Why Grow Lilies?

  • Beautiful and fragrant: there are a large variety of lily plants with many bold colors such as deep reds and oranges to petal blossoms freckled with bright colors as well as delicate whites.
  • Relative easy to grow: lilies only take 18 months to grow from seed. Plus they are a hardier breed of flower that require little specialized attention.
  • Works well with other flowers: lilies are tall with slender stems and full blossoms so they share space with smaller blossomed flowers well.
Has a long growing season: lilies will continue to blossom as long as they are kept, even if winter so long as they are housed correctly.

Planting Lilies

Seeds vs. Bulbs:
Lilies can be grown from either seeds or bulbs either after the last frost of spring or autumn. Seeds should be planted 1 cm deep and can take two to four years to get blossoms from seeds. Bulbs should be planted 6 cm deep for small bulbs and up to 30 cm deep for large bulbs.

The most important aspect of growing lilies is to ensure good drainage. This can be done naturally by planting your bulbs on a slope or by planting on raised mounds or by adding a drainage tiles. Lily blossoms love sun and the roots enjoy shade. These are the only attributes shared by all the species of lilies. Different breeds of lilies enjoy different lime levels in their soil:
Lime Lovers
Lime Tolerant
Lime Haters

L. amabile
L. bolanderi
L. auratum
L. candidum
L. bulbiferum
L. bakeriana
L. carniolicum
L. canadense editorum
L. japonicum
L. chalcedonicum
L. callosum
L. lancifolium
L. concolor
L. cernuum
L. leichtlinii
L. duchartrei
L. davidii
L. medeoloides
L. hansonii
L. humboldtii
L. neilgherrense
L. henryi
L. lankongense
L. nepalense
L. martagon
L. leucantheum
L. rubellum
L. monadelphum
L. longiflorum
L. speciosum
L. pomponium
L. pardalinum
L. wallichianum
L. regale
L. parryi
Oriental hybrids
L. szovitsianum
L. primulinum

L. x testaceum
L. pyrenaicum

L. x Marhan
L. sulphureum

L. x martagon hybrids
Asiatic and Trumpet hybrids

Maintaining Lilies

Lilies should be planted in autumn and covered with a thick layer of mulch in order to keep the bulb safe from frost and animals that eat bulbs. After the winter is over carefully remove the mulch to allow the sprout to grow, but be careful not to tear the budding sprout. The soil should be fertilized regularly with nitrogen in order to ensure a healthy and hardy blossom. Some types of lilies require staking for their large trumpet shaped blossoms. Be careful not to pierce the bulb when placing a stake. Lilies also need a constantly moist soil. Keep them well watered but ensure good drainage. After the growing season ends, the dead shoots much be taken out of the bulb. Do this with care so as not to harm the bulb.

The information for this page was collected from the following lily societies dedicated to promoting the gardening of lilies:

Image Source: Lilium concolor, July 2006 by Denis Barthel downloaded at on May 24, 2010.