How To Care For Lilies In A Vase ( In 7 Easy Steps )

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Lilies make excellent cut flowers, and with a tall vase, they will brighten up any room. Lilies tend to have rather tall stems with a couple of leaves which makes them one of my favorite cut flowers. You can put lilies in a vase while they are in full bloom or once the flower buds have formed. Eventually, the flower buds will open, and once they are you should deadhead the lilies once the flowers are starting to get droopy.

To take care of lilies in a vase make sure to cut the stem at a 45-degree angle and use lukewarm water in the vase. Any leaves below the water line should be cut off as well. Floral preservatives should be used if you want the lilies to last for as long as possible in the vase. If the lilies are in full bloom and you just put them in the vase then make sure to remove the pistil and the stamen from the flowers as this way you prolong the blooming period of the lilies.

If you want your lilies to last as long as possible in a vase, then my personal recommendation is to use a floral preservative that extends the vase life of the flowers Click here to check it out on

Although lilies are prone to root and bulb rot they will have no problem sitting in a vase full of water as long as you have removed the bulb. Only the stem should be placed in a vase, if you put the actual lily bulb in the vase then it will simply rot away. With some adequate care, lilies can live for several weeks in a vase, and with a couple of tricks, you can actually prolong how long lilies flower in the vase.

As a side note, lilies tend to have a relatively strong fragrance, and the more of them you have in a vase the stronger this fragrance will be. If you are not a fan of its fragrance then simply remove the pollen from the flowers as these are the ones that actually produce the fragrance. If you want more information on how to keep lilies indoors then check out my recent article How To Care For Lilies Indoors ( In 9 Easy Steps ).

How To Care For Lilies In A Vase

To care for lilies in a vase, start by choosing a clean vase and filling it with fresh water. Trim the lily stems at an angle to allow better water absorption and remove any leaves that would be submerged in water. Add a floral preservative to the water to extend the life of the cut lilies. Place the vase in a cool location away from direct sunlight and drafts. Change the water every few days, recutting the stems each time to maintain their ability to take in water. Remove any wilted or spent flowers to promote the longevity of the remaining blooms. To prevent pollen stains, gently remove the stamens from the center of each lily blossom.

Cut The Lily Stems In A 45 Degree Angle

One of the tricks of keeping lilies healthy in a vase is the cutting method, cut the lily stems at a 45-degree angle. By doing this you increase the surface area from where the lily stem can absorb water. Ideally, you should use a sharp knife, the cleaner the cut is the less damage you do to the stems. Some people also do a couple of vertical cuts on the stem, although as long as you have done a 45-degree cut then this won’t be necessary.

Use Lukewarm Water

Most people do not think twice about filling the vase with cold water but this only lowers the lily’s life in the vase. Cutting the lily stem is a massive shock to the plant, and placing it in cold water will make this shock even worse. In cold water or temperatures, the lily stems will absorb fewer minerals and water, you will oftentimes see that the lilies start to wilt in a matter of hours. Only use lukewarm water for the vase, and don’t forget to clean the stem of the plant as well. If you want to transplant your potted lilies outside then check out my recent article Can I Plant A Potted Lily Outside? ( In 6 Easy Steps ).

Cut Off The Leaves That Are Below The Water

Once you have cut your lilies, you should place them in the vase to see how they will actually look. Once you are satisfied with its look and you have also added water to the vase then make sure to cut off any leaves that are below the water. These leaves will slowly rot away once they are below the water so you should remove them. Just make sure that there are still a couple of leaves above the water as the lilies will live longer in the vase if they can still use their leaves.

Hard VS Soft Water For Lilies In A Vase

Even if you do everything correctly you still might find that your lilies are not doing as well. The main culprit could be your water and not that you have done something wrong. Soft water lacks the necessary minerals which the lilies need, putting some extra nutrients in the water does help but it is an uphill battle. On the other hand, if you have hard water then this already contains most of the minerals to keep the lilies healthy in the vase.

As a side note, if you have a fish tank then simply use some water from it and fill the vase with it, if the fish tank is properly cycled then it will contain all the nutrients that your lilies need. If you want to transplant your lilies in the spring then check out my recent article Can I Transplant Lilies In The Spring? ( Top 7 Tips ).

Place The Lilies In The Shade

Ideally, you should place the vase in an area where it doesn’t get direct sunlight, as direct sunlight will not only stress the plant out but it also promotes algae growth. If the lily vase is in a place where it gets direct sunlight and the vase is also transparent then you might notice brown or green algae growing in the vase. This is especially problematic if you have added some floral preservative, oftentimes what tends to happen is that the algae will simply absorb most of the nutrients and the lilies will starve.

Use Floral Preservatives

When it comes to lilies in a vase, floral preservatives are your best friend. There are plenty of them on the market, some are specially made for lilies, while others are more generic. For the most part, all of them have the same content, nutrients, and minerals for the plant. It doesn’t really matter which one you use, you can even make your own with common household items.

Prolong The Vase Life Of The Lily Flowers

The pistil and the stamens of the lilies are found in the center of the flower. Their main purpose is to attract pollinators and to reproduce, in addition to this these also produce the fragrance of the lily. By removing them the lilies will stay in bloom for a longer time, as they will not have to focus any more energy on trying to reproduce. Once some of the lily flowers are starting to die off, then simply cut them off.

Key Takeaways

  • To take care of lilies in a vase, make sure to cut the stem of the lilies at a 45-degree angle, use lukewarm water, cut off the leaves that are below the water, place it in shade, and by using floral preservatives.
  • Floral preservatives should be used, they can be store-bought or made at home.
  • Remove the pistil and the stamen from the flowers and the lilies will flower for a longer time.