How to Trim Oriental Lilies


Oriental lilies are a popular lily type that produce a 10-inch bloom with an intense fragrance. The bulbs are planted in the spring or fall and bloom in the summer months, depending on the variety. Removing spent blooms, or deadheading, during the flowering period allows the plant to focus energy on opening new blooms instead of producing seeds.

Step 1

Remove blooms from the lily plant once they have faded. Break each spent bloom from the plant by gently snapping it off with your hands.

Step 2

Allow the foliage and stems of the lily plant to continue growing until fall as they are supplying energy to the bulb for winter storage.

Step 3

Remove plant foliage and stems once they have turned yellow and brown in color by cutting them at ground level.

Step 4

Discard cut stems and foliage by throwing them in the trash or burying deep underground. Do not place them in a compost pile as the stems can carry the Botrytis fungus.

Step 5

Apply 1 to 2 inches of rotted manure or compost over the bulbs once the ground begins to freeze. This will reduce spring weed growth and fertilize the bulbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruner
  • Rotted manure
  • Compost
  • Mulch


  • University of Minnesota Extension
  • B & D Lilies
  • Dutch Gardens
Keywords: deadheading lilies, cutting lily blooms, removing lily foliage, oriental lily

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.