Oriental Lily ( Oriental Hybrid Lilies ) » Flower Duty (2023)

Oriental Lilies are also called Oriental Hybrid Lilies, these are true lilies and are one of the most popular cut flowers. If you love large flowers then the Oriental Lilies will not disappoint, oftentimes these will be the largest flowers in many flower gardens. They come in different shades of color and the best part about them is that they bloom for a long time, usually from summer until fall or the first frost.

Characteristics: Perennial Bulb
Hardiness Zone: Zone 3-9
Sun Requirements: Full Sun, Partial Shade
Water Requirements: Moderate
Drought Tolerant: No
Height And Spread: Height 3-7 feet ( 92cm-213cm ), Spread 5-8 inches ( 12cm-20cm )
Flowering Period: August-October
Planting: Easy
Staking: Yes
Deadheading: Yes
Propagation: Dividing Bulbs, Seeds
Self Seeder: Yes
Deer Resistance: No
Rabbit Resistance: No
Toxic: To Cats And Dogs
Pests: Red Lily Beetles
Diseases: Bulb Rot, Fungal, Gray Mold, Viruses
Indoor Care: Easy
Soil Type And PH: Clay, Sand, Loam, Acidic, Neutral
Invasive: No
Pots And Containers: Yes

Oriental Lilies in addition to making massive flowers also produce a fairly strong fragrance, some people love it while others find the fragrance overwhelming. If you want to use Oriental Lilies as cut flowers then make sure to remove the pollen as these will stain your clothes. Oriental Lilies go extremely well with shorter plants like the Winter Aconite for more information check out my recent article Winter Aconite ( Eranthis Hyemalis Zones 4-7 ).

Table of Contents


Oriental Lily Characteristics

Oriental Lilies are part of the Lilium family, they are perennial bulbs, which means that they will come back every year. If the soil and light conditions are ideal then they will reproduce rather fast. One Oriental Lily bulb can become a massive clump in a matter of years. A lot of people tend to associate them with funeral arrangements, but trust me once you see them growing in your garden you will change your mind.

Oriental Lily Hardiness Zones

Oriental Lilies are hardy between Zone 3 to 9, this means that they will come back every year. However, even if you are outside of these zones you can still grow them but as an annual plant. In this case, you have to dig up the bulbs and replant them in the spring.

Oriental Lily Sun Requirements

Oriental Lilies can be grown in full or partial sun, and in some parts of the country, you can even grow them in full shade. In the southern parts of the country, they will do well in partial to even full shade, although my suggestion is to grow them in partial shade to see how well they grow. In the northern parts of the country, you should grow them in full sun or in partial shade. If you want to know what happens when you place a full sun-loving plant into shade then check out my recent article Can Full Sun Plants Grow In Shade? ( Top 5 Outcomes ).

Oriental Lily Water Requirements

Oriental Lilies do not need any extra water than the other plants in your garden, although in full sun you will need to give them a little bit of extra water. Usually overwatering seems to be their major problem, as oftentimes the extra water can simply rot the lily bulbs.

Oriental Lily Drought Tolerance

Oriental Lilies do not tolerate extended periods of drought, especially if they grow in full sun. Once they start flowering they will need some extra water, if they don’t get enough water they might not flower or they will produce rather small flowers.

Oriental Lily Height And Spread

Oriental Lilies tend to grow rather tall between 3-7 feet ( 92cm-213cm ), they don’t tend to spread out a lot usually only between 5-8 inches ( 12cm-20cm ). Although its spread depends on the number of bulbs as each bulb will produce one stem.

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Oriental Lily Flowering Period

The flowering period of Oriental Lilies is between summer and fall, usually, between the months of August and October. In hotter climates, they will bloom a couple of weeks earlier, somewhere in mid-July.

Oriental Lily Planting

Oriental Lilies should be planted in the autumn around 5-6 weeks before your first frost date. This way the plant will come up in the spring a lot stronger than if you would have planted it in the spring. Make sure to measure your lily bulb, then dig a 3 times deeper hole than the height of the bulb. Place the bulb with the pointy side upwards as this is where the stem will grow out. Once you place the bulb into the hole make sure to twist it once into the ground just like you do with a light bulb then fill up the hole with compost or garden soil.

Oriental Lily Staking

If you do not want your Oriental Lilies to flop once they flower then you will need to stake them. Oriental Lilies tend to grow rather tall and once the massive flowers appear they tend to become top heavy. Ideally, you should stake them before they flop, once they are around 1 foot ( 30cm ) you should seriously consider staking them at that point.

Oriental Lily Deadheading

If you want your Oriental Lilies to produce a lot of flowers then you should deadhead the spent flowers. Simply pinch off the spent flowers and this way the plant will focus its energy on producing more flowers rather than producing seeds.

Oriental Lily Propagation

Generally speaking, Oriental Lilies are propagated by dividing the bulbs or by collecting seeds. Oriental Lilies tend to naturalize rather well in many areas, so even if you plant one bulb you will still end up with many more in a couple of years. You can dig up the bulbs to divide them in the fall, although you should definitely wait until you have a bigger clump of them.

Oriental Lily Self Seeding

Oriental Lilies can and will self-seed if the conditions are just right. Although Oriental Lilies are not aggressive self-seeders, occasionally you might see a plant or two popping up in an area where you didn’t plant it.

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Oriental Lily Deer Resistance

Oriental Lilies are considered to be somewhat deer resistant, although deer tend to ignore the actual plant but they might go for the flowers.

Oriental Lily Rabbit Resistance

Oriental Lilies are not rabbit resistant, rabbits will go after the stem of the plant and they tend to favor the young stems. If rabbits have been eating away at your flowers then it is a good chance that they will also eat your Lilies.

Oriental Lily Toxic

Oriental Lilies are extremely toxic to cats and dogs, so if your pets tend to dig up the bulbs and eat them then you should probably avoid this plant. The even worse news is that most bulbs tend to be toxic to pets and even to children.

Oriental Lily Pests

The most common pest of Oriental Lilies are the red lily beetles ( Lilioceris Lilii ) or more commonly known as the Scarlet lily beetle, and they can decimate the plant if you do not remove them. There are certain insecticides against red lily beetles but you can also manually remove them or spray the plant with a water and dish soap solution. Some plants can recover from slug damage but not all, for more information, check out my recent article Can Plants Recover From Slug And Snail Damage?.

Oriental Lily Diseases

Oriental Lilies are prone to a couple of diseases like gray mold, root rot, rust, and different viruses. The good news is that these are rather strong plants and as long as they are healthy they will be able to handle these diseases without any intervention from your part.

Oriental Lily Indoor Care

You can grow Oriental Lilies indoors, although they definitely prefer being planted in the garden. If you want to grow them indoors then make sure to place them next to a window that gets plenty of sun every day. Although Oriental Lilies will grow in shade as well, but they will struggle indoors if placed in the shade.

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Oriental Lily Soil Type And Ph

Oriental Lilies need a well-draining soil, this can be clay, loam, sand, or chalk. When it comes to PH it needs acid or neutral PH, in alkaline soil, it will struggle. If you have alkaline soil in your area then you should grow Oriental Lilies in pots.

Is The Oriental Lily Invasive?

No, Oriental Lilies are not invasive, although you definitely should check the list of invasive plants in your area before planting anything. Oriental Lilies tend to reproduce rather slowly, the bulbs will divide but this also takes a couple of years.

Can Oriental Lilies Be Grown In Pots And Containers?

Yes, Oriental Lilies can be grown in pots and containers, no matter if indoors or outside in the garden. Just make sure to give them some extra water as they tend to flop if they don’t have enough water.

Can I Grow Oriental Lilies In My State?

Oriental Lilies can be grown in every state, in Zones 3-9 they can be grown as perennial plants, and in areas outside these zones, they are considered annuals. If you are outside Zone 3-9 then dig the bulbs up in the autumn and simply replant them in the fall. If you do not know what is your hardiness zone then check your USDA Hardiness Zone.

StateHardiness ZoneCan I Grow It?
Alabama7a to 9aYes, In The Entire State
Alaska1a to 8bYes, In Zones 3-8
Arizona4b to 10bYes In Zones 4-9
Arkansas6b to 8aYes, In The Entire State
California5a to 11bYes, In Zones 5-9
Colorado3a to 7aYes, In The Entire State
Connecticut5b to 7aYes, In The Entire State
Delaware7a to 7bYes, In The Entire State
Florida8 to 11Yes, In Zomes 8-9
Georgia6a to 9aYes, In The Entire State
Hawaii9a to 13aYes, In Zone 9
Idaho3 to 7Yes, In The Entire State
Illinois5a to 7aYes, In The Entire State
Indiana5b to 6bYes, In The Entire State
Iowa4b to 5bYes, In The Entire State
Kansas5a to 6bYes, In The Entire State
Idaho1a to 8bYes, In Zones 3-8
Kentucky6a to 7aYes, In The Entire State
Louisiana8 to 9Yes, In The Entire State
Idaho1a to 8bYes, In Zones 3-8
Maine3 to 6Yes, In The Entire State
Maryland5b to 8aYes, In The Entire State
Massachusetts5a to 7bYes, In The Entire State
Michigan4a to 6bYes, In The Entire State
Minnesota3a to 5aYes, In The Entire State
Mississippi7b to 9aYes, In The Entire State
Missouri5b to 7aYes, In The Entire State
Montana3a to 6aYes, In The Entire State
Nebraska4b to 5bYes, In The Entire State
Nevada4a to 10aYes, In Zones 4-9
New Hampshire3b to 6aYes, In The Entire State
New Jersey6a to 7bYes, In The Entire State
New Mexico4 to 9Yes, In The Entire State
New York3b to 7bYes, In The Entire State
North Carolina5b to 8bYes, In The Entire State
North Dakota2b to 6aYes, In The Entire State
Ohio5b to 6bYes, In The Entire State
Oklahoma6a to 8aYes, In The Entire State
Oregon4b to 9bYes, In The Entire State
Pennsylvania5b to 7aYes, In The Entire State
Rhode Island5b to 7aYes, In The Entire State
South Carolina7a to 9aYes, In The Entire State
South Dakota3b to 5bYes, In The Entire State
Tennessee5b to 8aYes, In The Entire State
Texas6a to 9bYes, In The Entire State
Utah4a to 9aYes, In The Entire State
Vermont3b to 5bYes, In The Entire State
Virginia5a to 8aYes, In The Entire State
Washington4a to 9aYes, In The Entire State
West Virginia5a to 7aYes, In The Entire State
Wisconsin3b to 5bYes, In The Entire State
Wyoming2a to 5bYes, In Zones 3-5

In Conclusion

Every flower garden should have a couple of Oriental Lilies, they are tall plants with massive flowers and a relatively long flowering period. Although you can grow them almost everywhere you have to make sure that the soil is not alkaline as they will really struggle in alkaline soil.


Do Oriental lilies come back every year?

Yes, Oriental Lilies do come back every year, as they are perennial plants. Oriental lilies will also survive if the winters get below freezing, although they do love a well draining soil.

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Is the Oriental lily an indoor plant?

The Oriental lily can be grown both indoors and in the garden as well. They will grow fairly well indoors but if you really want the bulbs to get as big as possible then grow them in the garden.

How long do Oriental lily plants last?

Oriental lily plants last for 2-3 weeks when they are flowering, if you cut them off and place them in a vase then the flowers will last for around 2 weeks. The bigger the lily bulbs are the bigger flowers they can actually grow.


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