Planting Lilly bulbs in containers

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Yesterday I bought 5x Viva-La-Vida Lilly bulbs at the Gardeners World Live exhibition. Please can you advise on the following?

1. What size pot should I use?
2. How many bulbs per pot?
3. Soil/compost potting mix requirements for container growing?
4. Should they be planted now, or wait until a more appropriate time of the year?
5. Planting requirements such as bulb depth/ spacing/ etc.
6. Watering requirements.
7. Over wintering requirements.

Thank you.


Plant your bulbs straight away and they will flower this year still, usually in 10 to 12 weeks. They will be just a little later this year but return to their usual flowering cycle next year.

Planting Advice for Lilies:


    • 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 (see each variety for which soil type to use).


    • 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.


    • Lilies can tolerate very cold conditions but they do not like to get wet so ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes. You can horticultural grit/sand to your soil to encourage good drainage.


    • Most 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. Unless you have Martagon lilies, as these actually like their head in the sun but feet in the shade.


    • Lilies are generally happy in a good-quality, peat-free, multi-purpose compost.





    • 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 become hollow and brown.


    • Believe it or not, lilies like a cold-dormant phase and like to be left where they are during winter, just ensure there is adequate drainage so they can’t get waterlogged. Lilies are very hardy and can tolerate up to -20°c.


    • Many people have lilies for a cut flower garden, if you do wish to cut lilies for indoor arrangements, then ensure to leave 50cm of stem to allow for another season of flower the following year.



Care Guide


    • To prevent Lily Beetles from damaging your lilies, we recommend using the Lily Beetle Prevention Spray or you can make up your own with the Concentrate. This Spray (Grazers G4) will also stimulate growth of your lilies.


    • You can feed your lilies with a diluted 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.

The Hart Family