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Care of Tiger Lily Flowers

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

Tiger lilies add striking color to the garden with their brilliant black-spotted orange, yellow or red flowers. Tiger lilies bloom from late summer through fall, producing several flowers on each stem. Tiger lilies grow well in most areas of the country and aren't picky about the amount of sunlight they receive, thriving in areas that receive partial shade or full sun equally well. Proper care of tiger lily flowers prolongs the flowering period and prevents disease from taking hold in the flower bed.

Fertilize once a month from when shoots appear in spring until the tiger lilies die back in fall. Apply 5-10-10 analysis fertilizer at the rate of approximately 1 tbsp. per plant.

Water lilies often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Provide approximately 1 inch of water in a single weekly watering except during hot, dry periods when additional watering may be necessary.

Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as bark, around the tiger lily plants. Mulching preserves soil moisture and keeps the lily roots cool.

Inspect plants regularly for aphid infestation. Check the underside of the leaves and along the stems for the small green, yellow or brown insects. Treat with an insecticidal soap if they are detected, as aphids spread disease.

Pinch off spent blooms as soon as they begin wilting. This encourages further blooming and prevents diseases from breeding on the dead flowers.

Divide lilies in fall if the plants are 4 to 5 year old and if they are flowering as profusely. Dig up the bulbs and separate them, saving only the healthy bulbs. Immediately replant the bulbs 4 inches deep and space them 6 to 10 inches apart in clusters.

Cut off all the dead stems and remove the old plant matter once the tiger lilies die back in late autumn. Apply a 4-inch layer of straw mulch over the lily beds after removing the dead plants, as the straw mulch prevents winter damage to the bulbs.


Things You Will Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Bark mulch
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Straw mulch


  • Tiger lilies make excellent cut flowers. Remove no more than 1/3 of the stem when cutting the flowers for indoor arrangements.


  • Tiger lilies may harbor more diseases than other lily varieties. Avoid planting them in the same bed with other types of lilies and always dispose of the dead plants.

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.