How to Trim Lily Beds


True lilies come from the family Lilium of which there are about 1,200 different species. While many other flowers may have lily in their name, such as Day Lilies, they are not true lilies. True lilies come in three different varieties, Asiatic lilies, which bloom first in late spring to early summer, Oriental lilies, which have the largest and most fragrant blooms and Trumpet lilies, which have the largest stems and fused petals. All of these lilies grow well from zones 3 to 8, in most cases.

Step 1

Deadhead the lily's blossoms as they began to fade. Hold the lily with one hand and make a clean cut right under the head of the flower.

Step 2

Trim off any damaged or diseased foliage from the lily plant.

Step 3

Cut down the lily's foliage in the fall when it has turned brown. Cut down all the dead stalks with the gardening shears to the crown of the plant.

Step 4

Mulch over the lily bulbs with a 2 to 4 inch layer of mulch to protect the bulbs during the winter.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not place the lily foliage into your compost heap as it may be infected with Botrytis blight.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Mulch


  • University of Berkeley: Liliales: the True Lilies
  • University of Minnesota: Selecting Lilies for Your Garden
  • University of Nebraska: True Lilies Deserve a Special Place in Your Garden

Who Can Help

  • Dayton Nursery: Asiatic Lily
Keywords: trim lily beds, deadhead lily blossoms, prune lily beds

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.