Care for oriental lilies?

PoorOwner(Northern CA)August 21, 2005

I have got a plant just labelled oriental lilies, no specific name. it has 3 spikes full of buds, seems root bound in it's pot as I can see the roots out of the drainage holes.

The instructions says after flowers fades plant it outside. When will that be? It does not sound like it will ever bloom again if it is kept indoors.

Should I keep it in a new, bigger, pot for now? How do I take care of it?

Also wanted to know how big do they get, thanks.

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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi PoorOwner,
I came across generically labeled lilies this year also (at Lowe's). I was sort of amazed. Don't get me wrong, I like to save a $ as much as anyone (and these were pretty cheap) - but charge me a few cents more and let me know what I'm buying. Some of the ones I found were labeled "Oriental/Asiatic" so those didn't even specify the type (!) much less the cultivar.

Anyways, I found them while they were in bloom and I recognized them as Stargazer (or Starfighter - they look pretty similar) and Muscadet. So maybe that's what you got. They came 3-4 bulbs packed into a quart container and they were VERY solidly rootbound.

Did you buy yours to flower indoors? If not, go ahead and plant them in a sunny spot now. (The whole rootball without separating - yet.) The sun and additional soil will help them bloom better and feed the bulb for next season. After they have bloomed and the foliage has begun to fade is a good time to replant. The bulb needs the continued photosynthesis of the leaves after blooming to prepare the bulb for next season. So don't cut back the foliage if you want bigger and more numerous blooms next year. When you replant take the rootball and separate the bulbs as carefully as is possible under the conditions. (The more roots you preserve - the better for the bulb.) If you don't wait for the foliage to fade also take care not to break the stems. Plant in a sunny spot (doesn't have to be full sun) and plant the bulbs deeply, 8"-10". Lilies like to have sun but like their bulbs to be cool. Deep planting also protects them from squirrels and other critters.

Hope this helps,

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 11:32PM
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PoorOwner(Northern CA)

Hi, mine is probably same as what you saw for about $11.
It has a gift wrapping paper over the pot.

I think it might be used to indoor lighting and the sun is just harsh outside right now,
Should I let the plant bloom indoors first and plant it outside in late fall?


    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 6:41PM
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hld6(z7 MD)

If it is very hot where you are, mulch well and make sure to keep the plant watered until the roots establish - but unlike plants such as fuchsia which are sensitive to strong light - lilies won't have a problem with "harsh" light. From the plants perspective its just more light to photosynthesize.

Now if from YOUR perspective you'd prefer to enjoy the blooms indoors rather than outdoors then go ahead and let it bloom inside. They'll fill your house with a beautiful scent. Then plant them outdoors. Indoor light just can't compete with sunlight.

The foil wrapped around the pot has no bearing on "indoor/outdoor" worthiness of a plant (though its a more common practive for indoor plants). Easter lilies are sold that way b/c people like to have them in their homes in the Spring (they've been forced to bloom MUCH earlier than is natural for Longiflorum). Because they're not cold hardy in many parts of the US they're treated as annuals and discarded after blooming. Unlike the easter lily, orientals are very cold hardy so there is no intrinsic reason not to plant outdoors. It's just a matter of personal preference. But if you want your lilies to come back next year they will need a cold spell over the winter - either in the ground, refrigerator, or in a pot in a cool room such as a garage or unheated porch. But note, unlike some bulbs, lilies are never truly dormant - you can't just throw the bulbs in a dry bag of peat moss over the winter and expect them to live.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 12:37PM
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PoorOwner(Northern CA)

Thanks, I will let it bloom indoors and then pot it outside..

Will it thrive kept as a container plant outside?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 1:50PM
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I live in southwestern Ark. so our winters are usually mild with very little or no snow. Will oriental lilies do OK here in the ground?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:15PM
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Poorowner: I'd leave it outside where it gets plenty of daylight until some buds open--you'll get more vivid/deeper color tone bloom--then bring it in to enjoy. As soon as it finishes blooming cut the spent flower head off and return outside. Yes, orientals do OK in patio containers--but not the little dinky quart plastic pot it came in. Select a pot at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep with drainage holes in the bottom. Carefully remove the entire clump in one piece--cut old pot if you have to. Plant the clump deep enough so you can cover it with about 2 inches of new soil so the plant steems develope new feeder roots above the old soil line. Most back yard soils are suitable but if you doubt it, then get a bag of Maricle Grow 'garden soil' and mix in about 1/3 to your soil. Water thoroughly once and DO NOT fertilize for about a month. And this Plant should do just fine outside year round at your location. Dwarf orientals are being developed that are ideal for pot/patio--get about 15 to 18 inches high with same size flower. If your lucky, maybe you've got dwarf Stargazers called After Eight. If you let us know what color they are, etc. somebody here will know the name of whatever you have. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 8:59AM
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Newgardener8: You'll be OK. Just don't plant them close to the south side of a building where the soil stays warmer from the sun in winter. Stay away from building foundations if possible. North and East sides--any cooler location would be great. Better in the spring/summer too--some colors fade where it gets too hot, especially pinks. If you Do end up planting some where ground gets hot noon day sun, mulch good--lilies like cool feet. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 9:46AM
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I recently bought 2 oriential lilies from Wal-mart. They were beautifully bloomed and very fragrant. I brought them home and repotted them into a planter together. I have been watering them every morning around the base of the plants. I have noticed that they look like they are dying and the petals have actually fallen off one bud. Am I over watering them? If so how much should I water them and when? I have also noticed ants all around them. Is this normal? Are the ants harmful to the flowers? Please help I do not want them to die. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 10:44AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Umm, this post was six years old when bumped to the top!

Helpless Ohio, they do not need water every day.

They only bloom once a year so if you bought in full bloom the flowers are going to fade and the leaves start to yellow. This is their life cycle. They are better in the garden than in pots so their dying down isn't as front and center. IMHO anyway.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 11:45AM
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    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 8:34AM
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Hey, what are the blubs at the tip of the stems that appear after the lillies have bloomed or are these blubs more lillies waiting to bloom? however, they seem to dry out and there are black seeds in them...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 7:43PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

They are seedpods. Unless you want to grow from seeds (an interesting but lengthy time to bloom experience) the seed pods should not be allowed to form as setting and ripening seeds takes lots of energy that would otherwise be sent to the bulb for next years blooms.
PS. It's best to start a new thread with your questions as many people don't check old threads.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:16AM
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I received a pot of planted oriental lilies for a graduation gift. (My brother purchased them from Walmart)

I was wondering if I can transfer them from the pot to our flower beds outside? I'm not very good with flowers but these are beautiful and I don't want to do anything to mess them up.

Thank you

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 5:31PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Yes, you can and should plant them outside. Lilies are garden plants and don't live in the house.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 4:11PM
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I have after eight oriental lillies and planted them from last year and a few two years ago and for some reason they are coming up white. Do I need to do something for them to come back pink?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Good question, Penguinlady. I've had lillies come up white some years, other years the same bulbs came up normal color. I have no idea what affects the colors but if someone else does, I'd appreciate an explanation or even a guess. I thought bluestone had sent me the wrong bulbs when Pink Perfection bloomed white as the driven snow so they sent me more. After 3 years they finally came up pink, but different degrees of pink each year. This year a yellow variety I planted last year is coming up white with a faint hint of yellow on the edges. I figure maybe in 2 more years it will come up the correct color. Go figure. I have never had the problem with multicolor lilies or ones with spots.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 9:17AM
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