Lilium martagon

I was giving a demo on propagating bulbs at the weekend and told the assembled I’d be posting a picture of Lilium martagon on my blog, as this is the one I was using. So here it is.

Petals - correctly, tepals - of the martagon lily flex upwards as they open

It’s easy to increase your stocks of lilies by snapping off some of the outer scales when the plants are dormant – or even scaling the whole thing. Lilies will shortly be available in the garden centres, and it’s worth doing this, as some of the scales will no doubt already have parted company with the parent bulb in the packaging. Bulbs of the martagon lily, a turkscap variety from eastern Europe with maroon flowers, can cost up to £5 each, so it makes economic sense as well.

It’s merely a matter of dusting the scales with fungicide then bagging them up in a dampish mix of peat or alternative (actually, I used multi-purpose compost for the demo) and perlite. After a few weeks in a warm, dark place (bottom of the airing cupboard?), new bulblets will form that you can then grow on. I’ll put further details in my February newsletter, so please sign up for this via my website if you don’t already receive this.

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