How to Care for Lilies in a Vase

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Proper vase care for a lily prolongs the life of this flowering plant.
Proper vase care for a lily prolongs the life of this flowering plant. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The lily is a perennial plant, which means it survives more than one growing season, and is identified by its strikingly white blooms resting atop a green stalk. While lilies are typically grown in gardens for landscaping or folk medicine, caring for a lily in a vase lets you showcase this brilliant flower in your home. It is important to properly care for a lily when it’s in a vase to ensure its color and health is prolonged.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors or knife
  • Vase
  • Distilled water
  • 3 tbsp. 7-Up or Sprite

Cut 1/2 inch off the bottom of the stem with a pair of sharp scissors or a knife. Make sure you cut the stem at an angle; do not make a horizontal cut. Remove all leaves below the water line and handle the lily by its stem when cutting.

Fill vase with distilled water. If you do not have bottled water nearby, fill the vase with tap water and allow the water to rest in the open for 24 hours to remove chlorine and other chemicals. Add flower food, or flower preservatives, to the water; however, if you do not have flower food add 3 tbsp. of 7-Up of Sprite to the water. These beverages have citric acid, which is the main ingredient in flower food/preservatives.

Place the lily flowers into the vase and position away from direct sunlight, heat and drafts. To prolong the life of vase lily flowers, place the vase where the water and flowers will remain at room temperature.

Cut the lily stem another 1/2 inch every three days and also replace the water and flower food.

Tips & Warnings

  • Handle the lilies as little as possible and avoid touching the flower to ensure the plant is not damaged during the transfer to a vase.
  • Do not use a dull knife or pair of scissor to trim the lily stem, as this may damage the stem and prevent the flower from easily absorbing water.

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