Life Cycle of a Lily Plant

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Lilies add a burst of color to the garden.
Lilies add a burst of color to the garden. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Audrey)

Lilies are a beautiful gem in the garden or decorative pond. These plants can be quite hardy, and many varieties are long-lasting and successful in the wild as well. All lilies follow the same basic life cycle.

Lily Bulbs

Lilies start life as bulbs, which are best planted in spring or fall. The bulbs contain all the material lilies need for sprouting.

Lily Growing Needs

Lilies require lots of sunlight, rich, quick-draining soil and adequate moisture to grow. They can be land or water lilies, depending on variety.

Lily Sprouting

Lily bulbs are planted in quick-draining soil, with 4 to 6 inches of growing space, and sometimes in groups of up to five bulbs. They sprout within two weeks, given the right growing conditions.

Lily Maintenance

For successful lilies, gardeners keep the plants in bright full sun, in spots where they receive good drainage. Lilies need to be watered once a week, and receive mulch over the winter to keep them warm while they're dormant.

Dividing Lilies Over Time

Lilies grow quickly with good growing conditions. Gardeners maintain lilies by dividing the plants every two years, or when the plants begin to get crowded. Lily bulbs can be transplanted to other sites to propagate new plants. With proper maintenance, lilies can live for many years.

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