Lilies up to 8 feet tall with huge scented flowers

lily

Tree Lilies - Tree Lily
and smaller lilies

Hardy perennial bulb, shelter containers over winter.
Flowers: July - August.
Plant March - May.
Full sun or semi-shade.
Best in containers, fade in size in the soil.
Can reach 8 feet in 2 years.


Tree Lily

Tree Lily 'Crystal' Collection

£ 19.99
Tree Lily Collection

Tree Lily Collection

£ 15.99
Trumpet Tree Lily

Trumpet Tree Lily

£ 9.99

Growing Tree Lilies

"Tree Lily" is a name given to very tall lily oriental varieties that can easily grow higher than you, not only do they do this, but they produce a large quantity of enormous scented flowers too. They are quite short-lived and need some effort with support but I feel are well worth the effort, lily-flowering time is a good time to invite your friends round for a BBQ to impress them.

First year

Plant in large containers with about 3L of compost for each bulb (three to a 10L pot for instance). Heavy ceramic containers will help stop them blowing over as they end up very top-heavy. I grow mine in large containers rather than the soil as other lilies I've tried in my soil haven't done very well after the first year, so I recommend you start this way unless you know that lilies will do well in your soil.

Growing in containers also allows you to move them around the garden bringing them to the fore when flowering and resting them out of the way when they have finished or when the flower buds are forming.

Support the plants with bamboo canes as they grow, do it sooner rather than later as buds and especially rain-heavy open flowers can be bent over by the wind. This also helps to separate the flowering stems so you can appreciate them better and gives each plant more space and light.

Grow them with sun on the leaves and the roots in shade as far as possible, place them somewhere sheltered if you can to avoid wind damage.


tree lily
6-8" wide blooms in their second year
dead head lily
Snap off the fruiting body after flowering to conserve energy.

After flowering remove the remains of the flower head so that the plant builds up the bulb for next year rather than putting its energy into setting seed. At this point I move them somewhere out of the way a bit, but where they can still get enough sunlight. Make sure you feed and water them during this period as they are building up reserves for more fabulous flowers the next year.

As the leaves start to fall, stop watering them and then cut the stems to a couple of inches above ground level when the leaves have gone in the autumn.


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Tree lily "Starburst" in its first season, three bulbs in a large pot. In the first season you can expect a bulb to produce a stem about 4 feet (120cm+) tall with a few flowers on it, 12"/30cm rule for scale.
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Tree lily "Manisa" in its second season, three bulbs in a 10L pot.
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Tree lily "Manisa" in its third season, the same bulbs as the previous picture in a bigger pot.

Winter

Large containers are somewhat more exposed to frosts over the winter as the pots are above the ground and so the roots will get more frequently, and more deeply frosted than in the soil. Bring them under some kind of unheated cover to provide shelter from the worst of the winter, a garden shed or the back of the garage is usually enough.

Don't be tempted to take the bulbs out of the pots as they will keep some roots and get off to a good early start the next year. If you need to move into a larger pot take the contents of the old one out whole rather than trying to tease it out, though they do respond well to being somewhat pot-bound.


Second and subsequent years

If you've kept them happy they will grow to 6-8 feet tall providing a real spectacle of blooms and scent. They will need some serious support to stop them blowing over. I use a metal rod about 2 feet long hammered through the pot into the soil, so about a foot in the soil of the pot, and a foot into the soil they are standing on. Two or three canes hammered around outside but up against the pot in the soil help anchor the pot while the canes the stems are tied to will also need some support, tie them to a tree or fence or similar as they are very precarious once in full bloom at this height.

At the end of the season, look after them like you did in the first winter, though this time they can be put into a larger pot if you didn't do it last year.

Your tree lilies should get bushier with more flowers for the next couple of years if you feed them well with a liquid fertiliser as soon as they start growing and after the flowers have ended. They are quite short lived however and after the initial giant size, the plant and blooms will fade from about the 4th year onwards. At this point I plant them in the soil of a border and see subsequent flowers as a bonus while starting again with new bulbs in the pots.


Pests

Lily beetle (aka red or scarlet lily beetle) can be a problem, but the vigilant gardener can often deal with these fairly simply by picking them off and squashing them underfoot, they are more prevalent in the South of the country but have been heading north for some time now so no-one is safe from them. They appear from about March-April onwards through to the autumn and are very obvious as bright shiny scarlet beetles 6-8mm in length (quite handsome really).

Both the adults and the reddish/brown grubs feed on lily leaves leaving holes in their wake. Heavy infestations are best dealt with by a systemic insecticide "smart-bomb" spray, you could also spray follow finding some like I have in the picture here as there are likely to be some that you have missed and/or some larvae around. The beetles tend to stay on the underside of leaves, so I look for them by getting down low and looking upwards through the plant, their colour makes it easy to find them fortunately!  More on lily beetles


Other lilies, shorter than the tree lilies

Lilium African Queen Group

Lilium African Queen Group

£ 3.99
Lilium Anastasia

Lilium Anastasia

£ 3.99
Lilium Apricot Fudge

Lilium Apricot Fudge

£ 4.99
Lilium Black Beauty

Lilium Black Beauty

£ 3.99
Lilium candidum

Lilium candidum

£ 8.99
Lilium Casa Blanca

Lilium Casa Blanca

£ 3.49
Lilium Cavoli

Lilium Cavoli

£ 3.99
Lilium Chill Out

Lilium Chill Out

£ 3.99
Lilium Claude Shride

Lilium Claude Shride

£ 5.99
Lilium Crimson Pixie

Lilium Crimson Pixie

£ 3.99
Lilium Curly Sue

Lilium Curly Sue

£ 3.99
Lilium Dimension

Lilium Dimension

£ 5.99
Lilium Double lotus lily collection

Lilium Double lotus lily collection

£ 11.99
Lilium Easy Samba

Lilium Easy Samba

£ 3.99
Lilium Easy Vanilla

Lilium Easy Vanilla

£ 3.99
Lilium Easy Waltz

Lilium Easy Waltz

£ 3.99
Lilium Fiery lily collection

Lilium Fiery lily collection

£ 13.99
Lilium Forever Marjolein

Lilium Forever Marjolein

£ 3.99
Lilium formosanum var. Pricei

Lilium formosanum var. Pricei

£ 12.99
Lilium formosanum var. pricei

Lilium formosanum var. pricei

£ 7.99
Lilium Golden Splendor Group

Lilium Golden Splendor Group

£ 3.99
Lilium Honeymoon

Lilium Honeymoon

£ 8.99
Lilium longiflorum White Heaven (PBR)

Lilium longiflorum White Heaven (PBR)

£ 3.99
Lilium Lotus Beauty (Lotus Lily Series)

Lilium Lotus Beauty (Lotus Lily Series)

£ 3.99
Lilium Lotus Breeze (Lotus Lily Series)

Lilium Lotus Breeze (Lotus Lily Series)

£ 3.99
Lilium Lotus Elegance (Lotus Lily Series)

Lilium Lotus Elegance (Lotus Lily Series)

£ 3.99
Lilium martagon

Lilium martagon

£ 6.99
Lilium martagon Arabian Night

Lilium martagon Arabian Night

£ 5.99
Lilium Miss Peculiar

Lilium Miss Peculiar

£ 3.99
Lilium Muscadet

Lilium Muscadet

£ 3.99



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