The lily is a timeless favourite of UK gardeners. Lilies will make a statement and add a dramatic, classic beauty to a garden or courtyard space, which is why so many people choose lily bulbs to plant. If you want to successfully buy, plant and grow lilies in your garden space, then this article is for you.
There are many different varieties of lily you can grow in the UK. Some of the most popular varieties include:
• Asiatic lilies, which include varieties like Elodie, Rosella’s Dream and Yellow County.
• Pearl lilies, which include varieties like Pearl Loraine, Pearl Jennifer and White Pearl.
• Oriental hybrids, which include varieties like Casa Blanca, Gran Tourismo and Brasilia.
• Trumpet lilies, which include varieties like Pink Perfection and African Queen.
All lilies will need specific growing conditions and particular care in order to grow strong and healthy. You should plant your bulbs in the autumn time, before the weather gets too cold, giving them the chance to grow strong roots. Buy the bulbs when you are ready to plant them, rather than buying them a long time in advance – lily bulbs that are fresh stand a better chance of growing well. You should also make sure you buy your bulbs from a good retailer that uses reputable nurseries to source its bulbs and seeds.
Here is a brief guide to planting your lilies, to help you succeed when growing them:
• Pick the right spot to plant your bulbs. Lilies are going to need good drainage and lots of direct sunlight. To help with drainage, you could mix compost into your soil first. If you are planting lilies in a container, make sure the container has good drainage.
• Dig a hole and make sure it is deep enough – around 6 inches is advisable. Make sure the bulbs are spaced out enough, and put them in the hole you have dug with the flat side of the bulb facing downwards.
• When you have planted your bulbs, fill in the hole and water the ground. Make sure it is moist enough.
When your lilies are growing, you will need to make sure you keep giving them plenty of water. They are also going to need to get enough light, or the stems will become wonky as they reach out to try and find more sunlight.
You will need to apply fertiliser to the soil regularly – lilies like high potassium. You should aim to do this around once every two weeks. You might also want to add compost and mulch every now and again.
Lilies are beautiful and their flowers are striking, but unfortunately they do not flower very often – just once per season. When flowers die off, you can remove them, encouraging the plant to use its energy to maintain other flowers, rather than on producing seeds. Once the plant has died off completely for the winter, you can also remove the stems. This might be a good time to add your mulch, to protect the lilies and their roots through the winter.