Northumberland Diary Discussion: 14 August 2017
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Northumberland Diary. Entry 344.Go to latest contribution by John Good, 09 September 2017, 15:07. Go to bottom of this page.
I agree with you about the joy of late flowering lilies but bitter experience has taught me to beware when buying mature bulbs as they sometimes harbour pupae of Lily beetle; I would recommend steeping the bulbs in an insecticide solution until they are thoroughly soaked and then drying off before planting, or failing that growing the bulbs in pots for a season where it is easier to keep a lookout for the emerging adults in spring. Of course, if your garden. like mine, has a resident population of this detestable pest a few more brought in might not make much difference, but if you are free of Lily beetle it is worth going to quite a lot of trouble to keep things that way.
No we have never seen one here but I am told they have now reached greater Newcastle so we will keep an eagle eye. What is your experience of virus in bought lily bulbs? I think we have never had this but I know others have.
I have bought in viruses with lily bulbs, another reason for growing them in pots for the first year where an eye can be kept open for the occurrence of tell-tale signs: lack of vigour, stripey, sometimes variegated foliage, distorted flower buds sometimes on shortened stems, and where aphids can be spotted and controlled more easily.