Few flowers are as beautiful or elegant as lilies. These stunning blooms come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, making them perfect for any occasion. And while lilies are typically associated with warm weather and outdoor gardens, did you know that they can also be grown indoors? With a little bit of patience and care, you can enjoy the beauty of lilies all year round!
Lilies require very little maintenance, but there are a few things you need to do to ensure that they thrive. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Understanding the Lily Plant
Lilies are perennials, which means they live for more than two years. In most cases, lily bulbs will last for several years before they need to be replaced. When cared for properly, lilies will bloom each year in the spring or summer.
The life cycle of a lily plant starts with the bulb, which is actually an underground storage unit for the plant. Bulbs are generally planted in the fall, and they remain dormant until the following spring when they start to grow. Once the plant blooms and the flowers fade, the plant enters a rest period. During this time, the plant is still alive but it’s not actively growing. The plant will enter its active growth period again the following spring.
Choose the Right Lily for Your Home
The first step in growing lilies indoors is to choose the right type of lily for your home. There are many different types of lilies, and not all of them will do well indoors. Here are a few varieties to keep in mind when choosing a lily for your home:
The Asiatic lily is one of the most popular types of lily flowers. They are native to Asia and typically have orange or yellow blooms. Asiatic lilies are relatively easy to grow and make for fabulous cut flowers.
Trumpet lilies are another popular type of lily flower. They are similar to Asiatic lilies but have larger blooms that often have a deeper color. Trumpet lilies make for great garden plants but can also be grown indoors.
Oriental lilies are one of the most fragrant types of lily flowers. They typically have white or pink blooms with streaks or spots of color. Oriental lilies are slightly more difficult to grow than other types of lilies but can still be done successfully indoors with proper care.
Prepare the Bulbs for Planting
When choosing bulbs, look for ones that are plump and firm. Avoid any that are soft or mushy, as these will not survive the planting process. Also, make sure to select bulbs that are specifically labeled as being “indoor” lilies. These varieties have been bred to withstand the lower light levels and drier air found inside homes.
Once you’ve selected your bulbs, it’s time to get them ready for planting. First, fill a bowl with lukewarm water and place the bulbs in it. Allow them to soak for at least 12 hours so that they can rehydrate after their journey from the nursery.
After soaking, remove the bulbs from the water and gently brush off any dirt or debris that may be clinging to them. Once they’re clean, place them on a paper towel to dry. Once they’re dry, you’re ready to plant!
Choose the Right Pot
When selecting a pot for your lily bulbs, make sure it is at least 8 inches wide and 6 inches deep. This will give the roots plenty of room to grow. A clay pot is ideal because it will help to keep the roots cool. You can also choose to plant your lilies in a larger container with other bulbs, such as daffodils or tulips. Just make sure the pots have drainage holes to prevent the bulbs from rotting.
Get the right soil mixture
Lilies prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. You can either purchase a pre-made bulb mix from your local nursery or garden center, or you can make your own by mixing equal parts sand, peat moss, and perlite. To improve drainage, add a layer of gravel or small pebbles to the bottom of the pot before adding soil. This will help keep the roots from sitting in water, which can lead to rot or fungal growth.
Plant your lily bulbs in September or October, about 6 weeks before the first frost date in your area. Plant them with the pointed end up and cover them with 2-3 inches of potting mix. Water well and place the pot in a cool, dark place until spring. When you see signs of growth (i.e., green shoots), move the pot to a sunny spot near a south-facing window.
Fertilize Regularly, Water Wisely
Lilies are heavy feeders, so they will need to be fertilized every two weeks during their growing season (spring through summer). Use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus, such as bone meal or an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer.
They also like moist—but not soggy—soil, so water them regularly but do not allow the roots to sit in water. To check if your lily needs watering, stick your finger into the soil near the bulb; if it feels dry several inches down, it’s time to water!
Pests and Diseases
Lilies are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but there are a few problems you should be on the lookout for, such as aphids and spider mites. These pests can be controlled with regular applications of insecticidal soap or neem oil. If your lily plants show signs of fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew or leaf spot, treat them with a fungicide according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Enjoy those blooms!
Once your lily plants flower, cut off the spent blossoms and enjoy them indoors! You can also deadhead the flowers (that is, cut off the blooms before they fade) to encourage more flowers to grow.
When all of the blooms have faded, allow the foliage to die back naturally before cutting it down almost to the bulb. This will give the plant time to store energy for next year’s bloom cycle. With proper care, your indoor lily plants will bloom year after year.
To wrap it up…
Lilies are a beautiful and easy-to-grow option for anyone looking to add some color to their home décor. With so many different varieties available, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for your space and lifestyle. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy gorgeous blooms year after year.