How to plant lily bulbs in a pot

Do it:

Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr

Takes just:

20 minutes

At its best:

Jul, Aug

Fill gaps in your summer planting displays with brightly-coloured lilies for a temporary, but timely, burst of colour. Plant lily bulbs into pots then simply drop them, pot and all, into arrangements on the patio, or even in your borders.

You will need

  • Lily bulbs
  • Large pots
  • Compost


Lily bulbs should be planted quite deeply, so choose a large pot and half fill it with good quality, peat-free multipurpose compost. Place five or six lily bulbs on the surface, with their roots on the compost and their growing tips facing upwards.

Cover the bulbs with a generous layer of compost, taking the compost level to around 5cm below the pot rim. Firm well and water thoroughly, adding more compost afterwards if the level falls. 

Finish with a layer of gravel or horticultural grit to help keep the compost moist. Keep the pot in a greenhouse or sheltered spot while the bulbs develop, tying tall varieties to canes as they grow. Move the pot to its final position when the plants are ready to flower.


Feed the lilies weekly in summer with a liquid plant food.

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