How to Plant Lily Bulbs in Pots

Bright colored lilies add visual interest to container arrangements. image by Bruce Brouwer:


Plant lilies in pots to adorn porches, patios and garden walkways with the large blooms. Lilies grow quite well in containers if planted properly. Plant small-bulbed varieties in groupings inside large containers or place a single, large-bulbed variety in a container. Container-grown lilies are simple to winter proof or transplant to the garden after summer blooming. Large, deep containers work best if leaving the bulbs in the container for next year.

Step 1

Choose an 8- to 10-inch pot deeper than it is wide in which to plant your bulbs. Plan your planting for early autumn.

Step 2

To aid in drainage, place a 2-inch layer of small pebbles in the bottom of the container. Half-fill a container with a mixture of compost and control-release fertilizer.

Step 3

Plant a 4- to 5-inch diameter bulb in the center of the pot, or plant three 2-inch diameter bulbs in a circle, each 2 inches from the neighboring bulb.

Step 4

Place bulbs on top of the compost with the proper spacing. Place the bulb root-side down and cover with compost to the proper planting depth.

Step 5

Place container in a cool area that's frost-free.

Step 6

Keep the soil moist and do not allow it dry out. Apply high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks during the summer growing period.

Step 7

Dig up and transplant bulbs to the garden after the stems wither in autumn or replace the top 2 inches of compost with fresh compost.

Tips and Warnings

  • Tie tall lily varieties to garden stakes to prevent the stem breakage.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Pebbles
  • Compost
  • Plastic wrap
  • Fertilizer


  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Gardener's World
Keywords: potted lilies, Lily growing, container garden flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Bruce Brouwer: