London (change)
7 messages
11/12/2012 at 12:34
I've had some magnificent lily bulbs in a raised bed but the last two years they have been infected by lily beetles despite me checking them daily, squashing any I found and trying to get rid of the slimy larva. I took them out and have the bulbs put in the greenhouse with the intension of potting them up and keeping them in the conservatory next year ( the blooming things even fly,) . How do I treat them to make sure they are completely free of lava?
11/12/2012 at 13:53

The bulbs shouldn't be affected - the beetles overwinter in soil.

Re-plant your bulbs as quickly as you possibly can - unlike, say, daffodils they will be damaged if they dry out at all.

11/12/2012 at 19:14

Alina W,  Any idea how deep in the soil the wretched things are during the winter? Could I just replace the top 2 inches of soil in my large lily pots? At what time of year do you reckon the beetles start being active?

11/12/2012 at 19:58

They vary according to the cold, artjak - the colder it is, the deeper they go. Also, they can and do fly, so even if you change the soil they will still fly in.

When they become active - I've seen them as early as March.

11/12/2012 at 20:04

If you're not adverse to using chemicals, then a routine drenching the compost with Provado & repeated at intervals throghout the season should help keep the beetles away. Trouble is I always forget to repeat the applications, so they still struck!

I now dont try growing lilies at all, but do have Fritillaries which they also like. I dont use any chemicals on those, as in the open borders, just pick off/squash as many beetles as I spot. J.

12/12/2012 at 20:11

Thanks everone.  I shall plant them tomorrow

13/12/2012 at 10:05

I went and got the provado, ready for next season; I'm fed up with squashing beetles!

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