Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Step-by-Step Guide on Growing Lily from Seeds Lilies are beautiful and elegant flowers that can add a touch of sophistication to any garden. While many gardeners prefer to grow lilies from bulbs, growing them from …

Step-by-Step Guide on Growing Lily from Seeds

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Lilies are beautiful and elegant flowers that can add a touch of sophistication to any garden. While many gardeners prefer to grow lilies from bulbs, growing them from seeds can be a rewarding and exciting experience. Not only does it give you the opportunity to select from a wider variety of lily species, but it also allows you to witness the entire growth process from start to finish.

Before you begin, it’s important to note that growing lilies from seeds requires patience and dedication. It can take several years for the seeds to grow into mature plants that produce flowers. However, with the right techniques and care, you can successfully grow lilies from seeds and enjoy the beauty of these stunning flowers in your garden.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of growing lilies from seeds:

  1. Collecting the seeds: The first step in growing lilies from seeds is to collect the seeds. You can either purchase lily seeds from a reputable seed supplier or collect them from mature lily plants in your garden. If you choose to collect the seeds, make sure to wait until the seed pods have turned brown and are starting to split open. This indicates that the seeds are mature and ready for harvesting.
  2. Preparing the soil: Lilies prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Before sowing the seeds, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. You can also add compost or well-rotted manure to improve the soil’s fertility.
  3. Sowing the seeds: Once the soil is prepared, it’s time to sow the lily seeds. Make small holes in the soil, about 1 inch deep, and place the seeds inside. Cover the seeds with soil and gently press it down to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
  4. Providing the right conditions: Lilies require a cool and moist environment to germinate. After sowing the seeds, water the soil thoroughly and cover it with a layer of mulch to retain moisture. Place the pots or trays in a cool location, such as a greenhouse or a shaded area of your garden.
  5. Caring for the seedlings: Once the seeds have germinated and the seedlings have emerged, it’s important to provide them with proper care. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, and provide them with bright, indirect sunlight. As the seedlings grow, you may need to transplant them into larger pots or containers to allow for their root development.

By following these steps and providing the right care, you can successfully grow lilies from seeds and enjoy the beauty of these exquisite flowers in your garden. Remember to be patient and enjoy the journey as you watch your lily seeds transform into stunning plants.

Choosing the Seeds

When it comes to growing lilies from seeds, choosing the right seeds is crucial for success. Here are some tips to help you select the best lily seeds:

1. Choose a reputable supplier: Look for a trusted supplier that specializes in lily seeds. They should have a good reputation and provide high-quality seeds.

2. Consider the variety: Lilies come in various colors, sizes, and shapes. Decide on the type of lily you want to grow and choose seeds accordingly. Some popular varieties include Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies, and Trumpet lilies.

3. Check the seed quality: Examine the seeds for any signs of damage, mold, or discoloration. Healthy lily seeds should be plump, firm, and have a uniform color.

4. Check the seed viability: Lily seeds have a limited shelf life, so it’s important to choose fresh seeds. Look for seeds that have been harvested recently to ensure higher germination rates.

5. Consider the growing conditions: Different lily varieties have different growing requirements. Consider factors such as sunlight, soil type, and climate when choosing seeds. Make sure the seeds you select are suitable for your growing conditions.

By carefully choosing the right lily seeds, you can increase your chances of successfully growing beautiful lilies in your garden. Take your time to research and select the best seeds for your needs, and soon you’ll be enjoying the vibrant blooms of your own lily plants.

Preparing the Soil

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Before planting lily seeds, it is important to prepare the soil properly. This will provide a favorable environment for the seeds to germinate and grow into healthy plants. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Choose the right location

Select a location in your garden that receives full sunlight or partial shade. Lilies thrive in well-draining soil, so avoid areas with poor drainage.

2. Clear the area

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Remove any weeds, rocks, or debris from the planting area. This will prevent competition for nutrients and ensure the lilies have enough space to grow.

3. Loosen the soil

Using a garden fork or tiller, loosen the soil to a depth of about 12 inches. This will improve drainage and allow the lily roots to penetrate easily.

4. Amend the soil

If your soil is heavy or clayey, add organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. This will improve the soil structure and provide essential nutrients for the lilies.

5. Test the soil pH

It is recommended to test the soil pH before planting lilies. They prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. Adjust the pH if necessary using lime or sulfur.

By following these steps, you will create an ideal growing environment for your lily seeds. This will increase their chances of germination and ensure healthy growth.

Sowing the Seeds

When it comes to growing lilies from seeds, the first step is to sow the seeds in a suitable growing medium. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sow lily seeds:

1. Prepare the Growing Medium

Start by preparing a well-draining growing medium for your lily seeds. You can use a mixture of equal parts peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. This will provide the necessary nutrients and moisture retention for the seeds to germinate.

2. Sow the Seeds

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Take a shallow tray or a seed tray and fill it with the prepared growing medium. Make sure the tray has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Sprinkle the lily seeds evenly on the surface of the growing medium. Do not bury the seeds as they require light to germinate.

3. Cover the Seeds

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

After sowing the seeds, gently press them into the surface of the growing medium using your fingertips. Then, cover the tray with a clear plastic lid or a plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse effect. This will help retain moisture and create a warm environment for germination.

4. Provide Optimal Conditions

Place the tray in a warm and well-lit area, but away from direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for lily seed germination is around 70 to 75°F (21 to 24°C). Keep the growing medium consistently moist, but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to rotting.

5. Monitor and Transplant

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Check the tray regularly for any signs of germination. It may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the lily seeds to sprout. Once the seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots or containers with well-draining soil.

By following these steps, you can successfully sow lily seeds and start your journey to growing beautiful lilies from scratch. Remember to be patient and provide the necessary care for your seedlings to thrive.

Tip: Label your tray with the date of sowing and the lily variety to keep track of your seeds.

Providing the Right Conditions

In order to successfully grow lilies from seeds, it is important to provide the right conditions for germination and growth. Here are some key factors to consider:

Temperature: Lilies prefer a cool environment, so it is recommended to keep the seeds at a temperature of around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit (18-21 degrees Celsius). Avoid exposing them to extreme heat or cold.

Light: Lilies require plenty of sunlight to grow and thrive. Place the seed trays in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you are growing them indoors, consider using grow lights to provide the necessary light intensity.

Moisture: Lily seeds need to be kept consistently moist for successful germination. Water the seeds regularly, but avoid overwatering as it can lead to rotting. Use a spray bottle or misting system to keep the soil evenly moist.

Soil: Use a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite works well for lily seeds. Make sure the soil is loose and crumbly, allowing for proper root development.

Container: Choose a container that is deep enough to accommodate the long roots of lily plants. A seed tray or individual pots can be used, as long as they have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Patience: Growing lilies from seeds can be a time-consuming process. It may take several weeks or even months for the seeds to germinate and develop into healthy plants. Be patient and provide consistent care to ensure successful growth.

By providing the right conditions of temperature, light, moisture, soil, and patience, you can increase the chances of successfully growing lilies from seeds. With proper care, you will soon be rewarded with beautiful and vibrant lily plants in your garden.


Germination is the process by which a seed grows into a new plant. To germinate lily seeds, you will need to create the right conditions for the seeds to sprout and grow. Here are the steps to successfully germinate lily seeds:

Step 1: Prepare a seed-starting mix by combining equal parts of peat moss and perlite. This mixture provides a well-draining medium for the seeds.
Step 2: Moisten the seed-starting mix with water until it is evenly damp. Avoid making it too wet, as excess moisture can lead to rotting of the seeds.
Step 3: Fill a seed tray or small pots with the moistened seed-starting mix.
Step 4: Place the lily seeds on top of the seed-starting mix, spacing them evenly apart. Gently press the seeds into the mix, but do not bury them too deep.
Step 5: Cover the seed tray or pots with a plastic dome or plastic wrap to create a greenhouse-like environment. This helps to retain moisture and maintain a consistent temperature.
Step 6: Place the seed tray or pots in a warm location with indirect sunlight. The ideal temperature for lily seed germination is around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius).
Step 7: Check the moisture level of the seed-starting mix regularly and mist it with water if it becomes dry. Avoid overwatering, as it can cause fungal diseases.
Step 8: After a few weeks, you should start to see the lily seeds germinating and sprouting. Once the seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves, you can transplant them into individual pots.

Germination can be a slow process, so be patient and provide the necessary care and attention to ensure successful seedling development. With proper germination, you can enjoy the beauty of lilies grown from seeds.

Transplanting the Seedlings

Once the lily seedlings have grown to a height of 2-3 inches and have developed a few sets of true leaves, it is time to transplant them into individual pots or containers. Transplanting the seedlings allows them to have more space to grow and develop strong root systems.

Here are the steps to transplant the lily seedlings:

  1. Prepare the pots or containers by filling them with a well-draining potting mix. Make sure the pots have drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging.
  2. Gently remove the seedlings from the seed tray or container, being careful not to damage the delicate roots.
  3. Make a small hole in the potting mix of each individual pot, using your finger or a small tool.
  4. Place one seedling in each hole, making sure the roots are spread out and covered with soil.
  5. Press the soil gently around the base of the seedling to secure it in place.
  6. Water the newly transplanted seedlings thoroughly, ensuring that the soil is evenly moist.
  7. Place the pots or containers in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
  8. Continue to water the seedlings regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy.
  9. Monitor the seedlings for any signs of pests or diseases, and take appropriate action if necessary.
  10. After a few weeks, when the seedlings have grown stronger and developed a more extensive root system, they can be transplanted into larger pots or directly into the garden.

Transplanting the lily seedlings at the right time and providing them with proper care will help ensure their healthy growth and increase the chances of them blooming into beautiful lily plants.

Watering and Fertilizing

Proper watering and fertilizing are essential for the successful growth of lilies from seeds. Here are some guidelines to follow:


1. Lilies require consistent moisture, so it is important to keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.

2. Water the lilies deeply, ensuring that the water reaches the root zone. Shallow watering may result in shallow root growth.

3. Water the plants in the morning or evening to minimize evaporation and allow the foliage to dry before nightfall. Wet foliage can promote the development of diseases.


1. Start fertilizing the lilies when they have developed their second set of true leaves. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength.

2. Apply the fertilizer according to the package instructions, taking care not to over-fertilize. Too much fertilizer can burn the roots and damage the plants.

3. Repeat the fertilization every 4-6 weeks during the growing season to provide the lilies with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

By following these watering and fertilizing guidelines, you can ensure that your lilies receive the proper care and nutrition they need to thrive and produce beautiful blooms.

Providing Support

As lily plants grow, they may require support to prevent them from falling over or bending under the weight of their blooms. Providing support for your lilies is essential to ensure they grow upright and maintain their beautiful appearance. Here are some tips on how to provide the necessary support for your lily plants:

1. Staking

Staking is a common method used to provide support for lily plants. To stake your lilies, insert a sturdy stake into the ground near the base of the plant. Make sure the stake is tall enough to reach the desired height of the lily, usually around 2-3 feet. Gently tie the stem of the lily to the stake using soft twine or plant ties. Be careful not to tie the stem too tightly, as this can restrict growth and cause damage.

2. Caging

Another option for providing support is to use a cage around the lily plant. This method is especially useful for taller varieties of lilies that may require additional support. Place a wire cage around the lily, ensuring that it is wide enough to accommodate the plant’s growth. As the lily grows, gently guide the stems through the openings in the cage to keep them upright. This will help prevent the stems from bending or breaking.

Tip: When staking or caging your lilies, it’s important to do so early in the growing season, preferably when the plants are still small. This will allow them to grow alongside the support structure and adapt to it as they mature.

By providing the necessary support for your lily plants, you can ensure that they grow tall and strong, showcasing their beautiful blooms without any damage or bending. Remember to regularly check the ties or cages to make sure they are not too tight or causing any harm to the plant. With proper support, your lilies will thrive and add a touch of elegance to your garden.

Protecting from Pests and Diseases

When growing lilies from seeds, it’s important to protect them from pests and diseases to ensure healthy growth and blooming. Here are some tips to help you keep your lilies safe:

1. Choose a Healthy Planting Location

Start by selecting a planting location that provides good air circulation and plenty of sunlight. This will help prevent the development of fungal diseases and discourage pests from infesting your lilies.

2. Practice Good Hygiene

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Keep your gardening tools clean and disinfected to avoid spreading diseases between plants. Remove any dead or decaying plant material from the area around your lilies to prevent the buildup of pests and diseases.

3. Monitor for Pests

Regularly inspect your lilies for signs of pests such as aphids, slugs, snails, and lily beetles. If you notice any pests, take immediate action to control them. You can manually remove them or use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap.

4. Prevent Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases like botrytis blight and powdery mildew can affect lilies. To prevent these diseases, avoid overhead watering and provide good air circulation around your plants. If necessary, apply a fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Mulch and Weed Control

Apply a layer of organic mulch around your lilies to suppress weed growth and retain moisture in the soil. Weeds can attract pests and compete with your lilies for nutrients. Regularly remove any weeds that appear near your lilies.

By following these tips, you can protect your lilies from pests and diseases, ensuring their healthy growth and beautiful blooms.


Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Pruning is an important step in growing lilies from seeds. It helps promote healthy growth and encourages the plant to produce more flowers. Here are some tips on how to prune your lily plants:

When to prune Pruning should be done in early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge. This is usually around March or April, depending on your climate.
Why prune Pruning helps remove dead or damaged foliage, improves air circulation, and prevents the spread of diseases. It also encourages the plant to focus its energy on producing flowers.
How to prune Start by removing any dead or yellowing leaves at the base of the plant. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts. Cut the stems back to about 6-8 inches above the ground.
Pruning after flowering After your lilies have finished flowering, you can prune the stems back to the ground. This helps prevent the plant from wasting energy on seed production and encourages the development of stronger bulbs.
Disinfecting tools It’s important to disinfect your pruning tools between cuts to prevent the spread of diseases. You can use rubbing alcohol or a mixture of bleach and water to clean your tools.

By following these pruning tips, you can help ensure the health and beauty of your lily plants. Remember to always use clean and sharp tools, and to prune at the appropriate time for optimal results.

Winter Care

During the winter months, it is important to provide proper care for your lily plants to ensure their survival and growth. Here are some tips for winter care:

  • Protect your lily plants from frost by covering them with a layer of mulch or straw. This will help insulate the plants and protect them from freezing temperatures.
  • Water your lily plants sparingly during the winter. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is important to let the soil dry out between waterings.
  • Keep your lily plants in a cool location during the winter. They prefer temperatures between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit (4-10 degrees Celsius).
  • Monitor your lily plants for signs of pests or diseases. If you notice any issues, take appropriate action to treat them before they spread.
  • Prune any dead or damaged foliage from your lily plants during the winter. This will help promote new growth in the spring.
  • Consider using a frost cloth or protective cover to shield your lily plants from harsh winter winds.
  • Continue to monitor the moisture levels of the soil throughout the winter. If the soil becomes too dry, give your lily plants a light watering.
  • Avoid fertilizing your lily plants during the winter months. They are dormant during this time and do not require additional nutrients.

By following these winter care tips, you can help ensure the health and vitality of your lily plants, setting them up for success in the coming growing season.

Harvesting Seeds

Once your lilies have bloomed and the flowers have started to fade, it’s time to start thinking about harvesting the seeds. Harvesting lily seeds is a relatively simple process that can be done in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Wait for the Seed Pods to Ripen

The first step in harvesting lily seeds is to wait for the seed pods to ripen. The seed pods will start to turn brown and dry out when they are ready to be harvested. It’s important to wait until the pods are fully ripe to ensure that the seeds are mature and viable.

Step 2: Cut the Seed Pods

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Lily from Seeds

Once the seed pods have ripened, use a pair of clean, sharp scissors to cut them from the plant. Make sure to cut the pods close to the stem to avoid damaging the seeds inside. Place the cut seed pods in a clean container or envelope to collect the seeds.

Step 3: Dry and Store the Seeds

After harvesting the seed pods, it’s important to dry the seeds before storing them. Spread the seeds out in a single layer on a clean, dry surface and allow them to air dry for a few days. Once the seeds are completely dry, store them in a cool, dry place in a labeled envelope or container.

It’s important to note that lily seeds can take several years to germinate, so patience is key. However, with proper care and storage, you can increase the chances of successful germination when you’re ready to plant your lily seeds.

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