How to Plant, Grow and Care for Lily Flowers
Lilies are surely beautiful flowers. They can easily brighten a room. They can easily alleviate a sullen mood. But how much do you know about this beautiful plant?
Also known as Lilium, the lily plant belongs to the Liliaceae plant family. It is a herbaceous plant, native to the countries located in the Northern Hemisphere. The plant is surely present in a large variety. But beware, as there are many other kinds of flowers that bear a close resemblance to lilies, and thus, are often taken to be another type of lily flowers.
How to Plant Lily Bulbs in Pots
The most common way to plant a Lily at home is by using the teeny-tiny lily bulbs. Mostly shaped like onions, like lily bulbs gradually transform into a stem, then progressing on to grow leaves and bloom beautiful lily flowers.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to plant lily bulbs, that is lily seeds, in pots, for indoors.
- Take an appropriate planter and layer the bottom, around 2 inches of it, with some drainage-friendly materials like pebbles or gravel.
- Then, fill the planter with some good quality potting soil.
- Gently plant the bulbs into the potting soil. Make sure that they are at least 2 to 3 inches deep in the soil.
- Do not place two bulbs very close to each other in the same planter. Maintain a distance of around 5 cm, at the least.
- Water the soil enough to make it moist and move it to a spot that gets plenty of sunlight.
- Make sure the soil remains moist, not soggy. The buds will likely sprout roots and leaves in some weeks.
The lily bulbs or lily seeds can easily be procured if you search for lily plants online. These are also easily available in convenience stores near you.
Lily Plant Care Indoor
The Lily plant care starts right from determining the right time to plant lilies. It is advisable to plant the lily bulbs during the autumn season as it gives the bulb enough time to develop strong roots until the spring season. And as we all know, spring is the advent of the growing season for plants and thus, the lily will be quickly sprouting leaves and eventually blooming flowers too.
But, if the region you live in experiences quite harsh winters, avoid planting the bulb anywhere near the winters, not even in autumn. Rather, wait until the spring, or till the end of the cold to plant your lily. You can also wait until the summer if your lily is to be planted in a container.
While choosing a planter for the lily, choose one that is neither too big for the small, nor too small. Also, ensure that the planter has enough drainage holes to flush out excess water from the soil. Remember, the lily plant prefers well-draining soil to grow. You can also enrich the soil with some organic matters to promote growth in the plant.
Like many other household plants, the Lilium plant loves soaking in lots and lots of sunlight. You must place the plant at a spot in the house that receives around 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. Avoid placing it in a shady area as the stem might fall off in an attempt to bend towards the sunlight.
Water the lily bulb often. It is important to keep the soil moist to prevent the bulb from getting dried out. However make sure that you do not over-water, making the roots soggy, as it would make the bulb and the roots, if sprouting, rot. To keep the plant nourished, use a liquid fertilizer of 20-20-20 formulation, once every three months.
As the bright and beautiful lilies attract many onlookers, they also attract certain pests, inviting their destruction. So keep an eye out for pests during the winters, and even as the lily starts blooming flowers. Remove them at once or they will wreak havoc on the lily plant.
Types of Lily Flowers
Lily flowers are rather praised for their beauty and fragrance and thus, are often hybridized to produce more beautiful plants. Owing to this there are now several different types of lilies. Some of the popular and common varieties of the Lily plant are the Asiatic lily, Canada lily, Easter lily, flame lily, Indian lily, lily of the valley, lotus white lily, oriental lily, peace lily, rain lily, red lily, tiger lily, trumpet lily, etc.
Indoor Oriental Lily Plant Care
Oriental lilies are the most fragrant variety of the Lilium plant, bearing a sweet fragrance that grows stronger as a day ends. The leaves of the Oriental lilies are broader than the leaves of the other lily plant varieties, and so are the flowers- larger than other lily flowers. These distinct features make the oriental lily plant easily identifiable among other varieties of the plant.
The Oriental lily plant blooms in several different colours, like cream, pink, purple, red, yellow, white, etc., and as even as a mix of two or more colours. This makes the Oriental Lily a must-have plant indoors.
Usually growing up to a height of around 15 to 24 inches in height, the Oriental lilies love being planted in an abundance of sunlight. So, ensure that you place your indoor Ornamental lily by a window that allows in sunlight for around 6 to 7 hours a day. You can also place it in a group with other similar plants to enhance the décor of the room.
Regarding temperature requirements, an indoor Oriental Lily thrives best in a temperature that ranges between 10 to 27 degrees Celsius. The plant generally blooms during the summer season.
Peace Lily Plant Care
The Peace lily is one of the most popular varieties of the lily plant and thus, can easily be spotted in several offices and households. Scientifically referred to as the Spathiphyllum, the Peace Lily is mostly known for being a plant that is tolerant to low light.
Also known as Fish lilies, the Peace lilies are marked by the deep green leaves and the white blooms that grow facing upwards. The plant is also quite lauded for being a natural air-purifier that helps to get rid of harmful toxins like ammonia, benzene and trichloroethylene from the environment.
The Peace Lily is easy to grow and maintain. It can thrive well when exposed to bright light, medium light or even low light. However, the one thing to watch out for while caring for the Peace Lily is to avoid over-watering at all costs as it can harm the roots of the plant. The plant can even tolerate under-watering for once, but over-watering can potentially damage the plant. Thus, the best time to water the plant is when the top few inches of the soil turn dry.
Peace lilies thrive best in a temperature range of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, for fertilization, always use an organic formula on the plant. Chemical fertilizers only harm the Peace lily. Use the fertilizers only during the growing seasons of spring and summer, not during the winters.
Rain Lily Plant Care
The Rain Lily plant is more popularly known as the Fairy lily. Rain lily plants can be planted indoors but look best when planted in lily gardens, or even other gardens in general. The plant is very tiny in size, as compared to the other varieties, and grows just up to a height of 1 foot.
The Rain Lily plant blooms flowers in different colours like pink, yellow, white, etc. These flowers resemble the shape of crocus and bloom generally during the hot summer season. The Rain Lily plant is one plant that is very easy to grow, given that you can scratch out the right conditions for the growth of the plant.
The Rain Lily has other different types of lilies attributed to the variety. The care for these plants is similar to that of other varieties of lilies. Sunlight is essential for the plant, no matter what time of the year. It is also important to ensure that you water the Rain Lily plant regularly, keeping the soil moist, even during the dormant period of the plant. Also, make sure that the potting soil is well-draining and does not choke the roots with excess moisture.
Red Lily Plant Care
The Red lily or the Red Spider Lily is the most unique variety of the Lilium plant out there. This variety is very different from the other plants in the same family. The one thing that marks it different from several other plants is that it remains dormant during the summers and starts blooming preparations during the winter season, a rather unique proposition.
The Red Spider Lily is called so as the flowers bear a close resemblance to the shape of a spider, uniquely spreading out the stamens, just like the legs of a spider. The plant is native to Asia, but is widely available in the Southeastern region of the United States as well, owing to its popular demand there.
Scientifically referred to as the lycorisradiata, the Red Spider Lily is a perennial flower that prefers growing when exposed to the full sun. The Red Spider Lily is best planted in some well-draining loamy soil and needs to be watered regularly enough to keep the soil moist. With the right and proper care, a Red Spider lily plant can grow up to 2 feet in height.
Tiger Lily Leaves
The Tiger Lily is a variety of the Lily plant that produces blooms that are orange in colour. Also known as the Liliumlancifolium, the Tiger Lily flowers are edible, but the pollen might be a little toxic when consumed by human beings.
Just like other lily plants, the tiger lily needs to be placed at a spot that allows sunlight for the maximum time of the day. It requires it to be planted in some well-draining soil to get rid of the excess moisture that would otherwise choke the roots. The plant requires regular watering during the first few years. But as time passes, the plant becomes capable of adapting to drought and requires little maintenance.
The leaves of the Tiger Lily tend to act a little unique. The leaves on the lower part of the stalk die out pretty quickly, possibly in the late summers. This is not generally noticeable if the plant is a part of a large group of other plants as well. But as this happens, it is important that you cut off the stalk consisting of yellowed leaves, or it can hinder the growth of the plant.
What to do with Lilies in Pots after Flowering
The Lily plant blooms flowers only once throughout the year, generally around the summer season. Now, as the plant flowers, you must get rid of the flowers as soon as they start fading away.
If not chopped off, these faded flowers will produce seeds that divert the growth of the plant, even posing a hurdle in the blooming of the plant.
Lily Flower Cutting
Lily flower cuttings can easily be used to enhance any indoor space. After all, lily is the one flower that often finds a place in several vases, for display, and at various occasions.
The ideal time to use lily flower cuttings is when the blooms first start opening up. As you see the bloom gradually trying to open up, use a sterilized knife to gently cut off the stalk which is producing the flower. Place these stalks in a vase filled with cold water. These Lily flower cuttings can easily last for around 10 to 14 days.
How to Grow Lily from Flower
Apart from the Lily seeds, the lily flower also can be used to grow another lily plant. Yes, it might sound bizarre, but it nonetheless works.
As a lily plant matures, the existing bulb in the flower splits to create another tiny bulb. Referred to as offset, this tiny bulb can be extracted from the plant to grow a new lily plant. To do this, gently dig up the bulb off the existing lily plant. Use a sterilized knife to clean the bulb and gently scrape off the new tiny bulb. Plant it as you would plant a lily bulb, refer to the process explained.
Here we have answered some FAQS regarding lily plant care.
Is lily an indoor or outdoor plant?
The lily is a versatile plant. The plant’s natural habitat is the outdoors, of course. But the plant can also thrive well in indoor conditions if met with its proper care requirements.
How do you take care of a lily plant?
The first step to caring for a lily plant is planting it in some well-draining soil, and in a planter that is neither too large nor too small. It is also important to ensure that the plant receives lots and lots of sunlight and is watered regularly.
Do lilies need sun or shade?
The lilies prefer being out in the sun. Some varieties of lilies can also thrive in low-light, but they won’t produce blooms in the absence of enough sunlight. Thus, lilies are best placed near a sunny window.
Are lilies good indoor plants?
Yes, lilies are good indoor plants. They look beautiful and have a sweet-smelling fragrance, thus alleviating the interiors. Some varieties of the plant, like the Peace lily, can also purify the air indoors and get rid of harmful toxins.
Is a lily flower more expensive than a rose? And why?
The expense of a flower mostly depends on its production. The rose is a rather common plant, especially the red rose. But lilies are not that common or aren’t grown as much by the florists selling them. Thus, lilies often tend to cost more than roses.
Do you have wisdom on dividing a peace lily plant?
Peace lilies can easily be divided for propagation. Just pull the plant out of the planter, slowly and carefully. Gently clean the roots and use a sterilized knife to divide the plant into portions, making sure that each part has enough leaves.
How to grow a white stargazer lily at home?
White stargazer lilies can very well be planted indoors. These lilies generally sprout in just around 3 weeks. Make sure that you use a porous planter for the white stargazer lily and place them at a spot with enough sunlight. Also, water it regularly to keep the soil moist.
What's the difference between lily and lotus?
The one very prominent difference between a lotus and a lily is that the lotus grows only on the water while the lily generally grows in soil. However, there is a variety of lily, called water lily that can even grow in the water.
How to take care of my peace lily?
To take care of your peace lily, place it at a spot with enough lighting. The Peace lily can thrive well in a space with bright, moderate and even little sunlight. Unlike the other varieties, the Peace lily requires watering only as and when the top few inches of the soil starts getting dry.