Forum home Problem solving

Lilly Beetle

I have some lovely "black" lilies coming on, but as my last lilies were desimated by lily beetle and I destroyed all the bulbs I am looking for any home-made remedies that I could use as I cannot get out to get any organic solution due to the present lock-down.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,918
    Hi @Patricia Ludwell
    Unfortunately there's no magic remedy for lily beetles, other than the organic 'picking them off and squishing them' one!
    It can be soul destroying, but that's the only way to do it. Pick off any grubs that you see as well. If you can break the life cycle of them a bit, that will help, but it's a constant process through the season. 
    I expect you're aware that the adults are black underneath, and they can drop onto the ground at the slightest disturbance, making it hard to spot them. It pays to have your other hand underneath, or a sheet of paper or similar, so that they can't escape.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,029
    I found 5 of these hiding in the leaves of a foxglove that had self seeded in a pot! Vile creatures! 
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,819
    Apparently they scream (well, make a little noise) when you pick them up.  You'd have to hold them close to your ear to hear it though.  Have never tried this, but I see we have some damage to our lilly's, so perhaps I'll go and try it now!
  • I did know you have to creep up on them and they drop off and play dead! Bet they dont get COVID 19
  • We have these beetles on lilies and Fritillaria every year and garden organically.  Some lilies eg Orange Pixie do not have beetles whereas others are very susceptible.  We look for the first signs on the Fritillarias and always try to catch and squash the beetles as soon as we spot them.  That way we usually manage to get some decent lilies, although there are always one or two casualties in more out of the way places. If you wait too long you will have more beetles and also the horrid brown muck-covered grubs to deal with; not pleasant.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,997
    We're having a break from growing lilies for a couple of years in the hope the local lily beetle population dwindle ... last year was our first without lilies for a while and we found lily beetles on the broccoli and gooseberries ... bet they were hungry tho 😡

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,918
    They've never been a problem here until relevantly recently. I can only assume they didn't survive our winters well enough to get a stranglehold. The last couple of winters have been non existent [for here] so I expect it was easier for them to survive and multiply.

    I certainly had a lot last year, so will be very vigilant again this year. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    It's worth growing some Madonna lilies (Lilium candidum) as they start growth much, much earlier than most lilies (often in autumn and they grow throughout the winter), so are the first to attract lily beetle and can be kept under particular scrutiny.  In sunny spells, the red devils climb to to tops to release hormones to attract mates so that's a good time to inspect them.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks guys for the advice, which I will certainly take.
Sign In or Register to comment.