Fertilizing Lilies

Lilium is a genus of flowering plants that includes a variety of popular garden plants, more commonly known as lilies. It is important to fertilize lilies to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients for proper growth and health. However, if the lily is native to your area, it may be adapted to the local soil conditions and may not need fertilization. In this case, avoid over-fertilizing and potentially damaging the plant.  

A mature, established lily plant may need less fertilization than a newly planted young lily. Therefore, it is important to monitor the plant's growth rate and overall health to determine fertilization needs. If the plant appears healthy and grows satisfactorily, it may not need additional fertilization. However, fertilization may be necessary to boost its growth if the plant struggles.


How to Fertilize Lilies

The roots absorb the nutrients from the soil, so applying the fertilizer to the root zone is important. To determine the specific nutrient needs of your lily plant, perform a soil test to identify any deficiencies. Lilies prefer soil that is slightly alkaline or neutral. Once the soil test is complete and you understand the plant's nutrient needs, choose an appropriate fertilizer to address them.  

Following the recommended feeding schedule for the specific fertilizer you choose is important to avoid over- or under-fertilizing the plant. Over-watering or under-watering can also affect the plant's ability to absorb nutrients, so monitor the soil moisture and adjust watering as needed. 

Additionally, it is important to avoid fertilizer burn, which can occur if too much fertilizer is applied or the plant cannot absorb the nutrients. To avoid fertilizer burn, always follow the recommended application rates and avoid applying the fertilizer directly to the plant's foliage.


Best Time To Fertilize Lilies

Lilies benefit from fertilization in the spring as they begin to actively grow. Depending on the specific needs of your lily plant and the type of fertilizer, you may need to fertilize more than once per year. For example, if you are using a water-soluble fertilizer, it may need to be applied every few weeks during the growing season. However, a slow-release fertilizer may only need to be applied once per year. It is always best to consult with a professional or research the specific needs of your lily plant to determine the best fertilization schedule.


Best Fertilizer For Lilies

A balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 is a good choice for lilies; this provides a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to promote overall plant health and growth. However, it is important to note that the specific NPK ratio may vary depending on the growth stage and the plant's particular needs. For example, a fertilizer with a higher phosphorus ratio may promote flower development. In comparison, a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen ratio may be better for promoting leaf growth. Miracle Grow is alright as a fertilizer if it maintains the 10-10-10 ratio of nutrients. 

Lilly Fertilizing Tips

  • Choose a fertilizer that contains a balanced mix of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
  • Follow the recommended application rates and frequency for the specific fertilizer you use.
  • Water the plants well after applying the fertilizer to help the nutrients reach the roots.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing or applying the fertilizer directly to the plant's foliage to avoid fertilizer burn.


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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