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How to plant lily bulbs in a pot


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.

How to do it


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.

Our tip

Plant lily bulbs into terracotta pots, which are more stable in displays.

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

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to plant lily bulbs in a pot
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kaycurtis 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I love all Lilies but I love the tiny flowers of Tiger Lilies they are so sweet and delicate. didn't realise they would be so small when I purchased them, but pleasantly surprised.

shirls 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I planted some Lillies in a big tub in March, does anyone know how long they take to appear please?

ryan59 24/11/2011 at 15:28

once the lillies have flowered and been dead headed do they flower again ,or should i take the bulbs out and save for planting next year.

ribenagal 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Once the lilly bulbs have flowered and the foliage is diminishing is it best to remove the bulbs or leave them in the pot until spring??
Should they be allowed to dry out completely during the winter once removed from the pot?? If left in the pot should they be fed and watered during the autumn months?

lizmac 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Very little aftercare information in this article.
This is why I stopped buying Gardeners World. Lots of lovely pictures and how and where to plant and then nothing about aftercare, overwintering etc.
Judging by the above comments, these are just the points which beginner gardeners need to know.

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