Pruning Peruvian Lilies

Peruvian Lilies are flowering plants that feature tall stems and lush foliage. Plants stand 1 to 3 feet tall, depending on the variety. This is a fast-growing plant that can quickly overtake a garden bed. The plants can be thinned out to encourage younger plants to thrive, or they can be pruned to control or limit their spread. Peruvian Lily plants only require a little pruning, but knowing when and where to trim the plants can maintain the colony and keep the plants coming back strong each spring.


When to Prune Peruvian Lily

Cut back underperforming and overgrown Peruvian Lilies during the growing season. Grab the stem to gently pull the plant from the ground or use shears to trim the foliage and stem at the ground level, being careful not to remove other plants. You can also cut back leggy plants to create a more dense and full-looking plant.

Peruvian Lily plants typically die back in the winter. All of the vegetation can be cut back to the ground level in the fall. Wait until the plant starts to decline to remove the growth. Leaving the foliage in place for as long as possible allows the plant to store energy for the next growing season. New greenery will emerge in the spring.

Why Prune Peruvian Lily

Pruning overgrown Peruvian Lilies allows other nearby plants to thrive. This plant can spread and overtake a garden bed, and as the plants become cramped, older Peruvian Lilies may fail to thrive and bloom. Removing these plants will provide more space for younger plants to fill in. Thinning the bed also creates healthier plants that are not competing with one another for resources. Crowded plants can be divided during the fall or spring, while pruning is an option during the growing season. 

Some gardeners cut back spent flowers to prevent Peruvian Lilies from setting seeds. This plant spreads quickly via its tuberous roots, and allowing it to self-seed can mean that even more plants will pop up the following spring.


How to Prune Peruvian Lily

Step 1 - Inspect the plants and look for underperforming plants.

Plants that are not blooming, have limited flowers, or appear to be smaller and struggling are good candidates to remove.

Step 2 - Use clean shears to trim the greenery at the base.

Remove the plant at the ground level, being careful not to damage other plants.

Step 3 - Remove spent flowers.

Cut back flowers when they fade to maintain a clean appearance and prevent the plant from self-seeding.

Step 4 - Cut back all growth in the fall after the plant starts to decline.

Peruvian Lilies grow in zones 7 through 10 and will die in the fall. Leave the greenery in place for as long as possible so the plant can store energy for the next growing season. Remove the vegetation at the ground level using clean shears.

Peruvian Lily Pruning Tips

  • Remove dead or damaged growth as needed
  • Thin overgrown beds during the growing season by removing underperforming plants
  • Remove spent flowers to prevent the plant from setting seed
  • Cut back all growth in the fall after the plant starts to decline


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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 01-26-2023