How to Take Care of Lily Flowers


Lilies, herbaceous flowering perennials that grow from bulbs, originate in Asia but have become popular around the world. Gardeners everywhere value lily flowers for their large, showy blooms that appear in early to late summer in shades of white, yellow, orange, red, maroon and, in some cases, multicolor. Numerous types of lilies exist and all share similar care requirements, although some cultivars may require special care. Regardless of type, lily flowers are classic plants that provide a splash of exotic beauty to the summer garden.

Step 1

Plant lily flowers during mid-fall in a location that receives four to six hours of sunlight each day for optimal growth. Spread a 3-inch layer of organic compost over the planting site and use a garden tiller to work the material into the soil, increasing fertility and drainage. Space lily flowers 10 to 12 inches apart.

Step 2

Apply a 1-inch layer of straw to the soil surrounding lily flowers to insulate the roots, suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Begin the layer at least 3 inches from the base of the flowers to reduce the risk of disease and allow adequate air circulation.

Step 3

Water once every five days for the first month of growth and once every week thereafter. Reduce frequency to once every two weeks during winter, when the plants are dormant. Apply water during the early morning so excess moisture can evaporate before temperatures drop.

Step 4

Feed lily flowers during early spring, just as active growth resumes. Use a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer to provide the proper nutrients for fast growth and profuse flowering. Apply following the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

Step 5

Remove faded and spent lily flowers as often as possible to encourage the formation of new flowers and to increase the aesthetic appeal of the plant. Pinch off the flowers at their point of origin to minimize the chance of disease and prevent damaging the plants.

Tips and Warnings

  • Lilies are susceptible to slugs, which should be manually removed at first notice.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Garden tiller
  • Straw
  • Fertilizer


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Selecting Lilies for Your Garden
  • Washington State University Extension: Lovely Lilies for Summer Gardens
  • "Illinois Gardener's Guide"; James A. Fizzell; 2002
Keywords: lily flowers, lilies, care of lily flowers

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including