Lilies are generally easy to grow and thrive best in a sunny spot, or in dappled shade, with well drained soil and are suitable to grow in the border or in pots. Lilies in containers are useful to fill gaps in the borders, and on a patio, where their lovely scent can be best enjoyed.
Lily are bulbs which are best planted in the autumn, to a depth two and a half /three times the bulb size around 10 /15cms deep. If you miss the Autumn planting Lilies can also be planted in the spring up around the end of March/early April. For best effect plant Lilies in groups of 3 or 5. Lilies will grow in any soil, but if your soil is heavy, Lilies will benefit from added grit to improve drainage. As with all bulbs, the flat end with embryo roots goes downwards and the pointy end at the top.
Some lilies prefer acid soil, and some alkaline the plant label should help. Broadly, of the he most popular varieties L. Regale prefer neutral or acid, Oriental Lilies are not fussy and Turkscap will tolerate most with a preference to neutral to alkaline.
All lilies are intolerant to extreme such as very wet soil, which will cause the bulb to rot over winter, and very dry poor show of flowers. All Lilies like a rich soil and will benefit from feeding.
Lily bulbs can be planted from late Autumn until early Spring and are really trouble free. One point to note is that the RSPCA has stated that all parts of the Lily can be poisonous to cats. Also worth noting is that lilies can be short lived, which is true of a number of garden plants. After 2/3 seasons the blooms become less and it is often best to replace them. Taller varieties may benefit from staking. Flowering and longevity will be improved by regular feeding in the growing season. Use a feed high in Potash which will be marketed as promoting flower growth.
Lilies are ideal for growing in containers, which add scent and colour to the patio. If growing in containers, to ensure you can plant them at the requisite depth of 10cms the container needs to be at least 30cms to provide a good cool root run which will not easily dry out. If growing in containers it is best to re pot annually, or at least every two years. Container grown Lilies will require regular feeding. If your soil is very heavy clay, it maybe better to grow Lilies in containers.
Some Lilies are easier to grow than others, fortunately the very popular and showy Lilium regale, 1st image top left, will grow in most soils as long as it is not water logged. Also easy to grow are Lilium lancifolium, the tiger lily.