Lily Planting Guide

Asiatic and Oriental lilies come in a range of spectacular colours, shapes, sizes and of course scents. Fantastic in pots, and one of the best cutflower varieties.

Asiatic lilies bloom first in early summer, not long after Paeonies start blooming. They are incredibly hardy providing they are grown in relatively free draining soils. Asiatic's are the shortest type of lily and come in a huge array of colours and shapes, from pastel to tropical.

Asiatic Lilies don’t have much of a fragrance, but they're perfect for adding a splash of colour to the garden.  

Oriental lilies have that famously strong, heavenly fragrance. They are tall and stately. Usually Oriental Lilies grow slower than Asiatics, often blooming about the time when Asiatic lilies are beginning to fade (mid/late Summer)

 

Planting Lily Bulbs...

  • Select a nice, Sunny position (at least 6 hours of good sunlight) with free draining soil. If your soil isn't free draining, you'll need to build the soil up into a mound -  Water trapped beneath the overlapping scales on the lily bulb may cause rot.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of at least 30cm. Deep planting encourages the developing stem to send out roots to help stabilize the plant, which can often remove the need for staking.
  • Enrich the soil with some general purpose fertilizer, or our specifically formulated Bulb Fert. It's important not to use Sheep pellets, or cattle manure.
  • Plant the bulbs around 10cm below the surface of the soil, with the pointy side facing up. Fill the hole with soil.
  • Space bulbs at a distance equal to about three times the bulb’s diameter.
  • Usually we recommend planting Lily Bulbs in groups of 3 to 5 Bulbs - this will give you the best affect
  • Give them a nice deep watering.

 

Looking after your Lilies...

  • It's a good idea to keep lilies mulched so that their roots are cool. The mulch should feel moist, but not wet. Mulch will also act as a weed suppressant. 
  • We recommend applying a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by another layer of mulch.
  • Some Lilies will need staking - ideally these should be done at planting time, so you don't poke through the roots.
  • It's a good idea to remove old blooms before they go to seed - this will ensure the plants don’t waste energy in making seeds, and all of the energy will go back into producing a bigger, more impressive blooms in the next season.
  • After the lily blooms, you can remove the stem itself. However, it's important NOT to remove leaves until they have died down completely.
  • Divide plants every 3 to 4 years.

 

Growing Lilies for cut-flowers...

  • Lilies are perfect for cut flowers - great for adding colour and scent to arrangemens.

  • When picking your Lilies, it's important to avoid cutting off more than a third of the stem. The plant needs to keep as much of the stem and leaves as possible, to keep them flowering well for subsequent years.

  • When cutting your lilies, pick them in the morning, and select the Lilies that have buds that are just about to open (with a smidgen of the flower colour showing through). The higher up buds will open as the bottom ones fade.

  • Once you bring your Lilies inside, trim the ends of the stems off (around 2-3cm) making a diagonal cut with a sharp knife/scissors.

  • If you don't want the pollen of the Lilies, simply snip off the stamens in the flower’s center.

  • Before placing your beautiful blooms into a vase, pick off the leaves that may touch the water - you only want the stem in the water.

  • Lilies will generally last 2 or 3 weeks in a vase, providing you change the water every few days, and try to keep them out of direct sunlight.

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Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi