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Winter 2021 - Lily Planting Instructions / Guide


Plant bulbs immediately on arrival - do not allow bulbs to dry out before planting.  If you cannot plant straight away, store them in the fridge.


  • Lilies like semi-shade or full sun. They prefer their faces in the sun and their roots cool so plant low growing annuals or perennials at their feet. Plant 10-15cm deep in a well-drained, slightly acidic soil with good humus content. Make sure any growth points are well buried, at least a hand depth. 
  • Apply bulb food when planting and thereafter each Spring. Our Natures Garden Fertiliser is also ideal. DO NOT USE sheep, cattle or fowl manure, or lime.

As your lily grows:

  • secure to the stake as necessary. Every three months’ side-dress with fertiliser to assist the development of flower buds. Do not use manure on lilies. Should a fungal or insect (i.e Aphids) infestation occur, general garden sprays such as Yates Shield can be applied.

After flowering:

  • leave stem on bulb until leaves turn brown then cut off at ground level. Leaving the flower to wither on the plant allows energy to be drawn back into the bulb, preparing it for the next year's growth and flowering.

Lilies are best left in the same position for several years.

Lilies look fantastic in pots. Choose a large pot with good drainage holes. Use a good quality potting mix. Do not use garden soil in pots. Add bulb food or fertiliser when planting and again in Spring. Plant 1 bulb in a 15cm pot, 3 bulbs in 30cm pot. Fertilise each year and re-pot after two-three years.

Note – some imported lilies will start growing straight away. If you are in a very cold, frosty area some frost protection is recommended for the first winter only. These varieties are marked on their labels. They will also flower earlier than normal this first year.

There are almost a dozen types of true lilies with a wonderful variety of flower styles, stem heights, colours and bloom times. By planting several different types of lilies, you can enjoy having these beautiful flowers in bloom from late November to March.

In the list below, lilies are presented in order by their approximate bloom time. Within each type of lily, there are varieties that bloom earlier than others. Weather is also a factor. A dry, late spring may delay flowering, while an early, wet spring may speed things up.

Early Season Lilies:  Asiatic Lilies including Doubles and Patio, Species Lilies, LA Hybrids (Longiflorum – Asiatic), Martagons.

Mid-Season Lilies: Trumpet Lilies (including Aurelian and Longiflorum), OA Hybrids (Oriental-Asiatic),

Late Season Lilies: Oriental Lilies, OT Hybrids (Oriental Trumpet or Orienpets) Double Oriental Lilies, Tiger Lilies

When cutting flowers to take indoors, remember that the bulb stores the current year’s nutrients for the next year. For this reason, leave one third of the plant when removing flowers. Pick flowers as the buds are just beginning to open. When the flowers are fully open, remove the orange pollen-coated stamens as the pollen can badly stain furniture or clothes. Oriental lilies are beautifully perfumed, however if you prefer Asiatic lilies have no perfume.

•    Orientals, Trumpets, and their hybrids are all exceedingly fragrant!
•    L.A. Hybrids are lightly fragrant.
•    Asiatics typically have no scent.


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