Growing Peruvian Lilies In Pots

Long-lasting summertime flowers make the Peruvian Lily a favorite with many gardeners. This South American native grows as a perennial in zones 7 through 10, so this plant is often grown as an annual in colder areas. Peruvian Lilies are also vigorous growers that can overtake an area. Many gardeners choose to grow Peruvian Lilies in pots to enjoy this plant as a perennial outside of its hardiness range and as a method of controlling its spread. Peruvian Lilies are suitable for planters and will thrive with proper care.


Planting Peruvian Lilies In Pots

Spring or fall is the ideal time to plant Peruvian Lilies in pots, but the tuberous roots can be planted at any time of the year. Position the pot in a spot that receives full sun, but consider an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade in hot climates. Two to three plants can grow in a 12-inch container. Any pot material is suitable for Peruvian Lily plants, but non-porous materials, like plastic, glazed ceramic, or metal, will dry out slowly. While this plant prefers damp growing conditions, the container must have drainage to prevent waterlogged soil. 

Best Soil For Peruvian Lilies In Pots

Plant Peruvian Lilies in rich soil that is slightly acidic, moist, and well drained. A regular potting mix is suitable and will support the plant without retaining too much moisture. Amend the soil with organic compost to create a fertile mix. Adding rocks to the bottom of the container is unnecessary as this can impede drainage.


Caring For Peruvian Lilies In Planters

Container-grown plants have similar care needs as those in the ground. The only difference in care is that potted plants need water and fertilizer more often. Potted plants can be moved, making it easy to find a spot with just the right light requirements to support the plant. Since container plants are less insulated than those planted in the ground, your potted Peruvian Lily may need extra protection in winter.

Watering Peruvian Lilies In Pots

Potted plants dry out more quickly since they have a limited amount of soil, and while Peruvian Lilies appreciate excellent drainage, they should not be allowed to dry out completely. Water Peruvian Lilies when the top inch of the soil is dry. Plan to water potted plants daily during a heat wave, although Peruvian Lilies may need less water if summer rain is common in your region. Try to water early in the day so the plants will be hydrated by the peak afternoon heat.


Fertilizing Peruvian Lilies In Pots

Peruvian Lilies are not heavy feeders, but they appreciate rich soil and routine fertilizer applications. Feeding the plants provides a balanced diet, encourages more growth, and keeps the flowers coming throughout the growing season. Container-grown plants need water more often, which leaches the nutritional value of the soil. Fertilize potted Peruvian Lilies using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer monthly during the growing season, starting in the spring. 

Winter Care For Peruvian Lilies in Pots

Peruvian Lilies grow as perennials in zones 7 through 10, and all of the growth dies back in the fall. In all zones, remove the vegetation when the foliage starts to fade. Leave the leaves for as long as possible so the plant will store energy for next spring. The pot containing the roots can be left outdoors in warm areas. In the Northern reaches of its growing range and where the plant grows as an annual, move the container to a protected area, like a basement, shed, or garage, to ward off the winter chill.

Growing Peruvian Lilies Indoors

Peruvian Lily plants have a dormant period during the winter. All of the growth dies in the fall, and new growth emerges in the spring. For this reason, these plants do not make good houseplants. Potted plants should be moved to a protected area during the winter, but Peruvian Lilies do not need water and or food during their dormancy. Come spring, give the pot a good soaking and bring it back outdoors to wake up your plants.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 01-26-2023