The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Sheilar

Sunderland Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom Gb

Is it better to lift lily bulbs at the end of the season? They're in a pot and I've just left them in their pots in the past. Most of them didn't come back but the ones that did were very poor.



do you mean from containers or out of the ground?

3 Aug, 2011


Potted bulbs are best replanted every year into fresh compost. As soon as they finish flowering the bulbs should be fed every week with a weak dose of liquid tomato fertiliser until the foliage has died off. This gives the bulb its energy to flower the following year.

4 Aug, 2011


I don't lift mine but I do give them a light feed as Bulbaholic suggests and then repot them in fresh compost each year.

4 Aug, 2011


Mine are in a pot with clematis, which gets fed every week with Miracle Gro throughout the summer, until end of July. I haven't repotted for 3 years, and the lilies were startlingly good this year, presumably because of the high availability of nutrients because of the Miracle Gro. The pot also has a couple of Allium christophii, and they were huge this year too, so Sheilar, if you feed the bulbs, particularly as they're dying down, you'll get much better results the following year.

4 Aug, 2011


Youngalistair - they're in a pot on the patio.

Bulbaholic, Inverglen and Bamboo - I've taken on board your advice and will lift them, to replant them next year.

Thanks all for your help - I'll let you know next year how they faired!

4 Aug, 2011


Um, I didn't say you should lift them - I wouldn't, actually, though I'd probably empty them out of their pots and repot into fresh compost in spring next year. If they've not been fed this year, then results will be poor whether you lift them or not.

5 Aug, 2011


Lily bulbs keep much better in the soil than in the storeroom, Sheilar, though in pots, I would take pains that the soil didn't freeze solid over the winter, like many have these past two winters.

7 Aug, 2011


I've got an old garage in the garden which I could use to overwinter them Tug, so do you think I should leave them in the pot, feed them and overwinter them? Or should I plant them in the garden? I've always just kept them in pots outside but don't seem to have much success with them the following year.

8 Aug, 2011


I think that if there is space for them in the garden, they will do better there, though I think I remember reading from some of the other members that they find it easier to control lily beetle in pots than in the ground. Either way, feed them with a food high in phosphate and potash until the leaves die down, to ensure good bloom next year.

8 Aug, 2011


Thanks Tug:))

8 Aug, 2011

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?