Monty Don shares gardening task to complete in April for 'one of the best and most fragrant of summer displays'

Monty Don shares gardening task to complete in April for 'one of the best and most fragrant of summer displays'

Gardening advice from the Royal Horticultural Society

YouTube / Royal Horticultural Society
Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 02/04/2024

- 13:53

Planting lilies in pots is an easy task for Britons who want to add a pop of colour to their garden

Gardening enthusiasts will know that certain jobs are best completed in certain months.

With the start of April creeping in, British horticulturist Monty Don has shared what budding gardeners should focus on this month. He urged them to spend some time in April planting lilies in pots.

"Plant lilies in pots for one of the best and most fragrant of summer displays," Monty advised.

"Most lilies like an ericaceous soil but Madonna Lilies, which are one of the first to flower, prefer an alkaline soil and will return year after year given the right conditions."

Monty Don / Lilies

Gardening enthusiasts have been told which job they must complete this month for gorgeous summer flowers


For the perfect potted lilies, Monty told gardeners that they can't go wrong if they "provide good drainage and a nice, loose compost".

He advised: "I achieve this by mixing in plenty of leafmould and grit into a bark-based general-purpose compost but just adding perlite or vermiculite will help greatly.

"Plant the scaly bulbs with about four inches of compost above the crown and put them somewhere lightly shaded to grow."

Lilies should be generously watered and moved and their final position when their buds develop in May and June.

As for where lilies should be placed for optimum growth, Monty advised that this plant enjoys shady roots and sunny flowers.

This means that a west or east-facing sheltered spot is "ideal for their flowering performance".

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) also provided some guidance on planting lilies in pots.

The experts said: "Lilies grow well in containers, where they can be positioned for maximum effect in the garden. It's a great way to grow these stunning plants, especially if you can't grow them in your garden."

This is a great task for budding gardeners as it is an "easy" undertaking.

The RHS advised that nearly all types of lilies grow well in containers. However, taller types require some support.


Lilies in a pot

'Plant lilies in pots for one of the best and most fragrant of summer displays'


Gardening gurus advised planting single large bulbs (10-12cm (4-5in) diameter) into 20-23cm (8-9in) diameter containers, or three to four smaller bulbs (5-8cm (2-3in) diameter) into 23-25cm (9-10in) diameter containers. Allow 5cm (2in) between bulbs and use only deep containers.

Another gardening task Monty recommended getting on with in April is hardening off tender plants.

He said: "It is time to start bringing tender plants such as Fuchsias, citrus, brugmansias, bananas, agapanthus or Cannas outside so that they can gradually acclimatise before being planted out into a border or pot."

He told gardening enthusiasts to put these plants outside in a sunny but sheltered spot but have some horticultural fleece to hand to cover them if there is a cold night.

Do this for a week - or better yet, two - before moving them to their final position after the risk of frost has passed.

For gardening enthusiasts who love their lilies, GB News has shared everything you need to know.

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