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How to Care for Tiger Lilly Flowers

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017
Tiger lilies add bright color to gardens.

Tiger lilies are prized for their exotic flowers and the color they bring to gardens in summer. They have the easily recognizable, large drooping petals of other lily varieties. What makes them truly stand apart is the black spotted pattern on their orange, yellow or white petals. The orange-and-black variety truly resembles the coloration of a tiger. Tiger lilies require much of the same care as other members of the lily family in order to continue to thrive in your garden.

Plant tiger lilies in their own bed away from other members of the lily family. Tiger lilies are prone to viruses and easily spread it to other, healthy lily varieties. Plant in a full sun to partially shaded garden bed that is not prone to standing water or soggy soil.

Water tiger lilies when the soil just begins to dry. Provide approximately 1 inch of water in a single weekly irrigation, except in hot, dry periods, when the lilies may require watering twice a week.

Lay a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as bark, over the garden bed. Mulch preserves soil moisture between waterings, keeps the roots of the tiger lilies cool and prevents weed growth.

Fertilize tiger lilies monthly with 5-10-10 analysis fertilizer or a lily feed, applied at the rate recommended on the fertilizer package. Fertilize only while the lilies are actively growing in spring, summer and fall.

Cut off the tiger lily flowers when they wither. Sterilize shears before trimming in a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water to prevent the spread of viruses.

Cut back the entire plant to the ground in late fall when the foliage yellows and dies back. Do not cut back the foliage while it is still green; this can prevent the tiger lily from growing back next year.


Things You Will Need

  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Shears
  • bleach


  • Tiger lilies are usually self-supporting in the garden, but if yours seem to have weak stems, you can support them with a bamboo stake.


  • Only purchase tiger lily bulbs from reputable sources to cut down on the chance of diseased stock.

About the 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.