What Time of Year Do You Plant Lily Bulbs?


There are more than 300 varieties of lilies. The lily can be planted as a backdrop for other flowers. Smaller varieties allow the gardener to add splashes of color in groups around other ground cover. With all the different hybrids available, planting lilies does not have to be a fall project any longer.


The lily dates back to the Minoan period of history. There were drawings found on the Isle of Crete that date back to 1580 B.C. The lily represented purity and virtue. Early Christian customs used the lily in Easter celebrations.


Lilies are one flower that is easily cared for. The main requirement is a dry location to plant the bulbs. Wet soil can cause fungus to develop. This will kill the bulb.

Time Frame

Lily bulbs can be planted in the spring or fall. The longer the growing season, the better the bulb will have to establish a strong root system. This is why many people still believe the bulbs should be planted in the fall. Late spring planting is fine for late fall blooms.


There are times when bulbs are bought and forgot about. This does not mean the bulb cannot be used. If the weather is permitting, and the ground is workable, plant as soon as the bulbs are discovered.


Bulbs, which are discovered well into winter, can also be forced to bloom indoors. This will keep the bulbs fresh and active.


Always make certain the lily bulbs that are being planted are still healthy. Brittle or dry bulbs are most likely dead. These plants will probably not grow.

Who Can Help

  • Planting Lilies
  • University of Minnesota: Selecting Lilies for Your Garden

About this Author

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for 30 years. Recently, Richards has written a variety of e-books and numerous articles on gardening, small business, and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.

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