Lilium regale from seed

Seeds are continuing to ripen in the garden. If you grow Lilium regale, a beautiful Chinese species lily with richly scented trumpet flowers in July, the seed cases should be starting to split to spill their copious seeds – assuming you didn’t dead-head them after flowering.

Lilium regale seedhead

The seed cases of Lilium regale start to split around this time of year

Sow the seed in small pots topped with grit, then leave them to get on with it. Within three years – sometimes within two – the bulbs will be large enough to flower. Further details are in my November newsletter – to receive this (it’s free), drop me an email (andrewmikol@btinternet.com).

While this is the easiest of all the lilies, I recommend growing it in pots, especially if you have heavy soil as I do. Then you can move them round the garden at will. I like the idea of a few large containers next to a bench where you’ll be sitting next summer enjoying a well-deserved drink. That’s the thing about gardening – even as the days are shortening, you are planning for the future.

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2 Responses to “Lilium regale from seed”

  1. David Price Says:

    Your post about seeds spilling out from Lilium regale reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to ask you for some time. We have a bird feeder for feeding finches, particularly goldfinches, with niger seeds. Inevitably, the birds tend to drop seeds on the ground below the feeder, and I noticed the other day that they are sprouting. What exactly are niger seeds and can the plants survive in our climate?

  2. Andrew Mikolajski Says:

    Just looked this up. I think you’ll find that the seedlings are nothing more exciting than a type of thistle (but not the UK one).

    These seeds are produced specially for birds, as they’re high in oils and calories, in parts of Africa and India. That would suggest that any plants that sprout will not be hardy. Even if they do survive, they won’t be particularly interesting as plants.

    According to the source I looked at, these seeds are supposed to be treated to prevent germination. Obviously they aren’t always.

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