How to Transplant Lily Bulbs

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The exotic, striking lilies add beauty, color, fragrance, contrast and drama to any indoor or outdoor setting for many years. Most ornamental gardening enthusiasts will enjoy planting some sort of lilies of their own during their lifetime. For all their beauty and majesty, lilies are relatively low-maintenance plants whose needs are really rather simple. Whether you are transplanting a potted lily to the garden or from the garden to a pot, the lily's maintenance requirements are pretty much the same.

Things You'll Need

  • Sunny, well-drained garden spot
  • Mulch
  • Pick a spot that is well-drained and where your plant will receive full sun at least half of the day. The stems will lean and stretch toward the sun if the location is too shady.

  • Dig a hole three times as deep as the width of the bulb. For the most striking blooming group effects, dig the hole to the correct depth and plant several bulbs together. Spread the roots out loosely.

  • Cover the transplanted bulb with soil, firming gently as you add more soil.

  • Space the individual plantings so that the leaves of mature plants can dry out easily after a rainfall. This will ensure good air circulation between the plants.

  • Cover the soil with 1 to 2 inches of mulch, such as grass clippings.

  • Water your flower bed thoroughly.

Tips & Warnings

  • As long as the bulbs are planted deep enough to remain cool during hot weather, lilies always prefer and perform best in full sun.
  • Look for a spot that is the first to dry out after rain. This will ensure good drainage.
  • If you are transplanting previously planted bulbs, take as much of the soil with the rootball as possible, disturbing the bulb and roots as little as necessary.

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