How to Take Care of Asiatic Lilies

Overview

Asiatic lilies are one of the earliest lilies to bloom in the summer, displaying big, brightly colored, freckled blooms in late May and June. Asiatic lilies are available in both bold colors and pastels, and in heights ranging from to 2 to 5 feet, making them versatile enough to plant almost anywhere. In spite of their exotic beauty, Asiatic lilies are durable, and will bloom and multiply for many years with a minimum level of care.

Step 1

Plant Asiatic lilies in well-drained soil, which has been amended with 2 to 3 inches of compost or well-rotted manure. Choose a location where the Asiatic lilies will be in bright sunlight all day. Although Asiatic lilies will grow in lower light, the plant won't be as healthy, and the colors of the blooms won't be as bright.

Step 2

Fertilize Asiatic lilies when the shoots emerge every spring, using a time-release fertilizer formulated for flower bulbs. Always apply fertilizer according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Step 3

Deadhead, or remove spent blooms, so that the Asiatic lily's energy will be focused on producing more blooms, and not seed production. Don't remove the foliage until it dies down, because green foliage provides the bulbs with energy for next year. Remove the foliage in late autumn when it turns yellow and is easy to pull away from the plant.

Step 4

Keep Asiatic lilies moist until they bloom. After that time, lilies need no water unless the weather is extremely hot and dry.

Step 5

Apply 4 to 6 inches of organic mulch in late fall, especially if you live in a cold-winter climate. Leave the mulch in place until spring, when no danger of hard frost exists.

Step 6

Divide Asiatic lilies in September or October when the plants begin to look crowded, or if the stems appear to be getting shorter and the blooms are smaller each year. Dig the clump of Asiatic lilies with a garden fork. Discard the old, woody bulbs in the middle, along with any soft, bruised bulbs. Divide the Asiatic lily bulbs by separating them with your hands, and plant them into pre-prepared soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost or well-rotted manure
  • Timed-release fertilizer for bulbs
  • Organic mulch
  • Garden fork

References

  • Iowa State University: Garden Lilies
  • University of Minnesota: Selecting Lilies for Your Garden
  • Bachman's: Hardy Garden Lilies
Keywords: asiatic lilies, lily bulbs, Asiatic lily

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.