The Different Types of Lilies and How to Care for Them

The Different Types of Lilies and How to Care for Them


Lilies (Lilium spp.) are a group of perennials. They grow in many regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They can be spotted in woodlands, meadows, and gardens! There’s a huge variety of stunning colors and forms.

Caring for lilies is simple. Learn more about different types and how to care for them below.

Types of Lilies

Lilies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They give beauty and a lovely scent to gardens.

There are many types of lilies, such as Asiatic, day, Oriental, and tiger lilies. To have a healthy and beautiful garden, it is important to know the types of lilies and how to care for them.

Let’s check out the types and their care requirements!

Asiatic Lilies

Asiatic lilies (Lilium) are a popular garden flower. They tolerate cold and drought. Full sun is best, but they can also do well in part shade. Plant deeply for best results.

These lilies come in many colors and sizes, from 18 inches up to 6 feet. Popular varieties include:

  • California: Bicolor petals with yellow stamens
  • Red Velvet: Vibrant red petals with dark veins
  • Anastasia: Traditional pink
  • Golden Splendor: Deep yellow petals with freckles
  • Tinseltown Gold: Gold petals that lighten near center, hints of green
  • Rochester Caspersons Orange Star: Soft peach petals with orange outline

Deadhead and leave undisturbed during bloom period. Some gardeners will dig them up and replant each spring. Improve soil by adding fertilizer or composted manure.

Oriental Lilies

Oriental lilies are a popular kind of ornamental lily. They come in colors like white, yellow, pink, and red. They get tall, usually three to four feet high. Plus, they have lots of petals around a bulbous center.

Caring for Oriental lilies? Make sure the soil is ready before planting. Check that it drains well. Use organic compost or fertilizer to get more nutrients. Water every five days. Too much sun or wind can hurt them.

After the flower dies, deadhead any spent blossoms. That will make new bloomings in winter and help the plant stay healthy. You can also read more about The Fascinating History of Sunflowers and Their Many Uses by clicking here.

Trumpet Lilies

Trumpet lilies, of the lily family, make a wonderful garden focal point. Ranging from white to yellow, pink, and crimson, they grow 2-4 ft tall, with up to 12 flowers opening from base up. They are hardy, once established.

For soil, good drainage and adequate moisture levels are key (pH 6-7). Full sun exposure is best, but they can tolerate partial shade. Plant in spring or fall when soil is dry and warm. Bulbs should be 3-6 inches apart, 6-8 inches deep, heads pointed upwards. Add organic matter such as compost for extra nutrition.

Water regularly when actively growing. Leaves need moisture— if the root zone dries out, leaf scorch or wilting may occur, killing portions of the plant.


Daylilies, or Hemerocallis, are a garden favorite! They come in many colors and don’t need a lot of care to flourish. With the right attention, they can bloom for weeks. There’s a great variety of shapes and sizes, some reaching 3 feet tall.

For over a century, gardeners have been creating hundreds of daylily cultivars. From traditional yellow buds to vibrant red petals, there are plenty of varieties. Examples are ‘Lemon Twist’, which has single lemon-yellow petals; ‘Stella De Oro‘, with miniature orange blooms up to 60 cm tall; and ‘Happy Returns’, with orange blossoms on dwarf plants up to 40 cm high.

Planting and Care

Plant lilies for success! Consider their type, terrain, and local climate. For a healthy plant and bright blooms, planting and care must be done right. Soil prep and planting depth matter too. Get the details to ensure your lilies thrive!

Planting and Care


Lilies need special care to thrive in your garden. They prefer full sun and moist, fertile soil with organic matter like peat moss, leaf mould, and compost.

Plant bulbs 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) deep, depending on size. Space them 6 inches (15 cm) apart, using your index finger as a guide.

Once planted, cover them with 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) of mulch. This will keep their root systems warm in winter, increasing their chances of blooming.


Watering lilies? Balance is key! It depends on the kind of lilies, soil type and weather. Generally, lilies want moist soil – not soggy.

Water at the base instead of above. Keeps the foliage dry and lowers disease risk. Give plenty of water when planting new bulbs. This will help the roots and more blooms in the future.

In summer, monitor moisture. Keep it moist – but not wet. Water regularly.

For autumn dormancy – let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings. No fertilizer when buds are visible – this can make them fail to bloom or damage existing buds.


When fertilizing lilies, use a balanced fertilizer labeled for them. Check the NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) composition; it should be 4-10-6 or 5-10-5. Spring is usually when most plants need extra nutrients.

To apply the fertilizer correctly, one way is to work granular fertilizer into the soil when planting or in early spring. Another method is using a liquid mixture at half strength every three weeks from early spring through mid summer. Check package directions for the appropriate amount for desired size plants. Or, contact your local extension service for advice on your area’s specific needs. Bone meal can also be added at planting time.

In addition to regular fertilizing, lilies benefit from either Epsom salt or fish emulsion once during bloom time. This can improve color intensity and help build resistance to pests.


At the end of spring, when lilies have fully bloomed, prune them. Cut off any dead leaves and stems. Cut in-season foliage by 1/4 to 1/2 its length. This helps the lily develop strong roots and bulbous.

Remove wilting or discolored leaves quickly, to avoid disease. Deadhead dying flowers. Don’t cut into new growth.

Pick off weeds and pests, including Japanese beetles. Use organic insect repellent weekly to stop them returning.

Common Diseases and Pests

Caring for lilies can be fun! But, some diseases and pests can ruin them. Different lily varieties have different susceptibilities. It’s great to know about the most common ones.

In this section, we explore the diseases and pests that affect lilies.

Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases can be a major challenge when caring for lilies. These come from the soil, so prevention is vital. Common ones are Honey Fungus and Botrytis Blight.

Honey Fungus is a soil-borne fungus. Signs can include wilting, yellowing leaves, and spotty growth on stems or leaves. If not treated, it can kill the lily. Treatment depends on severity. This could mean pruning or removing infected plants. Spraying with Mancozeb and good cultural practices can help. These include proper air circulation, water drainage from planters, and no overcrowding.

Botrytis Blight is also known as gray mold or bud blight. It’s caused by a fungus that spreads quickly if not treated. Signs appear in damp climates on young flower buds, causing them to rot before opening. Preventing fungal infections means proper spacing between bulbs when planting, pruning affected areas, and treating soil with fungicidal spray containing copper before planting each season.

Insect Pests

Insect pests are a big issue for farmers. Examples are caterpillars, flies, aphids, mealybugs, mites, and fungus gnats. These critters can eat plants or cause contamination with fungi and viruses. They can also spoil stored grain with larvae.

To attack insect pests, farmers use chemical or organic pesticides. These may be natural products like garlic extract or neem oil. Or, they may be synthetic chemicals like organophosphates and pyrethrins. Some are concerned about the safety of chemical insecticides. But, these have been used for many years and are usually very effective when used properly.

Farmers likewise practice crop rotation to break pest cycles. They also do companion planting to invite helpful insects like ladybugs and lacewings. These prey on many insects. Lastly, farmers observe their fields closely to spot problems early.

By mixing cultural practices with organic and synthetic pesticides, farmers can hopefully keep insect pests under control. This preserves yields and shields customers from contamination.


Lilies are lovely! They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Each kind of lily has special needs for it to thrive. To make sure they look amazing, you should provide them with soil that drains well, lots of sunlight, water every week, and fertilizer sometimes. Once you understand these gorgeous blooms, you will know which type is right for your garden. Enjoy your beautiful lilies for years to come!