I’m sure you’ve browsed the bunches of lilies in the supermarket before now, but avoided buying them as you feel they’ll only last a week indoors? Well, you’ll find that the new Romance series of lilies will last for weeks and weeks, and they’ll bloom within just 10 weeks of planting. The plants are neat and tidy, and will please even the tidiest of gardeners. Each bulb produces 8-10 powerfully fragrant blooms atop each stem, which are long-lasting thanks to their almost waxy petals.
The Romance series have been bred in the Netherlands by the in-house breeding company of a lily bulb exporter. This has proved a real benefit, as the plant breeder has been able to react directly to customer demands. The advent of this range of compact, richly fragrant oriental lilies has introduced a new category of patio plant, meaning you can grow your own living bouquets even without a garden.
Lily planting tips
You only need to plant three bulbs into a 30cm (12 inch) diameter container, so 12 bulbs will fill easily fill four pots. As a general rule of thumb, you should plant bulbs to three times their own depth. Don’t worry about watering too much until the leaves start poking through the soil surface.
Even though all the goodness is in the bulb, you’ll find that your lilies will develop even better when they’re well-watered and fed. Always use a high quality compost for the results. And feed regularly with Flower Power, this high potash plant food will make the display brighter and may even encourage a few extra blossoms. It’ll also help build up the bulbs for the following year’s display.
At the end of the season, allow the foliage to die back naturally. This will help to put the energy back into the bulbs ready for next season. Your lily bulbs will be hardy and can either be left in the ground and/or container, or lifted and stored in dry paper bags indoors.
Another benefit of the Romance lilies is that they’re self-supporting, so you’ll never go outside to find snapped stems after a windy day.
The QVC Romance Lily collection
Our exclusive collection features the ‘Rapid’ (pink), ‘Golden’ (golden-yellow!) and ‘Star’ (reddish-pink) and launches on Saturday 2 January at 9am and 10am on Richard’s QVC gardening show.