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Growing of Lilium

Step by step in growing the perfect lilium

To get good results from our bulbs, please follow the following steps. Our specialists are happy to help and guide you at any step of the process:

  • Select the right varieties: amount of buds, size of the buds, length, growing period, etc. This all depends on the variety and/or size of the bulbs you will plant. AMSONIA can help you to make the right selection for the right period.
  • In our coolers in Holland the bulbs are stored at -1 °C to keep them dormant; if the temperature goes up the sprout starts to grow, the higher the temperature the quicker it grows. This is not to be preferred.
  • Transport preferably is done at -1 °C for growers who want to store the bulbs in their coolers for a longer period. Growers who cannot organize transport at -1 °C should import the bulbs at max +5 °C. Transport between our warehouse and the place of planting should not take more than one week. Bulbs on transport +5 °C should to be planted on arrival.
  • Lilium bulbs need to be planted in a well-equipped greenhouse which can provide the right amount of heating, shading, circulation of air, ventilation of air, etc. The more air-volume the more stabile the climate will be inside the greenhouse. Plants grow the best in a stabile climate without quick changes of temperature, light and humidity. Quick changes of climate will lead to stress in the plants and stress will cause problems with diseases, buds, leaves, etc.
  • On arrival, just before planting, open the plastic bags of the boxes and put the bulbs in a shady and cool place, not more than +10 °C. Make sure that your greenhouse and the soil are ready for planting when the bulbs arrive. The longer you wait with planting, the longer the sprouts will grow. This will result in broken sprouts during planting and losses in production (less quality stems, less amount of buds and more problems with leaf-scorch).
  • Plant the bulbs in a humid and cool soil. Make sure there is minimum 10 cm soil on top of the bulbs (wintertime) or 15 cm (summertime). This topsoil is necessary for the plants to make a good root-system. Water the bulbs strongly after planting. A good root-system is essential for good quality flowers. Ideal temperature in the soil for rooting is around 9 °C. After the sprouts have made good roots in the soil, temperature can go up to develop the rest of the plant. If it is too hot e.g. in summertime, planting in boxes is preferred. Boxes are first put in a rooting-room at +9 °C for 2-3 weeks and after the roots have developed, boxes are brought into the greenhouse.
  • EC around 1,5 and pH between 6 and 7 are ideal. Different values will lead to problems. The bigger the differences, the bigger the problems. Especially problems with leaves and buds.
  • Water the plants regularly and do not let the soil dry out. Adjust your water-gift depending on the weather and volume of the plants. Bigger plants need more water than small plants. On warm and sunny days the plants need more water than on a cold and shady day. Never give standard amounts of water. Always check the soil before you start watering!
  • Measure the temperature, humidity and amount of light in the greenhouse. Only in this way it is possible to know exactly what is going on in your greenhouse and to take actions if necessary. If you decide to heat, shade, illuminate, ventilated or circulate, always do it step by step, not to disturb the growing of the plants.
  • The humidity in the greenhouse may change daily depending on the weather outside. Make sure it is always as stable as possible between 65-85%. Big changes in humidity will lead to leaf-scorch, bud-abortion, reduction of growth, etc. Bigger sizes of bulbs (bigger plants, more buds) are more sensitive. It is also related to the variety. Make sure the air is circulated and ventilated regularly.
  • Hot air heaters are not recommended as they create big changes in humidity when the heaters are on (humidity goes down quickly) or off (humidity goes up quickly). Hot air heaters have the same disturbing effect on the temperature.
  • Lily-crop likes a good amount of light. In summer light can be too intense. Shading may be necessary to avoid leaf-burn. In winter light is in general not intense and long enough. Lilies need minimum 16 hours of light and additional light in the winter by means of assimilation-light is necessary (around 6000 lux).
  • Temperature in the greenhouse should be 10-18 °C in the first month of the growing to ensure good quality rooting (soil-temperature around 9 °C). After the formation of good roots, the temperature in the greenhouse can go up to +25 °C in the daytime and down to +12 °C in the night-time. Always make sure that the plants are actively growing. To get better quality during the winter months, it is advised to plant less plants per m2, give more light, reduce your watering and temperature. Try to plant only bulbs originated from Chile or New Zealand in the months November, December and January. These bulbs are more fresh and will give better results.
  • Feed the lilies regularly. On planting, just make sure that your soil is airy and humid and has a basic amount of nutrients. After the formation of roots, you can start to increase the amount of fertilizers. In the beginning you can use more nitrogen to make the plants grow. In the last month of the growing you can use more calcium and potassium to make the plants stronger and the colour of the flower better. Sufficient amounts of magnesium and iron are also important for the leaves.
  • The more healthy the plants have been growing, the better the vase-life will be after cutting. Try to cut the flowers early in the morning on the coolest part of the day. Put the flowers in the cooler as soon as possible. If transport to the customer will take several days, it is advisable, to put the flowers on water with a post-harvest chemical to prolong the vase-life. Transport of flowers should be done in temperature controlled trucks at maximum +5 °C.
  • Make sure that your buyer of flowers transports and treats them in the right way to avoid claims. Create happy customers, as they will buy again next time!
  • After cutting, clean your greenhouse, take out all old and dead plant-material including the bulbs, disinfect your soil and make it ready for the next planting.

The above is just a short summary of the most important issues concerning the growing of Lilium in a greenhouse.

We also have a full manual available on growing Lilium as a cutflower. If you like to receive this manual or have further information, please do not hesitate to contact AMSONIA.