Types Of Outdoor Lilies You Need To Grow

Outdoor lilies come in many varieties and are a favorite of gardeners. These lilies are accustomed to the hot, dry weather and are not picky about soil type or nutrients. The lilies sold in nurseries will be different to those sold in supermarkets which make shopping a little more difficult. To help you choose the right outdoor lily for your garden, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular varieties available today.

Tiger Lily

The Tiger lily is a popular variety and one of the most widely used. It has large flowers that come in yellow and orange colors, hence its name. The plant itself grows to around 25cm (10 inches) high with leaves up to 10 cm (4 in.) across.

It’s a perennial flower which means it can be grown all year round but the flowers will start to appear in April and last until November. It is suitable for temperate zones and will grow best in full sunlight.

The common name ‘Tiger lily’ refers to the appearance of the spathe, which is a modified leaf that looks like an unfurling fern frond. The spadix is hidden in this green sheath and when it starts to open, the real lily flower emerges from its pale, green throat.

Intensely colored inflorescences make Tiger lilies a popular plant for cut flowers. These can be displayed in a vase or dried to create everlasting flower arrangements.

Pink Quills

With its delicate pink, red and white petals the Pink Quill is a favorite with gardeners. As a perennial flower it grows to around 45cm (18 in.) high and can have up to 10 flowers at different stages of growth at any one time. They are popular for their outstanding coloration and ease of cultivation. They are often used as a cut flower and can also be put in decorative vases.

This flowering plant is from southeast Asia, particularly China where it has been cultivated for centuries using the petals to make teas or wine. It is now grown around the world for its beautiful appearance and is an important horticultural specimen.

Like the Tiger Lily, Pink Quill prefers full sunlight and a cultivated soil. The flowers emerge in the spring between March and April but will continue to bloom until November. This plant is an excellent cut flower as it can keep its color for up to two weeks when cut correctly.

The actual lily plant is a pretty sight with its sharp red leaves clashing with the soft pink and white of the flowers.

Spider Lily

The spider lily is also known as the Brigantine Lily. It has a unique flower formation, which resembles that of a spider. The petals are usually in shades of pink or white. They grow to be quite large, often up to 4 inches across! Spider lilies can be found growing naturally in the Southern states of America. These lilies can be grown in the ground or in water. They are often used as cut flowers.

Spider lilies are very easy to grow. They bloom from July through September, and will thrive in full sun or partial shade. They prefer a well-drained soil, but require some moisture and humidity to bloom. Spider lilies can be propagated by dividing the bulbs after they have finished blooming for the season. These bulbs will bloom the following season.

The spider lily is a great plant to use in baskets, and they make excellent additions to a fall garden display. Spider lilies are also known as Brigantine lilies, because of their native habitat. They can be found growing wild on the Atlantic coast where there is plenty of moisture and humidity throughout the summer.

Dwarf Lily

There are three main types of dwarf lily: Japanese, Asiatic and Oriental. These grow to be a little over 6 inches high, so they are perfect for small gardens! Their name comes from the fact that they flower at a very early age, and grow to be full sized lilies so quickly! Dwarf lily bulbs are usually planted in the spring. The flowers of these plants will appear in late summer or fall.

The Oriental dwarf Lily grows up to 6 inches high and has pink flowers with yellow centers. These can be found growing in Asia, and they can be grown in the ground or in water. It takes about 3 to 5 years for these lilies to reach full maturity, but their short stature makes them a great choice for small flowerbeds!

These plants prefer full sun, but they can tolerate partial shade. They also need well-drained soil that is rich in organic material and nutrients. The bulbs should be planted one to two inches below the surface of the ground or at a depth of six to eight inches for water growing dwarf lily plants.

These dwarf lilies are very easy to grow. They are a great choice for a small flower bed, and they will be sure to please any gardener with their abundant blooms in the fall. The Japanese dwarf lily grows about 3 inches high and has red flowers with yellow centers. It is native to Japan, China and Korea where it prefers full sun.

Chinese Sacred Lily

This lovely lily is native to Asia and very popular in gardens. It blooms early for a lily, and has two kinds of flowers; the fully opened ones are large and have yellow petals with brown spots on them that look like eyes or eyebrows, while the buds are smaller and flatter and closed at first.

You can plant these lilies in part shade to full sun and almost any soil that has good drainage. They grow only about 3 feet tall and need to be divided every other year or so. Water them during dry periods if they seem droopy, otherwise they are quite drought tolerant for indoor pots plants.

The flowers start as a lime green color and darken to yellow as they open. They make great focal points in flower beds or containers. This plant is poisonous if ingested.

Chinese Sacred Lily is a beautiful perennial with pure white flowers that looks like Narcissus, but larger with gold banding on each petal. This is a native plant that grows well in wet areas or as a bog plant, although it can be grown in other locations if given good drainage. It blooms from May to June during the growing season. This perennial will get about 3 feet high and requires full sun for best growth and color.

Princess Lily Diana

Dianas are quite rare and not found everywhere. The best place to purchase them is your local nursery or garden centre as they have a better selection than supermarkets. Their bright orange color is ideal for cut bouquets as well as garden beds.

Dianas like sunlight, but are also often grown indoors as a house plant. They can grow up to 4 feet tall. This plant is poisonous if ingested.

Day Lily

This is one of the many lilies that have a white flower that opens to reveal orange tips. Day lilies need at least 6 hours of sunlight every day and full sun is ideal. You can grow them in almost any soil, but it needs to be well drained. They don't like soggy soils or flooding.

They can grow up to 3 feet tall with a spread of 2-3 feet. These are great in natural gardens and as cut flowers. This plant is poisonous if ingested and might be toxic if not fresh or well cooked.

Snowdrop  Lily

This is one of the first lilies to bloom in the spring, and you often see it when walking around outside. Its flowers are bright white with a yellow center. The blooms occur 2-3 at a time across the stem that grows upright from the base on single stems about 1 foot tall. They grow best in full sun to light shade.

They can be planted in almost any soil as long as it's well drained. The bulbs that you get from the nursery will last for many years without dividing, just plant them and enjoy their simple beauty each spring. They are often sold in yard sales or online auctions because gardeners love to divide them every year. This plant is poisonous if ingested.

Japanese Show Lily

This is a smaller variety of lily with flowers that are about 6 inches across with deep red petals and white to yellow centers. The leaves are dark green. They resemble other day lilies, but their flower colors vary widely from pink to shades of orange or red on the inside and some have darker maroon outer petals.

These grow best in full sun to full shade. They like moist soil, but not soggy. The seeds can be difficult to start indoors, so it is easier just to buy plants from a nursery or garden centre that has them on sale. They are poisonous if ingested and some varieties will make you very sick if eaten raw or cooked. The sap on the leaves will irritate skin and should be washed off.

They grow wild in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Easter Daffodil

This daffodil makes a great cut flower that lasts for many weeks when properly stored. It can be planted in almost any soil, but should have good drainage and some shade on hot sunny days. They are often sold as small bulbs during the spring at local nurseries.

The flowers themselves are yellow with white petals that are spotted with a darker yellow. The flower stem is green topped by a ring of small leaves and some bulbs have two or three flowers that appear at the same time in early spring. This plant is poisonous if ingested raw, but is not usually toxic when cooked properly.

Madonna Lily  (Lilium candidum)

The Madonna lily is a very popular outdoor lily variety because it needs less care and works well in shady areas. This flower will grow to be 6-9 inches tall (15-23 cm). A common name of this type of lily is "asparagus". The leaves are dark green and appear long and robust. The flower buds are pink or red, becoming white as they open.

This lily is native to China but grows well in North American gardens also. There is the possibility of  this  lily going to seed soon after blooming, so if you want to keep the plant longer than a year you might want to cut the stems after they bloom.

Martagon Lily

The  Martagon lily  is also called the "Turk's Cap Lily". It has sword-shaped leaves on delicate stems. The flowers are large (5 inches) and generally have a maroon center with white to yellow petals. They grow best in full sun. These plants have poisonous sap, so gloves or tweezers should be used when handling them.

The bulbs are very easy to start from seed, so I would recommend that method of propagation. Plant the seeds right after the last frost and keep them moist until they sprout. They grow well in a variety of soils, but like well drained soil with some moisture. The flowers only last for 2 days, so you will want to plant them where they can be easily seen either in a garden bed or container.


Where can I buy Lilies?

You can buy lilies from your local greenhouses, or department stores may carry them. The most common types of outdoor lilies are called Asiatic and Oriental Lilies.

When do Lilies bloom?

Lily flowers will open in the afternoon sometime between 9 and 11 AM. You will need to check additional information on the type of lily you wish to grow for the specifics on each variety, but this is a very good average.

Are Lilies edible?

I'm not going to be responsible for any stomach aches after eating lily stems so I can't answer this one.  If you decide to give it a shot and eat the blades make sure they are from the outer part of the plant and away from any flowers.  I did a quick Google search and I couldn't find anywhere that recommended eating lily stems so you may have to do some more research on this one, or not eat them and stick to the lovely blooms.

How do you take care of Lily?

You will need to water your lily well and keep it in full sun, or at least sunny areas.  Lilies should be planted at least 6 inches below ground level, but no deeper than 18 inches.  Fertilize this plant in spring and fall using a fertilizer of your choice.

The best place to put Lily flowers is in an area where they will get partial shade, but not too much.  Lilies do ok in full sun but need some shade in the hotter months since they are more suited for cooler weather.

What color flower do Lilies have?

The most common lily flowers are white but there are a few that will grow with pink or red petals.  Check with local stores, or online to find out what the blooms look like before you buy your plants.

How often do Lilies bloom?

The Asiatic Lily species will bloom 2 or 3 times a year, but the Oriental Lilies may only bloom once in summer.  Check with your local greenhouses for more information if you're interested in growing the lily varieties that grow more than one time per year.


Lilies are often used in the garden to add height and color to an area.  You can mix them with other flowers or plant them on their own if you prefer a more isolated look with your blooms.

One way I like to use lilies is in large container planters, which is nice because they can be placed on decks and patios where I might not have room for flowers otherwise.

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