When to plant Lilies
Lilies can be planted in Autumn or early Spring, although if in Autumn be sure to plant at least 3-4 weeks before the onset of frost, so that the root balls can bed in before the ground freezes. For Spring planting, wait until the ground has thawed properly and is accessible but not too muddy and sodden.
Where to plant Lilies
Ideally lily bulbs should be planted in areas that are sheltered from strong winds, with some respite from the summer sun in the afternoon. In particular, the hybrid versions prefer full sun on their blooms during the morning, with roots shaded by surrounding plants.
Lily bulbs prefer well-drained but consistently moist soil that is rich in organic fertiliser. They can be planted in clumps of differing varieties to create blocks of colour and depth.
How to plant Lilies
Most lilies grow as single or multiple stems from a single bulb, and can be planted in well-drained soil, about 8-12 inches apart and at a depth about 2 to 3 times their height with the stem pointing upwards.
For taller varieties, which can grow to 3-8 foot in height – for example Oriental and Asiatic Hybrids – should be staked to avoid them falling over or snapping in windy conditions.
Lilies enjoy regular watering in the middle of their growing period, however after blooming they should not be excessively watered as they can be susceptible to rot. Keep the plants well-nourished with a top dressing of manure or compost, or a balanced fertilizer in the early part of the growing season.
You can also prolong flowering by removing dead blooms at the base of the flower. Towards the end of the season, resist the urge to trim back the lily stalks, as this will allow the plant to focus its energy back into its bulb, ready for replanting the next season.
Top tips for spectacular Lilies
- You can really extend the volume of lilies in your garden by carefully lifting sizeable clumps, and separating the new bulbs that have formed and replanting them.
- Be sure to pair your lilies with shrubs that help protect their roots whilst giving them space to bloom