How to Plant Lilies


Lilies are true stars in perennial gardens. Their majestic flowers on tall stems make them stand out in the garden. They come in all colors except blue or purple. Lilies have a subtle fragrance and are long-lasting cut flowers. Plant different varieties that bloom at different times, and you'll have a succession of flowers from midsummer until early fall.

Step 1

Choose a site for your lilies that gets full sun. The soil should be well drained or the bulbs will rot. Make sure that water does not collect in the area after a rainstorm.

Step 2

Improve the soil. Add a 2-inch layer of peat moss and a 2-inch layer of compost to the surface of the soil. Turn the soil over with a shovel, and dig down 6 to 8 inches to incorporate the peat moss and compost into the soil. Rake the surface smooth.

Step 3

Plant the lily bulbs 8 to 10 inches apart in groups of three. Space the groups about 18 to 24 inches apart.

Step 4

Dig a hole large that is wide enough to accommodate the group of three bulbs and twice as deep as the diameter of the bulbs. Set the bulbs into the hole with their pointed end up. Backfill the hole. Firm the surface of the soil gently but firmly with your hands.

Step 5

Water the bed after all the lilies have been planted.

Step 6

Mulch the planting area with 4 to 6 inches of organic mulch such as hay, straw, shredded bark or wood chips.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Garden trowel


  • How to plant lilies.

Who Can Help

  • More information about lilies
Keywords: how to plant lilies, plant lilies, lily bulbs

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.