HOW TO GROW LILIES 

 
Lilies are wonderful flowers. Provided that some simple rules are followed they are easy to grow in the garden at home. 

KEY POINTS 

Zambesi

DRAINAGE, PLANTING DEPTH, WATER

1. SOIL    
Lilies can be grown in almost any kind of soil. The most important factor is adequate drainage. The pH of the soil should ideally be between 5.5 and 7.5.   
2. MANURE/FERTILISER     
Lilies will benefit from the addition of well rotted organic material such as animal manure or household compost to the soil. The addition of a general purpose garden fertiliser is also recommended. 
3. PLANTING     Lily bulbs need to be planted deeply with at least 6-8cm of soil above the top of the bulb. The soil should be kept as cool as possible. Depending on location a mulch on top of the soil may be required to assist in keeping soil temperature down. 
4. SHADE     
Lilies do not like full sun in the summer. Some varieties are prone "sun burn" on the buds and they will tend to be short. Therefore try to plant your lilies in a location that is partly shaded. 
  London Heart
5. WATER     
Lilies are not deep rooting and can easily suffer from lack of water. Therefore it is important that the top soil is kept moist at all times.  A mulch will help.
6. HARVESTING     
If you intend to harvest your flowers for use in floral arrangements the following points need to be considered:   
  a) Cut your flowers in the cool of the morning. 
  b) Try to leave as much of the stem as possible on the bulb. Bulb growth for the following season’s flowering is directly proportional to the number of leaves left on the stem after harvesting.        
  c) Use of a flower preservative will greatly extend flower life.  A spoonful of sugar and a couple of drops of Janola also works well.
  d) Remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem so they are clear of the water when the vase is full.  The leaves will contaminate the water and promote bacterial growth which can block the vascular system of the lily causing wilting and poor vase life.
  e) Change the water in the vase regularly and throughly clean the vase with janola before reusing with fresh flowers

7. PESTS AND DISEASES     
Provided the rules above are followed your lilies should remain pest and disease free. However there are a number of pests and diseases that lilies are susceptible to. The most common problems likely to be encountered are as follows:    
 a) Botrytis
Botrytis is a fungal disease which under damp conditions will produce spores that can then spread to other plants. Leaves will show brown spots that will grow rapidly under damp conditions. The affected leaves will eventually die off. If left unchecked the whole plant may eventually die.
Control
Plant lilies in areas with good ventilation. When watering try not to get the leaves and buds wet.
If botrytis is a problem spray with a broad spectrum protectant fungicide every 10-14 days.    

b) Aphids
Aphids can do considerable physical damage to lilies as well as spreading virus diseases.
Control
Aphids can be controlled in a number of ways and the method best suited to your particular needs should be used. If you are growing your lilies with the intention of using them as cut flowers in the home you should use a control method that does not leave a residue on the leaves. We find that Plant Soap which is a detergent type product is a very effective, non-chemical solution.  We have been told that ordinary dishwashing liquid can be equally effective, although we have never tried it ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. LIFTING     Lilies can be left undisturbed in the soil for years. However they multiply freely through bulb division as well as through the production of bulblets. When lifting take care not to damage the bulb roots or let the bulb or roots dry out. Replant your bulbs immediately    
We wish you every success with your lilies and know that you will get great satisfaction watching them grow and flower. Send mail to David@lilies.co.nz with questions or comments.Copyright (c) 2000 Lilies by Blewden