What compost or mix of composts do I use for the lilies?

This question was asked by
Elizabeth B

I have just ordered some Oriental lily bulbs from you to grow in large clay pots. What is the best compost to use? Do I need to add sand as some sites advise? How do I prevent the dreaded Lily Beetle?? I can start them in a cold greenhouse.

Hi there,
You can mix John Innes No.3 with a good quality Multi-purpose compost (50:50 mix). Adding horticultural grit for drainage is recommended.

We have a Grazers G4 spray or concentrate you can purchase for the lily beetle.

Lily Beetle Prevention Concentrate (SKU179721)

Lily Beetle Prevention Spray (SKU17972)

Lily bulbs

The Hart Family

Red Lily Beetle

This question was asked by
Pearl T

Is there a way to prevent lily beetles, I pick them off but they are devastating them?

Hi Pearl

Lily Beetles are such a pain aren’t they? To get rid of them, you could try making a garlic solution (crushed garlic and water) or purchasing our lily beetle prevention spray.

Lily Beetle Prevention Spray (SKU17972)

The Hart Family

Lily Beetle Advice

This question was asked by
Glenys –  

Hi, I am a lover of lilies but alas, so many succumb to the dreaded lily beetle. Apart from picking them off by hand which is never ending with the many that I grow, can you advise on any beetle resistant lilies and what sprays can be used/home made possibly, bearing in mind that I garden organically.

Thanks for your help, Glenys

You could try our lily beetle prevention spray which is environmentally friendly or you could make up your own garlic solution. Crush a whole corm of garlic in a small pan of boiling water. Allow to cool, strain and put in a small container in the fridge. When using, dilute three parts water to one part garlic solution. Spray often, every few days, especially when it has rained. There is a garlic product available in garden centres and stores, but this is a much cheaper alternative.

Lily beetle

The Hart Family

FAQ on growing lilies

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Lilies

How do I plant my lily bulbs?

Lilies are very hardy bulbs. They can tolerate very cold conditions but do not like to get wet. If planting in borders the soil must be free draining and preferably humus rich. Some lilies prefer acid soil, mainly Oriental lilies, and some prefer alkaline mainly Asiatic lilies. It is best to check which soil you have. When planting in pots or tubs you must make sure that they are kept moist but do not get waterlogged. Plant bulbs with 4-6″ (10-15cm) of soil above them. If planting in pots, plant 3 in a 10-14″ (25-35cm) pot, in a good-quality, peat-free, multi-purpose compost. John Innes No.3 is ideal for Lilies also. If it appears too dense, add some horticultural grit to improve drainage.

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Helpful tips on growing lilies

Featured

Planting your lilies couldn’t be easier once you have chosen the right soil for the variety.

Simply plant with the growing tip pointing upwards and the roots below and cover the top of the bulb with 4-6” (10-15cm) of soil. 

If planting in pots, plant 3 bulbs in a 10-14” (25-35cm) ‘patio type’ pot. You can plant more in a larger pot or less in a smaller pot. It really depends on the display you would like to achieve. You can also stagger the planting, using different lilies to achieve different heights.

Which lilies are best for your garden

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Luscious Lilies for your garden pots or borders

Whether you’re a fan of scented or unscented; tall or short; subtle or bold colours, there’s a  lily for everyone. I often get asked how to choose a lily and I guess this is where I start…

Where are you thinking of planting your lilies?

Asiatic Lilies

Firstly, where would you like to grow your lilies? Pots or garden borders? If you’re planning on planting up your lily bulbs in pots for your patio (or making a pot feature around your garden), then the world is your oyster when it comes to lily choice. This is because different lilies like different soil types. Therefore, you can choose any lily and just mix up the right soil/compost for it. Lilies are generally happy in a good-quality, peat-free, multi-purpose compost. This leads me to the next question…

Lilium Majestic Joy

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Order of bulbs

This question was asked by
Sue L – 

Just received another great delivery of luscious Lily bulbs. Looking forward to the wonderful colour and scent they will bring to my garden.
Trying some Dahlia tubers and a ginger lily this year. Hoping horticultural shows will be starting soon. Thank you so much.

Hi Sue

Thank you so much for your lovely comments and taking the time to email us. Fingers crossed for the summer and autumn shows – we are currently preparing for a few later spring shows and Hampton Court as well.

The Hart Family

Lily beetles

This question was asked by
E S

How can i stop them annihilating all of my lillies.
I’ve put the plants in the greenhouse and they still manage to get at them
What can I do?

Hi Elizabeth

We have a few options to try with eradicating the Lily Beetle. You can try using the Lily Beetle Prevention Spray (SKU17972) or make up your own with the Lily Beetle Prevention Concentrate (SKU179721). Or you could try making your own Garlic Solution to spray on with garlic and water.

The Hart Family

Anouska lilies

This question was asked by
Isobel

Hi there
my anouska lily flowers have died off,I have to pinch heads off and leave full stalks is this right? I have them in one tub,they were gorgeous and the smell unbelievable,now my question,do I bring my tub inside for winter and when and how far down will I cut stalks fully,I have ordered more different ones for planting Feb,thank you for all your advise this year as it was my first time growing anything, as I only have small balcony and I was so pleased,izzy xx

You’re welcome Izzy – glad to hear how happy you have been. Anouska is just gorgeous isn’t it!

Yes, cut the flower head off and leave the foliage and stem to die back naturally. When it all becomes brown and the stem is hollow, it can all be removed. The stalk should just pull out quite easily at this point or you can cut it off at the surface level if you wish. Lily bulbs like a cold dormant phase and can stand -20°c, they just don’t want to get waterlogged so ensure there is plenty of drainage in your pot.

The Hart Family