How to grow lilies from bulbils

Do it:

Sep, Oct, Nov, Aug

Takes just:

30 minutes

Several varieties of lily form small bulbils on their stems from late summer to autumn, from which new plants can be propagated. If they fall off the plant, they rarely grow into large plants, so it's best to remove the bulbils by hand and plant them in pots. Grow the bulbils on until the following summer, then plant them out where you would like them to flower. Be patient; it can take up to three years before they start producing flowers.

You will need

  • Lily plant
  • Pot
  • Multi-purpose compost


Carefully remove the tiny bulbils growing from the leaf axils of the plant.

Treat the bulbils as if they were large seeds. Plant several in a pot or multi-stemmed tray of multi-purpose compost, spacing them 2.5cm apart.

Cover with a layer of compost and water well, allowing the water to drain. Place the pot or tray in a cold frame or on a sunny windowsill.

Seeds will germinate within a couple of weeks. Once the roots are poking out from the bottom of the tray or pot, carefully transplant each seedling into individual pots to grow on.


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