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Lilies: Easy to grow; here’s what to know

Adrian Higgins
The Washington Post

Planting

Lilies need moisture in the growing season, but they rot in heavy, wet ground in winter, so they should be planted in rich, well-amended soil that retains moisture but drains. Plant lily bulbs about eight to 10 inches deep to aid root development.

Sunlight

The flower stalks should be in sunlight, but the bulbs benefit from a little shade, and a light mulch will help cool the soil.

Season

Lily hobbyists prefer to order and plant bulbs in the fall, though spring-shipped bulbs are fine as long as they are planted right away.

Care

Remove flowers once they fade to prevent the plant from putting energy into making seeds, but keep as much of the stalk and leaves as possible. The top growth should be removed in the fall when it yellows.

Where to buy

Lily bulbs are never dormant and can dry out if poorly kept – a reason to avoid lilies that have been sitting in stores for too long and have begun to sprout. Lilies are shipped in fall or early spring.