How to care for potted lilies: all the keys to keep them healthy

How to care for potted lilies

Have you fallen in love with a pot of lilies? Do you know how to care for potted lilies? Although you think that it is the same as if they were on the ground, or almost similar to how flowers are cared for, the truth is that it is not like that.

We are going to explain, step by step, everything you have to do to take care of potted lilies and that they are always beautiful and healthy. Do you want to know how? Keep reading.

How to care for potted lilies

potted flower pistil details

As you know, lilies are bulbous and perennial plants in general (there are some varieties that have rhizomes). Its flowers are produced in spring, and can last all summer, which is why they are highly appreciated.

Now, it is not the same to take care of some lilies outside and planted in the ground, than to do it in a pot. What is the difference between them? We explain it to you.

Location and temperature

In general, lilies like the sun very much. And the light. So the more hours they have, the better. However, When they are in a pot, you must control that exposure since the type of pot they have can affect them.

For example, if it is a plastic pot, the sun will heat it much more, which will cause it to suffer a drought more frequently, and if you don't realize it, it can die from lack of irrigation. On the other hand, those made of clay or ceramic keep the roots cooler, but also colder, and that can harm the health of the plant.

Bearing this in mind, our recommendation is that, if the plant is still small or medium, do not place it in full sun, but better in semi-shade and give it a few hours of direct sun in the morning or late afternoon.

As for the temperature, you will not have any problem with the heat, because they tolerate it and hold up quite well. But not so the cold. They hold it, yes, but not the frost and it is best to protect them if you see that the thermometer falls too much.

Substrate and subscriber

When choosing the substrate for potted lilies, you must bear in mind that they need two very important things: good drainage, so that water does not accumulate inside and can rot the roots; and a good fertilizer (or fertilized soil) at least twice a year (especially in flowering season).

That being said, we can tell you that you can choose any type of soil that is calcareous and clayey. Combine it with drainage to make it perfect.

When you change the soil, it is not advisable to add fertilizer, because the soil will already carry the necessary nutrients. However, After a few months, you can add a fertilizer for lilies. If possible, make it organic, mineral and liquid, so that you can add it to the irrigation water.

Unlike other plants, lilies do not do well with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.


pink lilies

Watering is one of the most important parts of caring for potted lilies. And it is that the irrigation must be abundant, but only when you notice that the earth is dry. In general, it is watered once a week in winter, and two or three a week in summer. But everything will depend on the weather in your area.

It is best to use rainwater but, in case you do not have it, always have tap water stored to use it after 48 hours (this way you make sure that you can water without anything happening to the plants).


The pruning of potted lilies will be based mainly on cleaning it of dead leaves and flowers that have withered.

However, in autumn, when the plant begins to prepare for winter, you should prune the stems to the height of the first leaves (below where the flowers were).


You should change the pot about every two years. When it touches, you must wait for the flowering to end, and for the plant to turn yellowish. At that time, do not water it and let it dry out, after a few weeks (or a month or so), remove the bulbs and always store them in a dark place.

In spring you can plant them again and enjoy two years of them again.


lily buds

The propagation of lilies is usually done by bulbs. To do this, in spring, they are planted, always about 8-10 centimeters deep and they are watered by wetting the entire area around the bulb (but not directly in the bulb).

While it germinates and the plant begins to emerge, it is important that the irrigation is constant so that the earth does not dry out. Since you need that water to get ahead.

Also, you have to put it in the sun.


One of the most beautiful features of lilies are their flowers. But many times, when caring for potted lilies, you may find that they don't bloom for you. Therefore, there are some points to take into account that can help you achieve it. Specifically, the following:

  • Control the temperature. You may not know it, but if you manage to keep them at a constant temperature of 15-20ºC, you will have more luck so that they flourish.
  • Keep the soil moist. You must be careful with this because there is a fine line between humidity and waterlogging. If you go too far with watering, you will end up killing the plant. A moisture meter stuck into the ground can help you.
  • Good daylight hours. The sun is very important for this plant, and especially for flowering, because it will activate it. So try to give it a few hours of direct sun avoiding the maximum incidence (from 12 to 18 hours).

Plagues and diseases

Regrettably, lilies are one of the plants that most pests attack them. You will have to be very careful with thrips, red spider mites, aphids, mites (especially in the bulb) and whiteflies.

In addition, regarding lily diseases, the most common are botrytis, fusarium, pythium, lilium virus and lilium spots.

Each of them has a treatment to apply to try to save the health of the plant (and the plant itself).

As you see, caring for potted lilies is not difficult, and controlling those small details that make sure that your plant will continue to be just as beautiful as the first day you bought it. Do you have lilies at home?

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