Hello Peter. I have three beds of various types of lilies such as asiatic, orientals, stargazers,etc. They are covered currently with cedar mulch for winter protection. The past two years I’ve battled lily beetles like many folks and I’m wondering if it would be better to remove the mulch this spring when the bulbs start to poke through. Also can you recommend an organic deterrent for those little pests.
Lilies don’t really need any winter protection. If the is a couple of inches of mulch, that’s fin but a heavier laer should be reduced in thickness once it thaws out in late March. Scarlet Lily Beetle have become a huge problem. Keep an eye out and, when you see the very first one start spraying once a week with Bon-Neem. Bon-Neem is a combination of an organic contact killer Pyrethrin and Neem Oil which is not only an insect killer but fungicide as well. It is important to kill the beetle at the first sign since the first to arrive will put a scent out into the wind that will attract even more. Spinosad has also been found to be effective against lily beetle if used at the first sign. HERE’S A LINK you might find helpful. We sell both Bon-Neem and Capt’n Jack’s (spinosad) at Hewitts.