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Episode 2

Episode 2 of 30

Gardening magazine. Joe Swift continues his series on trees, giving tips on how to plant a tree for future success. Rachel de Thame follows a fragrant trail.

As the gardening year gets underway at Longmeadow, Monty is tidying up his ornamental grass border, pruning roses and planning for summer scent.

Joe Swift continues his series on trees when he gives tips on how to plant a tree for future success. Rachel de Thame follows a fragrant trail and explains how even the tiniest of flowers pack a punch in the perfume stakes.

And, in the first of several visits, we join the head gardener of Britain's most famous garden at Sissinghurst as he sets out his plans to restore it to its original vision.

30 minutes

Last on

Tue 29 Mar 2016 08:00

Growing lilies in pots

Growing lilies in pots

Lilies can be grown in the ground, but on heavy, clay soils have a tendency to rot. Underground slugs can be a major problem too. One solution is to grow them in cheap plastic pots which you can then sink into the border at a later date. The alternative is to plant them in something more decorative on the patio. Whichever sort of pot you choose, it needs to be deep. 

There are two main types of lily: Oriental and Asiatic. Garden centre packs are often labelled as such and it’s important to know the difference. Oriental lilies generally come in white or various shades of pink, and are nearly always highly scented. As a rule, they won’t tolerate alkaline conditions and so are best grown in an ericaceous compost for acid-loving plants. Asiatic lilies, on the other hand, tend to be brightly coloured with no scent. They are very hardy and will tolerate the lime present in most multi-purpose composts. 

Unlike other bulbs, lilies lack a protective outer coat and so are very prone to drying out. Look for plump bulbs and plant straight away! If they look rather shrivelled, consider buying them from a specialist mail-order supplier. All lilies demand good drainage, so it’s worth using lots of crocks in the bottom of your pot. For best results, plant your lilies deep with 15cm (6in) of compost on top. Three bulbs to a 35cm (14in) pot is fine.

If lily beetle is a major problem in your garden, consider growing Lilium regale, the Regal lily. It’s an easy one to grow and research has shown that it is less susceptible to attack. 

Another thing to bear in mind is that all parts of a lily are poisonous to cats, not just the pollen.

Growing lilies in pots (


Role Contributor
Presenter Monty Don
Presenter Rachel de Thame
Presenter Joe Swift
Series Producer Chloe Rawlings
Executive Producer Paolo Proto


  • Fri 11 Mar 2016 20:30
  • Sat 12 Mar 2016 18:00
  • Sat 12 Mar 2016 19:30
  • Sun 13 Mar 2016 08:15
  • Sun 13 Mar 2016 18:00
  • Tue 29 Mar 2016 08:00