Lilies are beautiful flowers with a wonderful aroma, loved by gardeners, florists, and everyone who appreciates aroma and beauty. Lilies are surprisingly hardy, easy to grow, and easy to care for. This article explains how to plant them and how to keep them blooming for many years to come.
Method 1 of 2: Part One: Planting Lilies
Step 1. Find a suitable place
Choose a location in your garden with good drainage and plenty of sunlight.
- To find a place with good drainage, look for a spot in your garden that dries quickly after rain. If there are no obvious spots, plant lilies on the slope and gravity takes care of drainage.
- Find a place that is exposed to sunlight for at least half a day. If they stay in the shade for too long, the lilies will reach for the sun and become noticeably weak. A piece of land that is sunny all day is best.
- Lily leaves can develop fungal gray mold if the planting location is far from ideal. While fungal gray mold is beneficial for some grape varieties, it reduces the leaf area used to make sugar, which is needed for healthy, new bulbs.
Step 2. Once you get your bulbs, plant them
Lily bulbs are sold ready to plant, without a thin, parchment coating to protect them from drying out.
- The sooner you plant the bulbs after purchasing them, the better they will take root. If you are unable to plant lilies immediately, store them in a cool, dark place (such as a refrigerator, above freezing). This will keep them from sprouting, as the sprouted bulbs must be planted immediately.
- Plant them in the fall or early winter so they bloom in the spring. You can also plant them in the spring, and they will bloom later in the same year, but they will only bloom normally in the spring of next year.
Step 3. Dig a hole
Lilies love the sun, but their bulbs prefer coolness. Dig a hole about 10-15 centimeters deep. Better deeper, because not only will the bulbs be protected from the hot sun during the summer, but it will also provide support to the stems.
- You can plant them in hillocks: plant lilies at ground level, and then place 10-15 centimeters of soil on top. It also promotes good drainage.
- Plant lilies at proper distance from each other. If you are planting multiple bulbs, leave a space of about 15 centimeters for each lily so that each has its own place in the sun.
- Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole, sprinkle some bone meal on the bottom, then place the lily bulbs inside and cover with mud.
- Water immediately. The moist soil will come in contact with the roots and help grow.
Step 4. Add mulch
If cold weather is forecast, protect the seedlings with a layer of mulch.
- Tubular lilies are most vulnerable to cold.
- Make sure there are no slugs on the mulch. They love fresh lily shoots.
Method 2 of 2: Part Two: Caring for Lilies
Step 1. Fertilize the lilies
When they first sprout, add some balanced fertilizer. Lilies are quite hardy and do not require much fertilization. In fact, too much nitrogen can weaken the stems, and if the climate is hot and humid, the bulbs can rot.
- For best results, use the fertilizer used for potatoes.
- Fertilize after the first shoots and then after about a month.
Step 2. Water the lilies only as needed
Lilies generally don't need a lot of water, so only water if you really need to.
- Asiatic, tubular and Orienpet flowers bloom in hot, dry climates, provided they have sufficient water prior to flowering.
- Oriental lilies need to be watered during the summer as they don't bloom until August.
- Mulch in summer can keep the bulbs cool and reduce the need for additional watering.
Step 3. Protect from freezing
During the winter months, wrap the lily flower bed with straw or evergreen branches to protect the bulbs from freezing.
Step 4. Trim the lilies
During the flowering season, trim off the faded buds, leaving at least 2/3 of the petiole to keep the lilies strong and healthy for years to come.
- If you want to prune the lilies, cut off 1/3 of the stem including the flower and leave most of the stem in the ground. Thus, the bulb will receive nutrients and bloom again next year.
- If brown spots appear on the lily leaves, it is likely that they are affected by gray mold, which is a fungus that appears in cool or damp weather. Spray the lily with a rose fungicide, which you can find at your local hardware store or flower shop.
- Lilies can be planted any time of the year, as long as the soil has not hardened. In the first year after planting, lilies may bloom a little later, but in subsequent years they will bloom around June.
- For optimal drainage, create a raised bed of soil for planting in pots. The flower bed should be at least 13 centimeters above the ground and wide enough to properly plant the bulbs. This is especially good for an area that does not dry out very quickly after rain.