Plant Pots of Perfume

Use these step-by-step instructions to create planters of sweetly scented lilies.

Fragrant Potted Pink Lilies

Fragrant Potted Pink Lilies

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The epitome of high summer, sweetly scented lilies set by a front or back door will greet you with their perfume as you come and go, but keep your distance because their pollen stains clothing. The most cost-effective way to grow them is to plant fresh bulbs in early spring.

Materials Needed:

  • lily bulbs
  • deep container
  • broken clay pot pieces
  • well-draining, multipurpose potting mix

Lily Options

Choose the following species for scent:

Golden-rayed lily
Madonna lily
Regal lily, white
Rubrum Japanese lily (L. speciosum var. rubrum)
Oriental hybrids, such as 'Star Gazer' (below), 'Tiger Woods' and 'Arabian Red'

Stargazer Lily Oriental Hybrid

Stargazer Lily Oriental Hybrid

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prepare the Pot

In spring, buy fresh lily bulbs and choose a deep container; most lilies are planted at a depth of 6 to 8 in (15–20 cm). Cover the drainage hole with broken pot pieces and then add a layer of multipurpose potting mix.

buy fresh lily bulbs and choose deep container

buy fresh lily bulbs and choose deep container

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plant the Bulbs

Lay the bulbs on their sides. Positioning the bulbs like this allows water to drain out of the bulb scales, rather than collecting and rotting the bulbs.

Lily Bulbs on Top of Soil

Lily Bulbs on Top of Soil

2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - How to Grow Practically Everything

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Top Up the Container

Cover the bulbs and top up the container to about 2 in. below the rim with potting soil. Place your pots on "feet" in a sheltered spot and move them into the sun as soon as the shoots appear.

Aftercare

Water every couple of days, and apply a tomato fertilizer to your lily pots every week during the summer. Keep in a sheltered area during winter, and in spring, renew the top 2 inches of compost. Lily beetle is their main pest. Look out for these bright red beetles and pick them off as soon as you see them.

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