Lily Planting Instructions


Lilies provide color throughout the growing season if you plant early, mid-season and late-blooming cultivars. The blooms come trumpet-shaped, bowl-shaped and bell-shaped, range in size and shape and point in every direction. Although lilies may vary in look, they all grow from bulbs and require similar planting instructions. Knowledge of how to plant these bulbs will help you produce an attractive addition to your garden.

Step 1

Purchase lily bulbs that will work in your garden. Look for height, color and flower structures that complement the flowers that already exist in your garden. Also make sure that the type of lily you choose is cold hardy in your region.

Step 2

Choose an area with full sun or light shade and organic, slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Lilies will survive in almost any soil type as long as it is well-drained.

Step 3

Place down a 1- to 2-inch layer of organic compost. Mix it about 8 inches into the soil with a spade. This will increase the nutrient content of the soil.

Step 4

Plant lilies in groups of three to five identical lily plants. Space these 8 to 12 inches apart in groups 3 to 5 feet apart. Measuring from the top of the bulb, place small bulbs 2 to 4 inches deep and large bulbs 4 to 6 inches deep.

Step 5

Place a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the lilies. This will conserve moisture, keep weeds down and protect the soil from sudden temperature fluctuations.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Spade
  • Mulch


  • Iowa State University: Growing Garden Lilies
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Selecting Lilies for Your Garden
  • Clemson Extension: Easter Lily
Keywords: planting lilies, lily planting instructions, lily site selection

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.