Lilies are flowering plants grown from bulbs that come in a myriad of shapes, forms and colours. They are summer flowering and can be grown in the garden or in pots.

The most popular lilies belong to the Asiatic, Candidum, Species, Longiflorum or Oriental family and deliver a range of flower colours, including, white, pink, yellow, orange and red.

Lilies prefer to grow in acid, or lime free, soils. They like a semi shaded area, or dappled sunlight and require plenty of moisture in hot dry spells. Taller varieties will need staking.

Even though lily bulbs should never dry out, they do need a free draining soil to let excess moisture drain away. Plant bulbs immediately after lifting – do not let bulbs dry out.

How to care

Where and when to Plant

Lilies are purchased as bulbs and planted early to mid-autumn. After purchase, plant Lily bulbs as soon as possible to reduce the risk of the bulbs drying out in the small bags they are sold in.

They can either be planted in the garden or in pots and containers. When planting in the garden make sure the soil is fertile and free draining. The addition of pumice sand or grit at the base of the planting hole will help.

In pots always use a good quality potting mix and use a slow release fertiliser to promote flowers. In the garden, a good bulb food should be applied at planting time. Once plants emerge, liquid feed at two weekly intervals.

Lilies successfully grow in garden borders from the centre to the back. They look wonderful on decks and patios and grow extremely well in conservatories and glass houses.

Popular Varieties

• Candidum—’Madonna Lily’ - white
• Auratum—’Golden Rayed Lily’ - white with gold marking
• Speciosum—’Japanese Lily’ - pink
• Lancefolium—’Tiger Lily’ - golden, flecked
• Regale—’Regal Lily’ - white
• Longiflorum—’Easter Lily’ - white