The lily, an exceptional bulbous flower, thanks to its bloom which arrives only once a season requires some maintenance when the flowers start to fade. The first is to remove the leaves so that the plant does not lose energy to transform them into seeds.
Once the lily has bloomed, you can remove the stem directly. However, never remove the leaves before they are dead (when the leaves become dry and brown).
The lily is a very exceptional bulbous flower thanks to its flowering but also thanks to its foliage. The maintenance, from planting to keeping the bulbs in winter will help you to have superb lilies from year to year.
Should lilies be cut back after flowering?
Once the bloom is finished, it is not necessary to remove the bulbs from the ground. They are hardy enough to stay in place during the winter. It is thus enough to cut the stems once they are dry. Do not cut before!
The lily replenishes its reserves to bloom again the following year. On the other hand, you can cut the faded flowers as you go along, but keep the stems when they are green.
Tips for planting Lilies
Most common lilies grow in all types of well-drained soil, staying cool in summer, without active limestone, in the sun. The bulbs are planted from September to April-May, at a depth of about 15 cm, in well loosened soil, possibly improved with heather soil in calcareous soil and special bulb fertilizer in not very fertile soil.
The only exception is the Lily of the Madonna, which tolerates calcareous soil and drought, and whose bulbs are planted only in autumn, at a depth of 3-5 cm and in full sunlight. After planting, water lightly and mark the spot with sticks to locate the bulbs and thus avoid an unfortunate hoeing!
Lilies can be grown in pots to decorate balconies and terraces. Remember to ensure good drainage at the bottom of the pot with 5-7 cm of expanded clay beads, fill the pot with a mixture consisting of one third topsoil, one third planting soil, and the remaining third consisting of half heather soil and coarse sand. Place the pots in the sun or light shade, and keep the soil slightly moist throughout the growing period.
How do you get lilies to bloom again?
It is enough for you to maintain your lilies well, the bloom will start again as of the next period. The period of bloom of the lily depends on the chosen variety: the flowers can appear between the month of May and the first frosts.
Each year, the lily produces a floral spike which carries several flowers, which grow one after the other. The lily flowers can be of different colors, sometimes speckled or variegated. They are often very fragrant.
The lily is a plant that requires little care. Once the bulbs are planted, water regularly, but lightly, during all the period of growth and bloom. Plan the installation of a stake to possibly maintain the stems, which can fall under the weight of the flowers.
When the young shoots are growing, apply some slug pellets. Later, in case of an attack of the lily beetle, spray insecticide in the evening, when the larvae become active. If you spot wilted flowers, remove them immediately so that they do not draw unnecessary energy from the bulb.
In the fall, cut the foliage down to the ground as soon as everything has wilted. Perfectly hardy, the lily can be left in the ground: the bulbs multiply by themselves and produce more and more flowers every year.
Watering and fertilizer :
If your lily bulbs are well established in rich soil and cool in summer, you should not have to intervene very often.
Water in case of drought or high temperatures.
Fertilizer is not always necessary but can be useful during flowering to stimulate the growth of the lily.
A bulb flower fertilizer is quite appropriate.
In pots, the addition of fertilizer is often indicated from the 2nd year of the lily’s cultivation.
What to do when lilies have finished flowering?
The importance of this period is sometimes underestimated because it is when the tulip starts to fade that it begins to build up its reserves for the next flowering.
At the end of flowering, wait until the leaves turn yellow before cutting the foliage.
Put the bulbs out until fall in a cool, dry place before replanting or leaving them in the pot.
Can I prune my lilies after they have bloomed?
No, you can’t prune the whole plant, as this could kill it! Just after flowering, the bulb needs the leaves to reconstitute itself and produce a flower the following year. It is thus necessary to cut the flower and its stem early enough so that the seeds do not take the strength of the bulb, but to leave the leaves. You will be able to remove these last ones only when they are completely desiccated and yellowed.
Can I leave the bulbs in the ground until the following year?
Yes. Strong and easy to grow, lilies can stay in place for several years and behave almost like perennials. If, after a few seasons, they become less vigorous, you can move them to another spot. But be careful not to remove the bulbs from the ground before the foliage has dried. Be careful: bulbs that stay in the ground for several years need to be fertilized to keep their vitality.
When should I bring in the bulbs of lilies?
It is not useful to put in the bulbs every year, but from time to time it can be good for them: especially when the plant reaches maturity (six months after flowering) and produces bulbils (small bulbs), but also to reduce the risks linked to rodents and diseases. Separate the big bulbs from the small ones (below a certain size, they do not flower) and store them in a well ventilated room, between 68 and 73°F, then put them back in the ground in autumn.
The plantation of the lily is preferably done in spring but can also be done in autumn. If the climate is mild in winter you can also plant a little later.
Once the flowering is over, it is important to remove the dead leaves, and to cut the stems directly if all the leaves are dead, this way the plant will not make an effort for nothing to transform them into seeds!