Author Archives: Gary Milne

Selection of bulbs

This question was asked by
D. Sebastian

I have bought your bulbs from you before. I need some sdvice in selecting lily bulbs. I grow most of my lilies in pots. That is because the soil in my garden is slightly alkaline and is not suitable for all varieties of lilies. I learnt to my cost that I should not allow the pots to get water-logged. I am more careful now. The main point I want to make is I can use ericaceous compost if I had to. Your bulbs seem to thrive in pots.

I looking for very fragrant lilies which are around 1.2 m tall. I would prefer to grow them in pots which are dug into the ground. Do you have any variety (ies) you would particulaly recommend?

Thank you.

Good afternoon,

Our tree-like lilies are happy in any well-drained soil but they do tend to do well in an ericaceous soil if possible. The name speaks for itself… as they are tree-like lilies they will reach a good height of 1-1.5m tall. As a general rule of thumb, the whiter the lilies, the stronger the scent. Have you looked at Lilium Mezzana or Lilium Proposal? These are gorgeous varieties. Alternatively, you could look at Lilium Olympic Torch. Another stunning variety with a lovely fragrance.

Mezzana (SKU17772)

Proposal (SKU176161)

Olympic Torch (harts1132)

The Hart Family

How can I strengthen my lilies?

This question was asked by
L. Campbell

I bought several Isabella lillies 2 years ago and planted them in pots in the compost suggested. The first year they were a little taller than the 100cm mentioned. I left them in the pots and last year they grew to about 130-150cm and the flowers weren’t as impressive. Please can you advise what I can do to get the best show this year. Thank you.

Hi there,
Wow, they sound very tall. Lilies can get taller over the years once they become more mature. I would advise giving the soil a freshen up each year and try using a good multipurpose compost like John Innes No 3 which is recommended for most lilies. You can also try using a Tomato Feed on your lilies to stimulate and strengthen them. Start using it when you see signs of growth. Make up your tomato feed with half the recommended dilution (written on the instructions on the bottle) and feed once every 3 weeks.
Do also check for lily beetle as not only will they make the foliage look unsightly, they can also have an affect on the following year’s growth.

The Lily Beetle Prevention Spray will help keep the beetles at bay and strengthen your lilies.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards

Lily Beetle Prevention (SKU17972)

The Hart Family

Can grow lilies in partial shade?

This question was asked by
T. Offley

Hi

I would like to know if I can grow lilies in partial shade

Thanks

Yes you can. As long as they get some sun throughout the day. You may find the lilies will start to lean to find the light if they don’t get any.

Martagon lilies are quite happy without as much sun as other lily varieties. Have a look at these:

Fairy Morning Martagon Lily (SKU1765111)

Gaybird Martagon Lily (SKU176511)

Guinea Gold Martagon Lily (SKU17725)

Best wishes

The Hart Family

How do I plant my lilies? And care for lilies?

This question was asked by
A. Marriott

Hi there, just placed an order, hoping its a good mix, will be planting in containers, what is the best compost, does it require crocks for drainage,when should i plant, how deep, do i protect from frost, any information would be great, its a surprise for my wife, there her favourite flowers, so want to get it right, how long is delivery, many thanks

HI there,

You will receive Planting Instructions with your order so that should cover everything on there but here is an overview for you:

Planting Instructions
Lily Bulbs should be planted as soon as you receive them. Ideally in the Spring.
Find a location with full sun or partial shade.
Different Lily varieties tolerate different soil types, Acidic or Alkaline. Most of your lilies are Oriental Trumpet Lilies which can tolerate both. The Lipgloss Oriental Lily you’ve ordered will like Acidic (ericaceaous) soil. Although any good multipurpose compost is suitable, John Innes No 3 is recommended for most lilies. You can also add horticultural grit if the soil appears to dense.
Arrange the Lilies in an odd-number grouping.
As you are planting in pots and the varieties you have chosen are also known as Tree-lilies, we would recommend planting them in heavy patio pots to hold the weight of these tall lilies. Plant 3 bulbs in a 14-16″ ‘patio type’ pot.
Plant the bulbs pointy end up with 6″ of soil above them. You can add crocks to the bottom of the container if you wish, these will help with drainage and weighing the pot down.
Lilies can tolerate very cold conditions but they do not like to get wet.
Make sure lilies are kept moist but do not get waterlogged.
Lilies prefer to be planted in a location with at least half a day’s full sunshine, if it’s a bit too shady they will lean their stems towards the sun.
Lily bulbs do not like to be dried out so they must be kept in soil at all times even during the winter (It may be an idea to tilt the pots on their side in the winter to prevent waterlog). Lilies are happy to stay outside during the winter as they like a cold dormant phase so no need to worry about frost.
Try to plant your lilies where they will dry out after rain to prevent Botrytis, a fungus that spots the leaves. If you do see brown spots on your leaves, spray with a fungicide recommended for roses.
When the Lily has finished flowering, cut any seed heads back and allow the foliage to die back naturally. Do not be tempted to cut the stem back until stems becomes hollow and brown.
After a few years of flowering, you may find the your lilies produce less blooms, it may be time to lift your bulbs and divide them by breaking off the bulblets. All the bulbs will then need replanting.
You can feed your lilies with a Tomato Feed to stimulate and strengthen your lilies when you start to see signs of growth. Make up your tomato feed with half the recommended dilution (written on the instructions on the bottle) and feed once every 3 weeks.

Hope this all helps.
Kind regards

The Hart Family

Rose lilly

This question was asked by
J. Bell

I want to order 10 rose lilly bulbs when would they be available

Hi there,

Our lily bulbs are available to order now and will be dispatched towards the end of February ready for planting (when we get some nice weather!). When your order is ready to leave us, you will receive an email notification from us to track your parcel. Do you know which varieties of Roselilies you would like?

Best wishes

The Hart Family

Lily Beetle Prevention

This question was asked by
Raymond whitehead

Where and how do lily beetles overwinter?

Hi there,
Adult Lily Beetles overwinter in the soil or on leaf debris. They start to emerge again from late March onwards when the weather starts to warm up. After mating, the female can lay up to 300 orange eggs on the foliage of the lily. These will hatch after week into reddish-brown larvae that cover themselves in their own black, slimy excrement. Once mature, these grubs will bury themselves into the soil to pupate. They will then emerge as adults during the summer months.

Have you tried using the Lily Beetle Prevention spray as soon as you see signs of lily growth ?

Lily Beetle Prevention (SKU17972)

Hope this help. Kind regards,

The Hart Family

Help to choose right lily for wedding

This question was asked by
S. Stuart

Please can you recommend a white or partly pink lily I can grow in pots to cut for a wedding in mid July? Most of the lilies I have seen don’t flower until late July onwards.

Good Evening,
I would probably advise planting some Asiatic Lilies as they are the earliest flowering lilies. However, it can be quite difficult to time their growth as they can be weather dependent. If it was me, and I wanted something in bloom for a particular date, I would probably plant a few different varieties to guarantee something will be in flower.

Have you looked at Lilium Bentley. This is a really stunning Longiflorum Asiatic double lily. In theory this should be in flower towards the end of June/Beginning of July:
Bentley (SKU17767)

You could also try the Asiatic Lily Elodie:
Elodie (harts1043)

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

The Hart Family

Lily Bulbs

This question was asked by
L. Farrell

Hi

I plant most of my lilies in container pots. I usually leave them in the containers over winter.
Is this correct or should I remove the Lily bulb and put it in a cardboard box? or what is the correct way to look after them?
Many thanks for your assistance, kind regards LIz

Hi Liz

The lily bulbs are happy to stay in their pots in soil and outside (as they like a cold dormant phase), however they must be in a well-drained container and ensure the bulbs do not get waterlogged as they rot.

The Hart Family