how and when to cut lillies

steenawoo(z6 Boston)August 4, 2005

i saw a neighbor cut down the passed bloomed lillies, can i? i'd prefer it if they weren't too tall next year if that makes a difference. far down do you cut lillies for arrangements?

thanks everybody!

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After flowering, you can deadhead the lilies, e.g. cut the spent flowers off, but do not cut back the stems. The stems will green leaves will produce the energy required for next year's bloom. If you cut back the stems, you will cut off energy for next year's bloom and worst case kill them.

You can not affect the height of the lilies by cutting them back. Their height is genetically determined. If the height bothers you, dig the lilies and trade them for dwarf (low growing) lilies.

If you cut lilies for arrangements, try to cut maximum 1/3 of the length of the stem leaving 2/3 minimum to recharge the bulb.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 1:05PM
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steenawoo(z6 Boston)

thank you - very helpful. happy gardening!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 10:31AM
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Kdjoergensen - Now I'm worried!
I send a friend a 'Mero Star' oriental lily in spring. Just recently, she went on a trip for a week (it was just about ready to bloom), and when she came back, something had chewed away at the bottom of the stem - the whole plant had toppled over as a result (squirrels & rabbits can be a problem in her yard). She cut off the stem where it had been chewed, placed it in a bucket of water, and it flowered.

Will this lily come back?
Might it propagate itself, or will it die?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 8:27AM
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We grow thousands of lilies for cutflower production. According to the experts in our field, it is only necessary to leave 1/3 of the stem after cutting the lily. This leaves plenty of energy to feed the bulb for next season.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 11:03AM
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I agree with you flowerfarmer. However, to clarify, you must leave 1/3 of the stem that still has leaves on it. If the bottom leaves have browned and dropped off for whatever reason, you must leave 1/3 of the part that still has viable leaves...Ann

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 1:06PM
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Maggie45(8a TN)

Do you cut back the lilies before winter?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 2:03PM
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I leave the foliage on my lilies to die back naturally. Once they have turned brown, more than likely it will take just a "tug" to dispose of the brown stems. Leave the green foliage up because it feeds the bulb for next year's growth. Your foliage and flowers will get bigger and stronger for it, and your bulbs will multiply.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 8:34PM
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When I the best time to divide them. I have some Orientals that I cut off just the first foot on top. they were at least 5 foot tall this year and loaded with blooms.
I have never divided them and they have been in this spot for three years. I would like some in other parts of my garden.
I am also looking for some other colors. Mine is Bright Pink and White, Heavy speckles. I can email a picture.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 8:10PM
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Usually you devide them in late fall to very early spring but anytime wont hurt it could delay blooms is all but if you use B1 and hurry to plant and NOT let the roots die out at all then they should be fine for blooming. Just make sure to prepep the soil before you plant and replant the orginal plant back to its spot this will give the vital nutrients they will need
Have fun spreading the plants all around.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 12:15AM
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My lilies are done blooming this spring, is there anyway 2 get them 2 bloom again by cuttin them down?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 2:54PM
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I'm a first time gardener, and my tiger Lilly's have already bloomed and fallen off the stem, but now my stems are brown? should I cut it, or leave the brown steam alone? Some say cut it, some say leave it? Confused! advice please!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 8:47PM
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can I just leave my lilies and let winter take care of it or will that hurt the bulbs

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 4:57PM
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I have about 7 Better Day lillies around the yard that were planted in spring from plantings and not bulbs. I have no clue as I'm from zone 9 and am living in zone 6... do I cut them to the ground in fall like now when they are still flowering a bit, wait until they die down and then cut them at the ground or??? Sorry, not a good gardner in the snowy regions I now live! Any advice appreciated!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:58PM
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