Growing Lilies is rewarding and they make attractive additions to the early summer garden. Tall varieties are suitable for the border although some might grow well in pots too. Shorter varieties are brilliant on pots on the patio.
Lilies are hardy but hate wet feet. If you garden soil pools with water after heavy rain and is also slow to drain growing in pots may be worth while even f it’s until the soil has drained as spring finishes. In heavy soils that stay wet it is worth incorporating horticultural grit or grit sand in to the border planting holes. Lilies should be plants 5″ (13cm) deep. for heavy soil dig a hole deeper (8-10″ / 20-25cm) and sit the lily on a bed of grit or grit sand. Infill around and above the bulb with some of your sol including at least 25% of the same grit or grit sand.
Taller varieties may need the support of garden canes. Tree Lilies are very tall, usually in their second season and will benefit from the support of other border plants.
After flowering, remove the faded flowers leaving the stem in place. Removing the flowers prevents seed from forming. This will ensure that the bulb receives nutrient and produce next years flowers. Feed them at the same time with a high potash feed to encourage more flowers. in the border apply rose food to the soil surface. In pots, feed with soluble high potash food as instructed in the pack. See our page on High Potash Food for more info.
Lilies occasionally suffer from leaf diseases. at the first signs spray with a fungicide. The bigger pest is Lily Beetle. This red shine beetle attacks the stems and leaves of the Lily and can kill them if not dealt with. The beetle lays eggs that hatch into a grub the protects its self with it’s own feces – nice. Spraying with a ready mixed insecticide either man made or organic should control them if you attack them at first signs.