Learn how to have a healthy oriental Lilium

Among all the bulbous plants that we can find for sale, there is one that always attracts significant attention: the oriental Lilium. Something that is not surprising: its large and colorful flowers are spectacular, very, very beautiful.

But how do you take care of these amazing bulbous plants? Should they be pruned or fertilized? We will talk about this and much more below.

Origin and characteristics of the oriental Lilium

Image – Wikimedia/ Jim Capaldi from Springfield, USA

The Lilium, also known as Azucena, is a bulbous plant that belongs to the botanical family Liliaceae. Its flowers, which sprout in spring-summer, are trumpet-shaped, large, and fragrant, with very bright colors (orange, white, pink, red). It can reach a height of 1 meter, a characteristic for which it can be planted in gardens, thus creating colored rugs; but you can also have it in a pot, because its root system is not invasive.

There are many hybrids, which have been classified into two large groups depending on their origin: they are the Asian hybrids and the eastern hybrids. In this article we are going to focus on the latter, since they have large flowers and emit a very pleasant aroma. Some of the best known cultivars are:

  • Casablanca: white flower.
  • Devotion: white flower.
  • Stargazer: dark pink flower.
  • Le Reve: pink flower.
  • Rosato: light pink flower.

Their range of colors is not as extensive as that of Asiatic lilies, but they are certainly well worth having in a garden or on the balcony.

How are they cared for?


A good place would be, for example, under a tree if you want to have it in your private green corner, or under a roof in the patio.


If we talk about irrigation, it should be infrequent, since the bulb is very easy to rot. To avoid this, you have to water 2-3 times a summer, and every 5-10 days the rest of the year.


Image – Flickr/ FD Richards

It is recommended to use substrates with good drainage if we have it in a pot, or to fill the planting hole with garden soil mixed with 20% perlite.


It is highly advisable to fertilize it with a specific fertilizer for bulbous plants (on sale here ), or with one for flowering plants in spring and summer. But be careful, you must read the indications that are specified on the packaging on how to use it, since that will be the only way to avoid having problems due to overdose.


In order for it to grow properly, the bulb must be planted in late winter/ early spring, in a very bright area but where it does not get direct light, since otherwise it will not be able to grow or develop well.

In the garden

The step by step to follow is as follows:

  1. First, you have to dig a hole about 6 inches deep.
  2. Then, fill it about 10 centimeters (more or less) with black peat mixed with perlite in equal parts.
  3. Then insert the bulb. It should not be very buried. Theirs is that, if it is about 3 centimeters high, it is buried about 6 centimeters above the ground level. In addition, the narrowest part must face upwards, since it will be from there that the leaves and flowers will sprout.
  4. Finally, finish filling and water.


If you want to have it in a pot, follow these steps:

  1. First, choose a pot that is about 8 inches in diameter for about the same height.
  2. Then fill it up a bit with universal plant substrate.
  3. Then, insert the bulb with the narrowest part facing up, so that it is about 3 centimeters buried.
  4. Finally, finish filling the pot and water.

Transplantation (of plants)

Oriental lilies with flowers are sold in spring. Therefore, if you get one, it is highly recommended that you plant it in a pot about 3-4 centimeters in diameter wider using universal substrate. Another option is to plant it in the garden, trying not to manipulate the roots too much.

Plagues and diseases

Among the most common pests and diseases that affect it, we highlight, on the one hand, aphids, which can be fought by spraying the plant with Neem Oil ; and on the other, Botrytis fungi, which can be prevented by treating the plant preventively with copper or sulfur (do not use if you have domestic animals) in spring, or with natural fungicides sold in nurseries.


And by the way, although it should not be pruned, you can cut its flowers to decorate your home for a few days. Here we tell you how they are maintained .


The oriental Lilium multiplies by separating the small bulbs that sprout from the “mother bulb” in winter or spring. If you are going to remove the plant from the ground or from the pot, you can take the opportunity to separate the bulbs and save them for planting in spring.

On the other hand, if you leave it where it is, in spring you can remove some of the soil around it to make its bulbs visible. Then, you just have to separate them and plant them in other sites.


Oriental Liliun can be grown all year round outdoors, without the need to remove the bulb in winter, as long as the minimum temperature does not drop below 3 degrees below zero. Otherwise, the ideal is to protect the bulb indoors, in a dry and dark place.

Where to buy?

Image – Wikimedia/ FD Richards from Clinton, MI

You can buy bulbs from here.

The oriental Lilium is a bulbous very loved by all. Its elegant flowers are very pretty, don’t you think?

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