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Big Lily!

Cheshire, United Kingdom Gb

Have acquired(don't ask) what I have been told are lilium giganticum seeds. Have also been told they take 12 months to germinate, after having planted them. I have planted then in seed compost with a grit topping, a la Carol Klein, and have them in a spare bedroom.
Any advice or knowledge from helpful, better gardeners than me please?
Many thanks for the replies....patience is a virtue apparently!



Firstly, Ss, take them out the the spare bedroom, they need to be cold. I would just have the pot outdoors and exposed to all the winter weather though others may prefer them in a well ventilated cold frame.
They will not all germinate at the same time. A very few might just germinate this year, more next year and so on. Leave them in the pot you have them in until they are getting to look a bit crowded before potting them on. Once the have germinated they will start using up the nutrient in the seed compost so give them a feed of week tomato fertiliser once a month during the summer until you pot them on. Don't let the seed pot dry out, either.

16 Feb, 2011


Cardiocrinum giganticum, would be the plant whose seeds you have.

They produce truly vast numbers of seeds in my experience, but are indeed very slow germinators - some seeds taking 2 or more years - and then a further 7 or so years to reach flowering size.

Personally I sow seeds from all of the Lilium family into pure perlite, or a 70/30 perlite/compost mix - drainage is absolutely crucial. They will also germinate far better outdoors where they can experience warmth following a period of cold.

In their 1st year following germination they produce a very small, narrow single leaf (known as a cotyledon) with the first true leaf appearing only in the second year of growth. Watch out for slugs at this stage too.

They are not too hard to look after, but it's definitely a game for the patient!

16 Feb, 2011

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