The Q&A Archives: Planting Lily Bulbs

Question: Is it best to plant lily bulbs in the spring or the fall?

Answer: Generally, lilies should be planted as deep as three times their diameter. Only the Madonna lily breaks this rule, requiring an inch of soil on their surface. When planting, bear in mind that lilies make more of an impact when planted in clumps, so its a good practice to plant them in groups of three or five, spaced about 12 inches apart. Fall has been the traditional time to plant lilies. However, many Oriental and trumpet lilies mature too late in the season for growers to dig and ship them before the winter freeze-up. Therefore, they're often unavailable until spring. Whether you plant in the fall or spring, water the bulbs well after planting. Every day is not too much for newly planted lily bulbs.

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