Whether short or tall, pink, red white or orange, Lilies really are a fantastic plant to add colour and fragrance to any garden. Extensive and rapid breeding programs have resulted in a wide range of varieties now being available each with their own unique characteristics.
Lilies can be generally split into categories;
This area in particular is full of development with many new varieties being added every year. Asiatic lilies generally make excellent cut flowers and a popular trend is to grow them in the garden specifically for this purpose. There are many different and exotic colours available plus newer additions such as Easy Samba; a stunning specimen, dark with orange tips and pollen free. Dimension really is a stunner with luxurious rich, almost black flowers. Other Asiatic varieties include the vibrant orange flowered Caucun and the spotted red, large flowered Original Love.
Ever popular, tall and heavily perfumed these varieties are ideal for growing in the garden. African Queen, Pink Perfection and Regale have all been awarded RHS Award of Garden Merits for their suitability as garden varieties. These are generally around 1m tall so a little big for growing in pots but ideal for the border. Regale in particular is one of our most popular varieties year after year.
Oriental Lilies are the most heavily scented varieties and will grow reliably on most garden soils. Stargazer is perhaps the best know Lily from this section; strikingly beautiful, scented and performs superbly as a cut flower. Casa Blanca is also very popular, highly fragrant with red stamens framed by pure white petals and recognised by the RHS as an Award of Garden Merit variety. Look out for Commitment: large scented deep burgundy blooms edged in white create a stunning display in any garden.
Lilies in Pots
Any Lily can be potentially grown in a pot but some varieties are more suited than others. We have a range of shorter flowering lilies that are perfect for this purpose and these will add summer colour and fragrance to any patio. Look out for Rio de Janeiro (yellow), Ceb Crimson (Red) and Belem (white) which all have a flowering height of approximately 40cm. If you are looking for something a little bit more eye catching in pots then why not try Ladylike (salmon with gold throat) or Elgrado (lush burgundy flowers). Of course the beauty of growing lilies in pots is the ability to move them around – to prominence as they come into flower then away to the background once finished.
To grow lilies in pots, you will need a reasonable sized container. Make sure adequate drainage is available by using crocks at the bottom of the pot. You may wish to also use pot feet to elevate the pot and ensure that the water can get away if over watered. To give a prolific flowering display, your lilies will need a decent supply of food so it’s a good idea to mix a slow release fertiliser into the compost prior to planting. The bulbs will need to be planted in spring, approximately 15cm deep. Water regularly but make sure that the pot never becomes waterlogged. One of the great attributes of Lilies is that the bulbs are hardy and they can stand most of the elements a British winter can throw at them so no need to worry about protecting them. As the bulbs increase in size over the years, the flowering display will become more and more prolific.
As well as being fragrant with beautiful flowers, these varieties will grow to at least 120cm in their first year and as they get older, they will get taller and taller. There are even competitions within the gardening fraternity to see who can grow the tallest lily! Varieties include Anastasia (pink with white edge), Friso (white with burgundy centre) and Red Morning (bronze with apricot edge).