Common name/s ?

Firecracker lily and Asiatic lily firecracker.

Skill rating




Type of plant ?

Bulbous perennial.

Hardiness zone ?

RHS zone


EGF zone


USDA zone


Eventual size

70-90cm height by 50cm spread.

Growth rate ?

Fast from bulb; will reach full height in one or two seasons.

Shape it grows into

Upright, generally single stemmed flower.

Season/s of interest

Flowers in mid summer.

Where to grow it

Happiest in full sun.
Prefers well drained soil.

Lilies require good drainage to thrive; planting them on a slope is ideal. They are happy on any type or pH of soil. A sheltered spot is best, where the tall stems won’t be too battered by the wind.

Lilium 'Firecracker'


This Asiatic hybrid lily has deep scarlet flowers on tall stems each bearing a single bloom each year. The leathery leaves are slim and mid to dark green.

What to use it for

A striking addition to beds and borders, particularly to add a more tropical feel to a display. Can also be container grown. Excellent for cut flowers.

How to look after it

When planting lilies they should be planted at 10cm depth and 30cm apart for smaller bulbs and 15cm depth and 45cm apart for larger bulbs. They are generally planted in the autumn, but some can be purchased for planting in spring.

As the shoots emerge, move any mulch away so it isn’t in direct contact with the stems, and start to apply a balanced fertiliser.

Stake or support the shoots as they grow taller.

Mulch the lilies in autumn to reduce the risk of the soil being lifted by frost, which can also lift the bulb, damaging its roots.

If the stems are becoming spindly this may be due to overcrowding, so lift the clumps and divide.

If you lift and store lilies over their dormant period ensure that you keep the bulbs moist.

This lily can be forced for earlier flowering.

How to prune it

Cut back the stems to ground level (or pull them out if they’re dry and pull out easily) in autumn.

How to propagate it

Most Asiatic lilies can be divided in early spring or autumn, by the separation of clumps of bulblets growing underground at the base of the old stem. Lift, separate and pot on the bulblets when the lily is dormant and grow on in a shaded, frost-free place. The resulting plants should flower within 3 or 4 years. Alternatively, bulbils forming in the leaf axils can be removed in late summer and planted in a tray to be planted out the following autumn, or the entire stem buried into a trench after flowering. Disbudding just before flowering can encourage the development of bulbils.

Alternatively, scaling can be done in late summer.

Always ensure you are propagating from healthy, virus-free lilies.

Common problems

Above ground, plants can be damaged by pests including the lily beetle, aphids, slugs, snails and rabbits. Squirrels, slugs and snails may also affect the bulbs.

Viruses, especially the tulip breaking virus, can infect lilies. They are also susceptible to fungal diseases including lily rust, lily disease, tulip grey bulb rot, blue mould rot and root and foot rot. This cultivar offers some disease resistance.

Other, more general, bulb problems can be found on lily bulbs: stem eelworm, large narcissus fly, bacterial soft rot, tarsonemid mites, bulb mite, wireworms, cutworms, violet root rot, vine weevil and blindness.

Other useful information

This cultivar was developed in the 1970s by Edward Mcrae in Oregan, USA. It is a cross between Lilium ‘Harmony’ and Lilium ‘Byam’s Ruby’.