How To Care For Potted Lilies ( In 7 Easy Steps )

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Lilies can be grown both in pots and in the soil directly, you can also plant your potted lilies into the garden once the plant is established. Generally speaking, if you have a garden then you should definitely grow lilies in the garden rather than in pots, on the other hand, if you want to grow lilies indoors or if you live outside your lilies’ preferred hardiness zone then pots are the way to go.

To care for potted lilies you have to give them enough nutrients, plenty of water, and most importantly place them in a partial shade location. The potting mix should a well-draining one, without any pesticides. As for fertilizers, you should use a foliar fertilizer once every two weeks. Once the potted lilies have flowered make sure to remove the pollen sacks as they will stain everything they touch.

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Lilies tend to grow relatively well in pots, but there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind. Lilies tend to prefer full sun or even partial shade, but potted lilies need to be kept away from direct sun, at least for the first couple of months. Lilies are especially prone to drying out in pots if placed in full sun, and usually what kills them is either overwatering or their roots simply drying out.

Just keep in mind that even if you do everything correctly your potted lilies might not flower in the first year. Try to avoid moving the potted lilies around too much, as this will do more harm than good. If you want to know the main reasons why your lilies are not flowering then check out my recent article Why Are My Lilies Not Flowering? ( Top 14 Reasons ).

How To Care For Potted Lilies

To care for potted lilies, it’s important to provide them with the right conditions and maintenance. First, choose a large, well-draining pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil. Fill the pot with a quality potting mix enriched with organic matter. Place the potted lilies in a location that receives full sun or partial shade. Water the lilies regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Fertilize the plants with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season.

Deadhead the spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and remove any yellowing or damaged leaves. Protect the potted lilies from extreme weather conditions, such as frost or excessive heat. In winter, consider bringing the pots indoors or providing adequate insulation.

Get Few But Big Lily Bulbs

A lot of people will say that you need 7-9 lily bulbs in order to have the pot filled with lilies. The truth is that the bigger the bulbs are the higher the likelihood of them flowering in the first year is. So grab 3-5 larger bulbs rather than a lot of smaller bulbs. In general, it takes around 1-2 years until the lily bulbs are mature enough to flower till then you have to help the bulbs grow by watering and by fertilizing them. If you want your Asiatic lilies to spread then check out my recent article Do Asiatic Lilies Spread? ( How Fast? ).

Use The Correct Pots For Lilies

There are a lot of different pots which you can use for lilies, although as a general rule you should avoid using plastic and metal pots. Plastic and metal pots tend to overheat and dry out the bulbs, even with frequent watering the soil will dry out and the water will simply run through the entire pot. Use clay or terracotta pots, these tend to be a lot cooler even if placed in full sun, and most importantly they allow air to circulate in the soil which is beneficial for the growth of the lily bulbs.

Place The Potted Lilies In Partial Shade

Although lilies tend to love full sun locations, but if they are potted then they really need partial shade. Ideally, the potted lilies should get a couple of hours of morning sun and afternoon shade. Young lily plants are prone to sunburn, so until the plant is mature enough you should keep them in partial shade. Avoid repositioning the pot, even slight position changes can stress the plant out and at that point, you will notice some of its leaves will fall off and the plant will try to grow new ones.

Use A High Quality Potting Mix

Make sure to use a high quality potting mix, and most importantly that the potting mix is actually well-draining. Lily bulbs love water but if their bulbs are constantly in water then the bulbs can rot away. As soon as one of the bulbs starts to rot, it is only a matter of time until all of them do. Ideally, you should avoid potting mixes that contain pesticides or even fertilizers, as you will be adding fertilizers later.

Water Your Potted Lilies When The Soil Is Dry

There is no need to constantly water your lilies, oftentimes the biggest problem with potted lilies is with too much water rather than the lack of it. There is no need to make a strict watering schedule, as some days are hotter than others, simply stick your finger in the soil and if the top inch is dry then it is time to water. When watering the lilies make sure to pour the water on the soil and not on the actual plant as this makes them prone to powdery mildew.

Use A Foliar Fertilizer

Most people will say that you need a slow-release fertilizer for potted lilies, these fertilizers do work, but the problem with them is that with constant watering you will simply wash out the fertilizer. Instead, you should use a foliar fertilizer which is directly sprayed on the leaves of the plant. Plants can absorb fertilizers much better from their leaves than from their roots. You will definitely notice how lush and vibrant your lilies will become after only a couple of sprays.

Ideally, you should use the foliar fertilizer once every two weeks, remember that you can use too much fertilizer which can stunt the growth of the plant. Follow the instructions on the bottle of the fertilizer and you should be good.

Remove The Pollen Sacks Once The Lilies Have Flowered

The pollen sacks of lily plants come with two drawbacks, the pollen stains everything and it is really hard to wash off. On the other hand, these pollen sacks also produce the fragrance of the lilies, although a lot of people tend to like its fragrance, but trust me, if your growing your potted lilies indoors then the fragrance can easily overwhelm you. Once the flowers start to shrivel up and dry out, make sure to deadhead them, this way the lilies will be forced to make new flowers. If you want more info about what to do after your lilies have flowered then check out my recent article What To Do When Lilies Have Finished Flowering? ( Top 6 Chores ).

Key Takeaways

  • Potted lilies must be grown in a partial shade location.
  • Use foliar fertilizer for potted lilies, as the plant will be able to absorb more nutrients this way.
  • Make sure to remove the pollen sacks of the lilies as they will stain everything they touch.