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I heard on a recent radio gardening prog. that lilies prefer ericacious soil, and will bloom much better. I've never heard this before and have been growing them in pots for years. Anyone got thoughts on this ? Have I just been daft not realising that's what they need.?
I think some tolerate lime better than others. For instance Cardiocrinum giganteum will only do well in acid soil, but I always plant my lily bulbs in ordinary compost and they seem to do alright.
Having said that, they do tend to fade away after a few years. I thought that was my general neglect of them.
That's what they mentioned. If you find they disappear after a few years it's because they're struggling without the ericacious feed! I feel guilty now expecting them to keep flowering without the correct care!
I've grown lilies for many years, in both pots and in the open ground. They get the normal annual feeding with pelleted organic chicken manure that everyone else in the garden gets - and these days a good looking at for the dreaded lily beetle - and that's about it. Some of mine are over 20 years old, and I have never, ever heard that they are happier in ericaceous soil. It woud seem odd that after all this time not a whisper of this has come across to me. It is possible that there are certain types of lily that like these conditions better - i'd be inclined to look this up carefully before you go changing anything for your lilies, in the assumption that they are currently growing well.
In the driest sunniest part of my garden....where soil is poorest ....my lilies get bigger and better every year. They are gigantic.
For regale etc., I dig up and pot up. I intend to pot up in ericaceous compost this year though because these are getting smaller and I think all this type prefer this compost
I bought some lily bulbs from one of the specialists at Tatton Park RHS show last year. They advised to plant the bulbs in 50/50 regular compost and ericaceous. This was the first I had heard of it, but did so and give them a feed when I do the camellia/azaleas etc. Have to say, they bloomed beautifully so I would at least try an ericaceous mulch and see how they do.