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How to plant lily bulbs in a pot

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is not at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do To do in January

Do To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do To do in November

Do To do in December

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
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Total time:

Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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. 

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Step 3

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.

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