FAQ on growing 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

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

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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This question was asked by
Mrs. Beryl Matthews

I have today purchased some Allium bulbs from your stand at the RHS Tatton Flower show. What time of year is the best time to plant them and do they need to be kept in a cool dark place until they are planted?

You’ll need to plant your Alliums in the Autumn. Please keep them somewhere cool and dry in the meantime.

Loraine Hart

White lilies.

This question was asked by
Lynne Edwards

Last year I was given a bouquet of white lilies, which had a sweet, not overpowering, scent like most lilies seen in florist shops.Might it be a longifolium crossed with an oriental lily? Might it be called an Easter lily?
I am trying to obtain some, but only if with a delicate scent. Please advise.

All longiflorums and Longiflorum x Oriental lilies do carry a sweeter scent than other varieties. I would recommend trying White Triumph or Gizmo bulbs.



Loraine Hart

Flowering periods of lilies

This question was asked by

Could you please recommend a late and long flowering Lily, in Red, Orange, and Yellow?

Oriental lilies are the latest flowering lilies. However, the longest flowering are the double oriental lilies and roselilies but these do not come in the colours you have mentioned.

Loraine Hart

Yes! It’s another GOLD and the Sun is out!

We have another lovely week ahead of sunshine down at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show! And we’ve received another glorious GOLD medal with our pyramid-style exhibit of lilies in the Floral Marquee! Our outside garden display in the Plant Village has also gained 5 GOLD Flowers! We couldn’t be happier!
This annual RHS Show is set in the grounds of Hampton Court, Henry VIII’s majestic palace, in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, London. It really is a lovely day out for all with gorgeous gardens, fabulous florals and fantastic shopping in an unforgettable setting. Why not have a glass of Pimms sitting along the river to top off your day?

Lily display
The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is on all week until Sunday 9th July. We have a great collection of lilies still to buy and many other favourite garden bulbs. Allium Globemaster is proving very popular in our outside garden.
Plant Village Display


This question was asked by

My son has moved into a property and found an interesting little lily but I am unable to find a picture of it. May I forward a photo to you please? I am sure you will be able to identify it!

Please feel free to send it to us at enquiries@hartsnursery.co.uk

Loraine Hart