Lilies for Mothering Sunday

Cut flowers are lovely, and I’ll never say not to them (as long as they’re plastic-free and British-grown) but a single pot planted with lilies would also gladden any mother’s heart.

Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash

Edit: Do be careful with lilies if you have cats or neighbours with cats, as the pollen is poisonous to them. Many thanks to Fran for pointing this out in the comments - I should have mentioned it in the original post.

It’s as simple as getting hold of some lily bulbs and putting them in a pot. Here’s how:

You need:

Lily bulbs: I have new favourites every year, but the milky-white, heavily scented Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’ always steals my heart.

Compost: I use a mixture of peat-free multi-purpose and John Innes No. 2.

A tall pot: My lily posts measure roughly 30cm across and are 50cm deep. This size will be perfect for tall lilies.

Sharp sand

Osmacote granules: to feed the bulb - about one handful per pot.


Mix up the compost with the granules and fill the pot until you have about 15cm left to the rim. Now sprinkle in a handful of sharp sand, put the bulbs on top (I use three bulbs per pot) and bury them with more compost, leaving enough room at the tip so that when you water it won’t overflow. Water until it seeps out of the bottom of the pot, put it outside in a sunny spot and wait.

If you’ve chosen tall lilies it’s a good idea to put a pea stick next to each one to support it as it gets taller.

You should have lilies by June.

Lilies hate to be too wet, so wait until the compost is dry on top before each watering and then water thoroughly. They also sometimes get attacked by bright red lily beetles, which have brown larvae covered in their own odious poo - so revolting. Squish them on sight.

x Laetitia