All About Lilies

All About Lilies

Table of Contents

A flower so beautiful it is said that Venus, the Greek goddess of love, was riddled with an envy so intense she caused the pistil to grow from its heart, lilies remain the perfect floral gift to express everything from profound sympathy in grief to deep and eternal love in marriage.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about looking after lilies at home, so you can get the most from these sensuous and fragrant delights that turn any floral arrangement from ordinary to extraordinary.

How long do lilies last in a vase?

As a general rule, most cut lilies last for ten to 14 days before beginning to droop and brown. When cared for properly, lilies are one of thelonger lasting flowers, staying perky and luscious for over two weeks.

However, what determines how long these beautiful blooms can last is really the amount of care and love they are shown, particularly when first cut. Let’s go through the important steps for optimum lily care that will see your bouquet staying fresh and fragrant for as long as possible.

How to arrange lilies in a vase?

As very thirsty flowers, lilies need to be kept in water at all times and so making sure you put them in a clean vase filled with water as soon as possible is crucial.

Due to the long stems and showy blooms, tall vases with narrow mouths are usually the best vases for lilies, accentuating their size and supporting the heavy blooms to prevent drooping. Read this easy guide for tips on how to clean your vase properly for proper flower care.

Fill this vase with room-temperature water adding your flower preservative of choice. Meanwhile, have your lily stems soaking in water. Keep the stems submerged as you cut one to two inches off the bottom of each one with a clean, sharp knife, ensuring that each one is at a 45-degree angle to give more surface area for the flower to absorb water.

Finally, strip any leaves that will be underwater in the vase from the lily stalks as these generate bacteria and cause the flowers to rot faster. It’s important to keep a few sets of leaves above the water line too, as these provide needed nutrition to any buds yet to open on the stems.

How to care for lilies?

Looking after lilies is much like looking after any other bouquet of fresh cut flowers. Read our guide on how best to care for your arrangements and make them last longer here.

However, the biggest secret to caring for lilies is ensuring they always have access to clean and fresh water. Be sure to check the water level and cleanliness every two days. If the level has dropped and/or is beginning to turn murky, make sure to empty, clean, and refill the vase with more fresh, room-temperature water. You can also add some more flower food for an extra nutrition hit.

Continue this process accordingly, removing any dead or fading lily flowers and leaves as you go. It’s also a good idea to keep trimming the stems at a 45-degree angle to ensure each lily has full access to water that hasn’t become clogged by bacteria.

How to keep lilies alive longer?

Leaving your lilies in the fridge overnight is a great way to keep your flowers fresher for longer. Clean water, cool but well-lit environments, and putting your vase far away from fresh fruit that expedites decay are all simple steps you can take to keep your flowers fresh for longer.

One additional way to get more from your lilies is to remove the pollen from the center of each flower. Not only does pollen speed up lilies’ decay, it alsotriggers allergies, stains clothing and petals, and is toxic to animals – particularly cats – and humans so it’s a good idea to remove it for many reasons!

You can remove the pollen by either clipping the anthers with a scissors or gently pulling it out, removing any residual dust with a pipe cleaner or similar.

How long does it take for lilies to open?

Lilies are harvested before their buds have opened to prolong their freshness as cut flowers.

You can expect mature buds to open within a few days, while smaller buds will continue to grow and then bloom over the course of a week or even two. That’s why having clean water for lily bouquets is so important, to nourish and feed these young buds.

How to make lilies open faster

However, if you have a special event coming up that requires your lilies to bloom sooner, there’s a couple of tricks you can try to speed up their opening.

Put your lilies in warm water, adding two tablespoons of sugar per quart into your vase. Cover your lilies with a loose – and clean – plastic bag, tying the bag around the vase to create a greenhouse effect that will humidify the air around the lilies and stimulate bud openings.

Leave the vase in a warm spot out of direct sunlight for 24 hours. The stalks shouldn’t remain in the sugar water for more than a day so, if you find some buds still need to open, you can empty, clean, and refill the vase with warm water, before replacing the bag and leaving for another day.

Keep checking on your bouquet until you’ve achieved a full and luscious display of blooming trumpets.

Where to find the best lily flower bouquets

Now you know how easy it is to look after these flowers for weeks of fragrant and show-stopping beauty, all that’s left is to treat yourself to a loved one to a bouquet. For once-off and affordable delivery options of some of the most beautiful lily arrangements, it’s got to be the experts at 1800 Flowers, SendFlowers or FromYouFlowers.

Or if you’re looking for a subscription service to satisfy your lily love with weekly or monthly deliveries, try MonthlyClubs, BloomsyBox, or EnjoyFlowers for premium and even DIY options.

Finally, for a longer lasting lily experience, why not buy a potted peace lily to enjoy the same elegance of a bouquet with the added bonus of mood-boosting and air-purifying foliage? has some beautiful options and we’ve even got an easy care guide to help you maintain and grow this plant – it truly couldn’t be easier!

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