I loveÂ liliesÂ and every springÂ I somehow manageÂ to find room for more of them. Since my flowerbeds are already packed with plants and my garden isn’t getting any bigger, I have hadÂ to get creative about whereÂ to put them.
A few years ago, IÂ startedÂ planting liliesÂ in 1 and 2-gallon nurseryÂ pots. I got the idea from a local garden center. In late summer they offer aÂ pot of ready-to-bloom lilies for about $20.Â AÂ pot ofÂ lilies will instantly perk upÂ aÂ tiredÂ perennial border orÂ revive a flaggingÂ container. It’s a trick I’ve used often — especially when company’s coming.
Growing lilies in pots has another big benefit: you can feel free to useÂ them as cut flowers. If you have an established clump of lilies growing in your garden, itâ€™s fine to cut a few stems. But cutting those long stems comes at a cost. Like other bulbs, lilies need their foliage to produce the next yearâ€™s flowers. Unlike most other bulbs, a lilyâ€™s leaves are on the stem, so when you cut the stem, you are also removing most of the plantâ€™s foliage.
GrowingÂ lily bulbs inÂ pots makes itÂ easy to treat them as annuals. I can cut as many stems as I want and at the end of the season, just toss the bulbs.
If you growÂ your own potted lilies instead ofÂ buying them at a nursery, you’ll save a lot of money. Longfield Gardens offers big, plumpÂ Oriental lily bulbsÂ for just $2.08 each when you purchase them in quantities of 15 or more. (The more you buy, the lower the price, so you might want to consider combiningÂ your purchase with a friend!)