How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Lily Flowers

Published On: Sep 22, 2021

Everyone’s favourite and the prettiest lily flower is now frequently being grown as an indoor plant. And as tough as they might look they are fairly easy to take care of. Lilies are perennial flowers that will return every year and bloom provided that you take good care of them. 

Lilies are the most loved blooms for the summer season. The beautiful flowers are in a holding pattern and the trumpet-shaped bulbs are a treat to the eyes. The colour range of the lily flower is varied ranging from white to vigorous violet. 

Types of lilies

Before we talk about how to take care of the lily plant, let us start by having a look at the most popular types of lilies. You can grow these lily plants indoors with a tad extra care. 

Asiatic lilies

Asiatic lilies The shortest type of lily plant, Asiatic lilies come in various colours ranging from tropical to pastel and are a perfect fit to make your garden bright. They lack fragrance but would add beauty to your garden’s look.

Oriental lilies

Oriental lilies Known to have a powerful and enchanting fragrance, oriental lilies are tall and they grow more slowly.

Trumpet lilies

Trumpet lilies Similar to oriental lilies, they produce a pleasing nice fragrance. The flowers of this lily plant are smaller and are more closed and shaped like a trumpet.

Easter lilies

Easter lilies These are the most common type of lilies that are grown indoors. They are most suited to grow in warmer regions and bloom around March or April.

Longiflorum lilies

Longiflorum lilies They bloom in spring and have trumpet-shaped flowers. They can be a beautiful addition to your interior decor.

Double lilies

Double lilies These lilies are pollen-free and their petals are layered making it a treat for the eyes. They bloom in the early to late summer. 

How to plant lily bulbs in pots 

Lily bulbs can be easily planted in the season of spring. You can also give a head start to your lily plant by planting them in the autumn season. In the areas where there are harsh winters, it is suggested to plant the lilies in spring. Always buy the lily bulbs at the time of planting. Do not store the lily bulbs beforehand. The best types of lilies to grow in pots are Oriental, Asiatic, and Trumpet hybrids. 

Follow these simple steps and tips if you want to grow your lily bulb in a pot:

  • You should plant the lilies in draining soil. If the lily is planted in water collecting soil then the roots are bound to rot. 
  • Lily plants should always be planted deeply. So, always choose a big pot for planting lilies and half fill it with multi-purpose compost. Gently place the lily bulbs on the surface with their roots on the compost. 
  • Fill the pot with compost which completely covers the lily bulbs. The compost should be 5cm below the rim of the pot. Water the compost well and add more if the level of compost falls after some time.
  • Top it with a layer of gravel which will help in keeping the soil moist. Place the pot in a greenhouse or a sheltered area until the bulbs are growing. Then place the plant in its final position when the plant is ready to flower. 

How to care for lily plants indoors

Lily plants are very easy to care for. You just need to have a few tricks and tips up your sleeves to ensure that your plant is able to bloom and survive for a long period of time.

Learn about the following tips to educate yourself as to how to care for a lily flower.

  • When the lily plant is in the stage of active growth, you should water it generously. If the rainfall is less than 1 inch then you need to be extra careful.
  • Always keep your lilies mulched so that the roots always remain moist.
  • Applying a thin layer of compost every spring can help your lily plant.
  • Usually, the lilies do not bloom more than once in a season. But, by removing the faded flowers you can prevent the plant from wasting energy on making seeds. 
  • After your lilies have bloomed you can just remove the stem. But, do not cut the leaves of the plant until they have died down and turned brown. The leaves provide nourishment to the bulb for the next bloom so it is important that you do not remove the leaves. 
  • It is advised that you cut down the dead stalks in the early spring.
  • You should divide the plants after every 3 to 4 years. Because the new growth occurs every spring it is better if you replant the bulbs by adding some compost.
  • You need to take strict precautions against pests, voles, etc., especially during the winter season. Try to avoid insects near the lilies garden.
  • Always stake your lilies before the flower blossoms begin to weigh down the stems. 
  • You can cut your lily flowers for bouquets but make sure only to remove one-third of the stem.
  • The lilies which are growing in the ground may not need watering at all. So, check before you water so as to not flood them. Be cautious during the summer season. But, those in the containers might need regular watering.
  • Make sure that the plants keep on growing even after your lilies have flowered.
  • Do not cut the foliage and the flower stems before they have died in autumn.
  • Add 4 to 6 inches of mulch before winter to avoid the ground freeze. This would help the roots to grow. If your region does not have snow in winters then keep the soil moist in winters. 
  • Always apply a liquid fertilizer that is high in potassium after every 2 weeks after planting. This should be until 6 weeks after flowering. 

How to care for different types of lilies indoors

Oriental lily

Oriental lily

You should grow oriental lilies in well-drained, humus-rich, and fertile soil. Water the plant often to keep the soil moist. Maintain the level of water especially in summers. You can remove the faded flowers to make the plant look beautiful.

Red lily

Red lily

Whenever you choose to plant a red lily make sure that the position is permanent. These plants do not like to be shifted. Always plant the bulbs with their necks above the ground level. The soil should be full of organic matter and should be well-drained. Do not flood the plant with water, it would result in the rotting of the bulb.

Rain lily

Rain lily

Plant the rain lily in the area where there is afternoon shade, especially in the warmer regions. Water the plant regularly without fail. Do not shift the rain lilies until and unless the bed is overcrowded. The soil should also be well-draining.

Peace lily 

Peace lily 

Place the peace lily plant in indirect and bright light. Always keep the soil moist consistently but make sure that it does not become soggy. Keep in mind to repot the plant’s roots when it has overgrown its container completely. 

This point is of utmost importance for the best care of all types of lilies. You must always be on the lookout for diseases or other infections and should clear them immediately without delay. 

How to manage lilies in pots after they have flowered 

After your lily flower has blossomed and has faded you need to deadhead them. This encourages strong growth and the blossoming of flowers rather than the development of the seed. You can also spray a dose of tomato fertilizer once every month. Make sure that August must be the last month when you use the fertilizer for lilies. 

How to cut lily flower

Lilies make for amazing cut flowers but you need to make sure that you are not cutting more than one-third of the stem. Cutting more than that can result in the loss of plants' longevity and vigor. A lily flower would make up for a beautiful corner in your interior even if you place the stem of only a single lily in a vase. A bunch of lilies placed together lasts for more than two weeks. You only need to replace the water often to keep the flowers fresh.