Growing and caring for lilies can be an incredibly rewarding experience. This flower is a garden favorite, and rightly so. Its spectacular blooms and lush green foliage captivate anyone with its timeless beauty. And the best part? They’re not as complicated to grow as you might think. So, if you’re keen on learning how to grow and care for lily flowers, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive in.

What is a Lily?

Before we talk about how to grow lilies, let’s talk about what a lily is. A lily is a type of flowering plant with large prominent flowers that are known for their fragrance and beautiful, often trumpet-shaped flowers. They belong to the Lilium genus and are part of the Liliaceae family.

True lilies, as they’re often called, grow from bulbs and have a perennial life cycle, meaning they return year after year. These are not to be confused with daylilies, peace lilies, or calla lilies, which, despite their names, aren’t true lilies.

Types of Lilies

There are several different types of lilies, but the most common ones are Asiatic and Oriental lilies. Asiatic lilies are known for their vibrant colors and sturdy stems. They’re also the earliest to bloom and are typically not fragrant. Oriental lilies, on the other hand, are famous for their fragrant blooms, which are larger and less numerous than those of Asiatic lilies.

Some other popular lily types include Trumpet lilies, Tiger lilies, Martagon lilies, and Turk’s cap lilies, each boasting unique colors and characteristics.

How to Grow Lilies

When it comes to adding a splash of color to your garden, there’s nothing quite like lilies. These elegant and vibrant flowering plants are a joy to behold. But how do you grow lilies from bulbs, and what does lily care to entail? As a garden enthusiast who has been growing lilies for years, I can share my knowledge and experience.

Preparing to Plant Lilies

The first thing to remember is that lilies grow from bulbs. They are typically planted in late summer or early autumn, although you can plant certain varieties, like the Madonna lily, in early spring. Once you’ve purchased your lily bulbs, the next step is choosing the right spot in your garden.

Lilies love sunlight, so a location that offers full sun or partial shade is ideal. However, their bulbs need to keep their roots cool, and this is something you’ll want to consider when planting. This can be achieved by planting lily bulbs among other lower-growing plants that can provide the necessary shade or by using a layer of mulch.

Planting Lily Bulbs

When it comes to planting depth, a good rule of thumb is to plant the bulb three times as deep as the bulb is tall. So, if you have a bulb that’s 2 inches tall, you’ll want to plant it 6 inches deep.

Spacing is another crucial aspect of planting lilies. For most lilies, bulbs should be spaced about a foot apart to ensure enough room for the plants to grow without crowding each other.

Remember, lilies prefer well-drained soil. Before you plant your lilies, ensure your chosen location doesn’t collect standing water. If the soil in your garden is heavy clay, you might consider amending it with some organic material to improve its drainage or growing your lilies in raised beds or pots.

Lily Care: Everything You Need to Know About Growing Lilies

Lilies are stunning flowers that make an impressive statement in any garden. However, like all plants, they need some tender loving care to thrive. As a long-time gardener with an affection for these beautiful blooms, I’m here to share some tips on lily care, including watering, fertilizing, pruning, and protecting your lilies from pests.


Proper watering is essential when caring for lilies. Lilies prefer their soil to be moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to bulb rot, which can damage or even kill your lilies. As a rule of thumb, I water my lilies deeply and infrequently. I ensure that the water penetrates the soil and reaches the bulbs deep underground. On hot summer days, I water them a bit more frequently, ensuring the soil doesn’t dry out completely. However, always remember to keep the soil around the plant well-drained.


When it comes to fertilizing, lilies have some specific needs. Lilies require a balanced fertilizer that will provide all the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. I generally apply a slow-release fertilizer in the early spring, around the same time the lilies begin to sprout. This gives the lilies a nutrient boost right at the beginning of their growing season. I repeat the application after the lilies have bloomed to prepare them for the next season. Just remember not to overdo it; too much fertilizer can do more harm than good.


Pruning is another essential aspect of lily care, although it’s not pruning in the traditional sense. Once the lily flower has bloomed and started to wilt, I cut off the spent flower at the base of the stem, taking care not to remove any foliage. The foliage continues to photosynthesize, providing energy that the bulb stores for the next year’s growth. I leave the stems and leaves in place until they yellow in late summer or fall, at which point I cut them back to ground level.

Protecting from Pests

Protecting lilies from pests is an essential part of lily care. One of the most common pests I encounter is the red lily beetle. These beetles can defoliate a lily plant quickly, so it’s important to deal with them promptly. If I see these beetles, I remove them by hand and keep checking back for more.

Aside from red lily beetles, lilies can also be prone to aphids, slugs, and snails. Regularly checking your plants can help you spot any potential problems early before they cause too much damage. In severe cases, I use a pesticide or other treatment, making sure to follow the instructions carefully.

While lilies do require a bit of effort and attention, their beautiful, showy flowers and enchanting fragrance more than make up for it. With the proper care, lilies can flourish and light up your garden year after year. So, put on those gardening gloves, plant and grow those lilies, and watch them bloom!

Types of Lilies: Exploring the Various Lily Varieties

Lilies are known for their elegance and grace, and the wide array of lily varieties available makes them an excellent choice for any garden. From the vibrant colors of Asiatic lilies to the fragrant blooms of Oriental lilies, the sheer diversity in this genus is truly astounding. Let’s delve into some popular lily types and discover their unique traits.

Asiatic Lilies

Asiatic lilies are among the earliest to bloom and are characterized by their vibrant colors, which can range from bold red and orange to softer hues of pink, yellow, and white. Their flowers per stem can be numerous, making them an excellent choice for a cut flower garden. Despite their impressive display, these lilies are relatively easy to grow, making them perfect for beginner gardeners.

Oriental Lilies

Oriental lilies are perhaps the most fragrant lilies, known for their large, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in late summer. The elegant white lilies, like ‘Casa Blanca’, and the stunning pink ‘Stargazer’ are two of the most popular Oriental lilies. They are a little more particular about their care, but the extra effort is well rewarded with their stunning display and captivating fragrance.

Trumpet Lilies

The Trumpet lily is named for its large, trumpet-shaped flowers, which can be up to six inches wide. These lilies grow well in full sun or partial shade and are known for their intense fragrance. They can grow quite tall, sometimes reaching heights of up to six feet, making them an impressive sight in any garden.

Tiger Lilies

Tiger lilies are a robust and unique type of lily that are known for their bright orange blooms covered in small black or deep purple spots – hence the name ‘tiger’. Tiger lilies are hardy plants that grow well in a range of conditions, including in full sun or partial shade. They’re also resistant to most pests and diseases, including the dreaded red lily beetle, making them a low-maintenance choice for any gardener.

Orienpet Lilies

Orienpet lilies, also known as OT hybrids, are a cross between Oriental and Trumpet lilies, combining the best traits of both. They are known for their large, fragrant flowers and robust growth habit. With their combination of hardiness, fragrance, and stunning blooms, Orienpet lilies are becoming increasingly popular among lily enthusiasts.

Martagon Lilies

Martagon lilies, also known as Turk’s cap lilies, are notable for their distinctive turban-shaped flowers, which hang down from the stem. They prefer cooler conditions and do well in shady areas, which is unusual for lilies. They are also known for their high flower production, often producing up to 50 flowers per stem.

In Conclusion

Growing and caring for lilies can be a rewarding endeavor, especially when you see those vibrant blooms livening up your garden. Whether you choose Asiatic, Oriental, or another variety altogether, there’s no denying the allure of this spectacular flower.

So why not give Lily growing a try? With the right care and attention, you’ll find these flowering plants are not only easy to grow but also a stunning addition to any garden. And now that you know what you need to know about growing lilies, you’re well on your way to becoming a true lily connoisseur!