Lilies (Lilium) can be quite easily grown in your home garden. The less sturdy varieties, in fact, are in fact best grown in a container as they are not able to withstand severe cold weather when planted in open gardens. Also, the short-stemmed lilies or dwarf lilies are ideal candidates for your home container garden as they need less space to grow. Not only will they add color and beauty to the home landscape but will also freshen up the air with their fragrance. Let’s learn how to grow lilies in your home garden.
Growing lilies in containers
When you want to grow your lilies in a container inside your house, it is important to select the right size of the container. The larger the container for lily plants the better. Because, if the container is large enough, not only it offers plenty of space for the plant and roots to grow, but it also diminishes the chances of the lily bulbs getting baked or frozen in extreme hot or cold conditions as they have enough soil bedding around them for protection.
The depth of the pot is important too as lily bulbs prefer a layer of about 4 inches deep soil over them and about 1 inch below, for optimal growth. Choose the container keeping these dimensions in mind.
Whether grown outdoors or indoors, well-drained soil is an absolute must. It is important to have drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Ignore this, and your plant will rot away right in front of your eyes. Adding well-rotten organic manure is a good way to improve the drainage capacity of the soil.
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Providing the right conditions for growth
Sandy soil is the best soil for lilies. So sand should be the dominant part of your potting mix. This will ensure the excellent growth of the bulbs and roots. In fact, if you use a basic potting mix with a high content of peat, it may cause the bulbs and roots rot, particularly so if they are over-watered. Two parts sand, one part loam, and one part peat is the ideal potting mix for lilies.
Fertilizing your lily plant – particularly in the earlier stages of its growth – is important if you want to have healthier plants and bigger and more flowers. It also increases the ability of the plant to fight against various diseases and pests. One important thing to remember is never to apply fertilizers to dry soil as it will result in leaf burn. The soils should be adequately watered before adding fertilizer to it. You can choose water soluble fertilizers and water with them at regular intervals.
Taking care of the growing plant
Lilies prefer a cooler climate. It is, therefore, important to keep the plants in cooler conditions or offer them shade if the sunshine is too bright. Gray molds, aphids, red lily beetles, slugs, etc. are common problems your lily plant will face. Keeping the lilies well-spaced from one another is a good way to prevent the spread of diseases. Use of a good fungicide and insecticidal soap will help get rid of these problems.