How to Grow Lilies From Bulbs

Tiger lilies are a popular breed of lilies. image by jnystrom/


Lilies are beautiful perennials that generally bloom from spring until fall. They are a nice addition to most gardens and make nice borders for sidewalks, porches and other areas of a yard. There are a variety of lilies, but essentially, they all need the same care to grow. However, read over the instructions that come with your bulbs for any specific directions.

Step 1

Plant lily bulbs as soon as they arrive, as long as the ground is not frozen. If so, store them in a poly bag, available at most garden centers, and store them in a dark, dry cool place, such as the garage and even the refrigerator.

Step 2

Select an area that receives full sun to partial shade. Lilies need at least six to eight hours of sunlight to thrive. The soil should be well-draining, so add some compost, sand or peat moss to light your soil, if necessary.

Step 3

Plant lily bulbs about 4 to 6 inches deep with the point sticking up. Plant bulbs at least 6 inches a part.

Step 4

Water your lilies well, especially while they are flowering. Fertilizing is generally not necessary, but if desired, use a balanced fertilizer (20-20-20) that is labeled for bulb plants. Follow label directions because each fertilizer has different strengths and release rates.

Step 5

Let the foliage turn brown before cutting back. This will allow maximum sun exposure and will give the bulb much needed food and nutrients for next year's blooms.

Step 6

Mulch over your lilies during the winter, especially in cold climates. In addition, you can mulch to better retain moisture after waterings.

Things You'll Need

  • Poly bag
  • Trowel
  • Peat moss, sand or compost
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch


Keywords: grow lily, planting bulbs, planting lilies

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Photo by: jnystrom/