of flowers!
Planting lily bulbs
Caring for your lilies starts with how to plant them. This summer flowering bulb can be planted in the autumn or spring and flowers in the summer. From September through to December (as long as there’s no frost) you can plant your lily bulbs in the garden or pot them up. In spring, it’s best to wait until April through to June before planting them (definitely no frost). Always plant with the tip upwards, in a hole 2-3 times deeper than the bulb is high (root to tip). Water immediately after planting. For more information and tips on planting lily bulbs, see here.
It’s important to keep watering your lily bulbs after planting them. This will help them root and establish themselves. The sooner they grow a strong root system, the better the bulbs are protected from the cold and wet weather to come when planted in autumn. Even in spring, keep the surrounding soil moist but not overly wet. Lilies have a bare bulb so they are more sensitive to extreme drought or extreme wet so only water them when the soil feels dry. When in flower, lilies like quite a lot of water.
Feeding your lilies
In autumn, lilies will appreciate extra bulb fertiliser. Use a special organic bulb fertiliser that contains just the exact amounts of organic nutrients to encourage strong bulbs and abundant flowering. For more information on feeding bulbs, read here.
Lily beetles are approximately 7mm long and are easily recognisable by their red backs. They can cause severe damage to your bulbs as well as the lily foliage. Once your lily bulbs have shot up to around 15 cm tall, you should treat them with a 100% organic pesticide against leaf pests.
Caring for potted lilies
Lily bulbs will thrive in large containers on the patio or decking. Always use a good, fresh potting compost to pot your lily bulbs. Potting compost is a mix of natural raw materials and is airy, yet moisture retaining - ideal for growing lilies in plant pots. Water your potted lilies more frequently than you would if planted in the garden.
A vase full of lilies
Their imposing, regal looking flowers make lilies look just wonderful indoors! Lilies are also so abundant; you can easily miss a few from the garden to enjoy in a vase indoors. Lilies look fantastic in a vase with a other flower varieties and/or decorative twigs from the garden. They actually don’t need much help to be displayed at their best. If you don’t like the scent of lilies, choose Asian lilies as the scent is much more subdued than other varieties. Cut the base of the stem at an angle and stand them in a clean vase with tap water. Caring for lilies in a vase only requires refreshing the water weekly or sooner if it turns cloudy.