Pruning Lilies

Pruning lilies is an integral part of maintaining their health and appearance. By removing dead and damaged foliage, you will encourage new growth and improve the overall look of the plant. When pruning lilies, focus on the old growth, as this is where new blooms will emerge. Cut back the old stems to just above the new growth. It is also a good idea to deadhead, or remove spent flowers, to encourage new blooms. In addition to pruning for appearance, lilies may also need maintenance pruning to keep them from getting too large or overgrown. Cut the plant back to the ground or trim it to the desired size. Use clean, sharp pruning shears, and be careful not to damage the plant when pruning. Following these guidelines, you can adequately prune your lilies and keep them looking their best.


When to Prune Lilies

The best time to prune lilies is after they have finished blooming; this allows the plant to focus on producing new growth and blooms for the next season. Pruning lilies once a year is generally sufficient, but you may need to do another cleanup in the fall or early spring to remove spent foliage. Wait until the foliage has completely turned brown and limp, and then cut all top growth to the ground. Pruning lilies early in the season can prevent the plant from producing blooms. 

You can also deadhead the plant to encourage new blooms after it has finished blooming. Trimming or pinching the plant may also be necessary to keep it looking its best. Be careful when pruning lilies, as cutting too much or at the wrong time can harm the plant. 


Why Prune Lilies

Deadheading can help promote more blooms and keep the plant looking its best. Pruning can also help rejuvenate the plant, removing dead or damaged foliage and promoting healthy growth. By pruning your lilies, you can encourage flowering and promote sturdy flowering stems. Pruning can also improve air circulation and reduce the risk of disease, as it helps to remove old growth that can harbor disease. Pruning is also vital for lilies grown in pots, as it can encourage new growth and prepare the plant for dormancy. By pruning your lilies regularly, you can help them grow, flourish, and enjoy more blooms.


How to Prune Lilies

Step 1 - Gather your tools

To prune lilies, you will need a pair of clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors. Use clean, sharp tools to avoid damaging the plant and promote healthy growth.

Step 2 - Cut back the old stems

Cut the old stems to just above the new growth using your pruning shears. Be sure to make clean, precise cuts to avoid damaging the plant. You can also deadhead to encourage new blooms.

Step 3 - Remove dead, damaged, or diseased foliage

At the end of the growing season, remove all spent foliage to prepare your plant for dormancy. Use your pruning shears to carefully cut off the top growth. If removing diseased foliage, such as botrytis blight, dip your pruning tool in a diluted mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water in between cuts to mitigate any potential spreading of disease. 

Lily Pruning Tips

  • Use clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors to avoid damaging the plant
  • Deadhead to encourage new blooms
  • Remove all spent growth in the fall
  • Remove any damaged or diseased foliage to help prevent the spread of disease
  • Avoid pruning any green growth, as this can prevent the bulb from storing energy for the following year

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