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07/02/2013 at 11:31


I have bought some lily bulbs from b&m, there is four smallish bulbs in a pack with what looks like sawdust. The instructions are a bit confusing. It states plant january - may. Should I plant now to get them to flower this year and how do i decide how many to a container? also should i use a general compost with some gravel at the bottom for drainage?


07/02/2013 at 11:35

Yes -the best method is not to fill the pot completely straight away-an amount of compost in the bottom then cover -then keep topping up as they grow -like earthing up potatoes

As they are small bulbs-all the same?-put them in a container say 8 inches in diameter

07/02/2013 at 11:43

should they be able to see light. i.e dont cover them completely and do i grow indoors?

07/02/2013 at 11:46

No -they are hardy-need to grow outside

Cover the the bulbs as I said and keep topping up the compost as they grow-they can remain in the container for many years-just need to feed occasionally to keep the bulb going

07/02/2013 at 11:52

I grow all my lillies in pots outside so I can move them into a prominent position when in bloom and tuck them away when they're just foliage.   I have 9 bulbs in one 60cm pot and just 5 in another so I fill thegaps with annuals like lobelia.   I used to have many more but got rid after a bad infestation of lily beetle but I have succumbed again.

I put a layer of wine corks and grit in the bottom for drainage and then use good quality general purpose compost.   I give occasional liquid feeds of rose or tomato food to help the bulbs produc ebetter flowers each year and also add a handful of pelleted chicken manure to the soil each spring for a general feed.

You need to keep a regular eye out for red lily beetle as they and their young will devastate lillies in no time.  Squish the adults and remove the slimy globs of larvae with a blast from the hose or a damp cloth.


07/02/2013 at 12:43

thanks. how long left have i got to plant these to make sure they flower this summer?


07/02/2013 at 12:45

Best to do it as soon as poss or they'll dry out and fail.

07/02/2013 at 12:58

i need to get general purpose compost as i have seed sowing compost at the moment whats the difference between them?

07/02/2013 at 13:06

There is more nourishment in multi-purpose-quite honestly I use it for everything-if you are on a budget there is no point in buying different sorts.

07/02/2013 at 13:16

will any do or should i get john innes

07/02/2013 at 13:18

John Innes potting compost is soil based-does virtually the same job-go for number3

07/02/2013 at 14:06
I find these bargain/small bulbs flower very well in first year. I pot them up and plant out when starting to flower. That way you can see where they will look good. I've just purchased some from Wilkinsons and will pot up later today. I put them into the greenhouse or outside, with fleece mainly to stop birds attacking them, and that's as easy as it is. Personally, John Innes is used for plants intended to remain in pots so mpc is my preferred choice.
07/02/2013 at 16:21

just potted mine up, got westland mpc with john innes, didnt have any broken pots but did have plenty of pebbles lying around. here is what i have done. did i do good?


07/02/2013 at 16:22

thats 10 and 7 inches respectively...

07/02/2013 at 16:25

David!! you have to cover them!!-with some compost-and then keep topping up as they poke though

Thought there were four -can only see three??

But yes you dun good

07/02/2013 at 16:27

ahh ok, should i put the sawdust that was in the packet over it too?

07/02/2013 at 16:27

No chuck that out

07/02/2013 at 16:32

rectified. when will i see anything/know that they have worked?

07/02/2013 at 16:36

About 6/8 weeks or so-dont worry they will be fine-depends on type/variety-what are they?

They all flower at different times from May onwards


07/02/2013 at 16:45

there asiatic summer blooming. Need to decide what to do next  i currently have strawberry seedlings, strawberry plants, herb seedlings, petunia seedlings and now lillies. i just hope some of them see it all the way through

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