Crown Imperials

General description: A very handsome plant, seen by some as the king of bulbs. The first green shoots appear in the early spring and rapidly produce a tall, vigorous stem on which a large flower forms, comprising drooping bracts of red, orange or yellow. In height they can grow as tall as 5 feet.
Included in this category is the variety Persica, which produces a tall spike on which up to 30 flowers form. Their colour is deep purple.



Where best to plant: Imperial lilies prefer semi-shade for the best results. We find that they do well under trees that do not produce dense leaf cover. They like very well drained soil. . We also sell the variety Persica, which for the best results prefers full day long sunshine.

Planting hints: It is vital to prevent the bulbs from becoming waterlogged. To achieve this dig a hole 12 inches deep and fill the bottom 4 inches with sharp sand. Some gardeners recommend laying the bulb on its side, again with the view of reducing the likelihood of the base of the bulb sitting in water.
Imperial lilies are heavy feeders, and respond very positively to wood ash being placed around them. Otherwise use a low nitrogen compound, such as one may use on roses or potatoes.

Variety information: As already mentioned there are the three basic colours, red, orange and yellow. The red is more of a brick red. In addition we sell Persica which is completely different in flowering habit. having tall spires of deep purple flowers. 

Other useful facts: Given time imperial lilies will spread very satisfactorily, and are very long lasting. We have some that have flowered every year for thirty years or more. They do however require as dry conditions as you can find. We do not think it is a good idea to lift the bulbs, especially if they are planted nice and deep. Beware accidentally cutting off the first showing of the pale green leaves in March.
Slugs and snails can be a problem when the leaves first emerge in March. Slug pellets will keep them at bay, or one can sprinkle table salt around the emerging leaves which seems to do the trick in our garden.