Growing Tips

General tips

Lilies can be grown either by planting the bulbs direct into the border or into containers, for them to grow well in a border the soil needs to be free draining and idealy rich in humus, for pots a good quality compost is fine, in either case the bulbs should be planted with about 6 inches of soil above them, one important point to remember is to check what type of soil your variety needs, Orientals like acidic soils, Asiatics like alkaline and some will grow in both, it is always a good idea to check before you plant the bulbs, Lilies like to be reasonable moist at all times but never waterlogged, they can tolerate being a bit dry but water logging will kill them

After flowering you should continue to water until the stems die down, under no circumstances should the stems be cut down beforehand. Winter care is quite easy the bulbs are best left undisturbed,  they are totally hardy, but must not be allowed to dry out or  become waterlogged.


During 2014 we trialed a range of peat free compost that is made from Bracken in the U.K. by 'Dalefoot Composts', due to the results, all our show plants will be grown in their composts for 2015. 

Bracken makes a very free draining, open compost, that is perfect for growing lilies. In the trial we used this compost straight from the bags, no extra fertiliser was added.

Asiatic Hybrids

These are some of the easiest hybrids to grow, available in a wide range of colours and prefer a alkaline soil, all are very hardy and apart from a few species they are unscented.

Longiflorum Asiatic Hybrids

A super group of hybrids that make good garden plants and are brilliant for cutting. They share all the good qualities of their parents and are tolerant of both acidic and alkaline soils, all are hardy and some are scented.

Longiflorum Hybrids

True Longiflorum's all have white flowers , they hardy and tolerate both acidic and alkaline soils, but the young shoots can appear very early in the Spring, this makes them vulnerable to late frosts, hence they can need some protection in exposed gardens, all are highly scented.

Longiflorum Oriental Hybrids

LLO hybrids are the result of cross breeding Longiflorum's with Longiflorum x Orientals, they grow in both Alkaline and Acidic soils. These types tend to have large trumpet shaped flowers, most get very tall.

LOO hybrids are the result of cross breeding Longiflorum x Orientals with Orientals, they tend to grow best in acidic soils. The flowers open flat like an Oriental.

Martagon Hybrids

As general rule species martagons are harder to grow than their hybrids, both like a humus rich loam based soil, they make excellent subjects for growing in light woodland and shady borders, for the best results bulbs should be planted in the Autumn, all are very hardy and have a strong musky scent.

Oriental Trumpet Hybrids

These hybrids are the result of very complex crosses using not only Oriental and Trumpet varieties, but also Aurelians and L. Henryi, they are easy to grow and tolerant both acdic and alkaline soils, often called 'Tree Lilies' or 'Skyscrapers' due to the fact that they tend to grow very tall when established, all are very hardy and highly scented.

Oriental Hybrids


Many people consider these to be among the most beautiful of all hybrids, but they do need planting in a acidic/ericaceous soil, for this reason they are mostly grown in containers, all are hardy and highly scented.

Western American Hybrids

These are clump forming lilies which grow from brittle rhizome like bulbs, those related to L pardalinum prefer a loam based soil, while others such as L parryi need acidic conditions, for more specific details please refer to the various variety details.


We offer a wide range of species Liliums, some are easy to grow while others are a real challenge, specific details can be found in their descriptions.

Last updated: over a year ago