How to Grow Oriental Lilies From Seed


Oriental lilies are tall perennials with large exotic blooms in mid- to late-summer. The flowers are fragrant and range in color from pure white or rose pink to dark crimson. Oriental lilies are easy to grow from seed, but take up to 3 years to bloom. The flowers of the seedlings will not be the same as the parent plants, since Oriental lilies are hybrids.

Step 1

Harvest seeds from healthy plants or buy seeds from a reputable source. See Resources for an online source of Oriental lily seeds.

Step 2

Fill a clear plastic sandwich bag halfway with coarse potting soil. Put 5 or 6 seeds in the bag and seal it.

Step 3

Place the bag in a cool room (60 to 70 degrees F) until the seeds form bulbs.

Step 4

Move the bag to the refrigerator for 3 months to allow the bulbs to develop shoots.

Step 5

Transplant the bulbs to small pots filled with coarse potting soil. Plant one bulb in each pot ¼ inch deep. Handle the bulbs gently since they, and the roots, are delicate.

Step 6

Leave the pots inside until after the predicted date of the last frost. The first leaf should appear within 1 to 2 weeks.

Step 7

Apply water soluble fertilizer for flowering plants every week following the manufacturer's directions after the first leaf appears.

Step 8

Move the pots of plants outside to a shady location after the predicted date of the last frost. The plants should grow three to five leaves during the first season.

Step 9

Cover the plants with frost cloth or move them back inside when cold weather returns.

Step 10

Set the plants in the ground outside the following spring in a place protected from hot afternoon sun and strong winds.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear plastic sandwich bag
  • Coarse potting soil
  • Small pots
  • Water soluble fertilizer


  • Iowa State University Extension

Who Can Help

  • Seed Sowing Instructions
  • Rainbow Lily Seed
Keywords: Oriental Lily seeds, plant Oriental Lily seeds, grow Oriental Lily seeds

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.