Q. How do I keep my lilies from falling over? How do I cut them for arrangments?
If proper cultural practices for your lilies are followed, they should grow strong and upright. Lilies need good drainage, full sun, compost-amended soil early on, and mulch added over the roots to keep the soil evenly moist in summer.
Some lilies such as 'Casablanca' and 'Stargazer' can reach 4-5 feet tall and may need extra support. If you want to add a support, do it early in the season when you see the plant starting to grow--an easier task than when the plant is in full bloom. To make a support, you can use bamboo stakes inserted in the ground around the plant, or one stake firmly placed, tying the stem to the stake loosely in a figure eight pattern. Be careful not to pierce the bulb when inserting the stakes. You can also purchase metal supports for the same purpose. These are available at garden nurseries or on line.
Cut blooms just when they begin to open, taking care not to let their pollen stain your clothes. If you plan to use some for arrangements, remember that it's always best to cut stems just as the flower buds are opening early in the morning, while it's still cool. A few stems are all you will need for a lovely arrangement.
Flowers in the garden will eventually fade. Gently remove the faded ones to encourage blooming and to keep plants from using all their energy producing seeds. Once the stems and leaves turn yellow and wither, cut the plant back to the ground.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service