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How to grow lilies

Lilies are prized for their fragrant blooms and often huge, trumpet-shaped flowers. Lily bulbs are planted in containers and borders, and lily plants are the perfect summer flowers to add color and cheer to the garden.

There are two main types of lilies: Oriental lilies and Asiatic lilies. Oriental lilies typically have large, fragrant pink flowers. They thrive in acidic soil, so should be grown in containers of heather compost. Asiatic lilies have a greater variety of colors, including yellow, orange, red, and almost black, but they are unscented and tend to be smaller than oriental species. However, they thrive in alkaline soil and are extremely hardy, so they are easier to grow – simply plant the bulbs in the garden or in pots of peat-free, multipurpose soil.

How to grow lilies
Grow oriental lilies in acidic soil or ericaceous compost and other species, including Asiatic and martagon lilies, in neutral to alkaline soil or multipurpose compost. All species need a sheltered, sunny spot to thrive and a deep pot if growing in containers. Plant lily bulbs from October to April. Tying up higher varieties and protecting all species from lily beetles. After flowering, let the foliage die back naturally.