Planting Lilies

  • Plant your bulbs in spring or fall.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of 12-15 inches (30-37 cm). Deep planting is important as it will help stabilize your lily and potentially eliminate the need for staking. Mix in a 2-4 in. layer of compost (5-10 cm). Dig a hole about 6 in. deep (15 cm) and set the lilies with the roots facing downwards. Cover the lilies with a layer of soil, press down firmly and water thoroughly. Space your lily bulbs at a distance of 8 - 18 in. (3 times the bulb's diameter).
  • Lilies perform best in full sun or part shade. They need 6-8 hours of sun per day and like having 'cold feet'. Therefore, it is advisable to shade the lower part of the plant, which will also protect the roots from drying out.
  • Most lilies enjoy rich, acidic to neutral soils, but some are lime-tolerant or prefer alkaline soils (e.g., Madonna lilies)
  • Well-drained soils are critical. Good moisture is required and dry soils should be avoided!

Caring for Lilies

In the growing season, water freely and apply a high-potash liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks.

Keep moist in winter. Apply a thin layer of compost in the spring as well as a 2 in, (5 cm) layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.

As flowers fade, cut back the stalks to the base of the plant.

After bloom, divide lilies.

Lilies as Cut Flowers

Choose lilies with buds that are just about to open

Trim the stem making a diagonal cut with a sharp knife.

Snip off the stamens to avoid staining your hands or clothes with the pollen

Make sure no foliage will be underwater when placing in a vase.

A good lily arrangement will last 2 or more weeks. Change the water every few days and add cut-flower food to the water.