How to Trail Lily Plants


Lily flowers come in over 100 varieties. They can be used as a flower crop (like the Easter lily) or be consumed like a root vegetable (the flavor is similar to a potato). Lilies have long, thin, sturdy stems that old up large, delicate flowers. Since lilies have a natural clustering formation, arching stem and preference of well-draining soil, they can easily be grown as trailing or cascading plants when planted on a slope or angle (such as in wall planters). Trailing is an aesthetically beautiful way to grow lily plants, as well as make them appear to cover more ground area.

Step 1

Plant lily bulbs or transplants on a slope to create a trailing effect. Do this so the top of the lily crown (or bulb) is facing upwards, so it is horizontal to the ground. This will make the lilies trail because gravity will make the lilies grow outward from the slope, thus arching the flowers downward when they bloom, making them trail.

Step 2

Install wall planters wherever you would like to plant your lilies if you desire to have them trailing a window box, house wall, fence or rooftop. The long flower stems and the quick-growing green leaves will easily cascade over the sides of the boxes once the plant begins to mature. This is because the upright position of the planters will cause the lily to grow bending over, out of the planter.

Step 3

Provide the lily plants with rich, organic, loamy well-draining soil when planting either on a slope or in planters, as this will encourage the lily plants to trail even more efficiently. You can layer loam into your soil and till it about 4 inches deep to make sure the soil is loose to promote draining.

Step 4

Establish a system of planting panels on walls outside of your house, such as a fence, tool shed or the side of the house. This not only expands gardening space to save room, when multiple lily plants are matured in these it will provide an aesthetic beauty of cascading foliage. Depending on the variety of lily plant you grow, it is important to choose planting panels large enough for the bulb and root system. Follow the installation instructions for the type of panels you obtain, using tools such as a screwdriver or hammer. When the lilies bloom, the heaviness of the blossoms will cause the stems to arch, making the leaves and flowers trail down the panels.

Things You'll Need

  • Lily transplant
  • Lily bulbs
  • Trowel
  • Planting panels
  • Soil
  • Tools (screwdriver, screws, hammer, etc.)


  • National Gardening Association: Lily Plant Care
  • North American Lily Society: Planting Lilies
  • Washington State University: Vertical Gardening
Keywords: growing lily plants, training lilies, trailing lilies

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.