Asiatic Lily: Easy to grow plants with charismatic flowers

Asiatic Lily: Easy to grow plants with charismatic flowers
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Image by Jan Haerer from Pixabay

Asiatic lily plants are grown for their attractive large flowers which come in a range of colors and also leaves a pleasant smell. The large flowers are exotic and are used in decorations. The plants are easy to maintain when grown in optimum conditions and requires very little care. It is a great addition to the garden if the climatic conditions are not extreme.

Quick Details of Asiatic Lily

Other Common NamesAsiatic lily
TypePerennial herbaceous flowering outdoor plant
FloweringEarly Summers
LightBright direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day
WaterRegular water to maintain the moisture in the soil.
TemperatureCold to normal conditions
SoilWell draining slightly acidic nutrient rich soil
FertilizerOrganic compost, Potassium rich fertilizer
HabitatCold temperate region
ToxicityThese plants are mainly poisonous to cats and can be fatal.
Common DiseasesGray mold, Bulb rot, Aphids, Scales, Snails
Scientific nameLilium asiatica

Asiatic Lilies Buying Instructions

  • Normally Asiatic lily is grown from the bulbs but you can purchase plants also from nursery.
  • Buy a healthy plant without any damaged leaves.
  • There are multiple colors of Asiatic lily so buy a plant or your choice.
  • Prefer to buy multiple color flowering plant to add more beauty to your garden.

Overview of Asiatic Lily

These are perennial herbaceous flowering plants belonging to the family Lilium and are native to the cool temperate regions. The plants can grow up to a height of 3-8 feet and are said to be the shortest lily species. These plants are grown for their large showy and attractive flowers. The plants are grown from the bulbs which are mostly planted during late winters.

Asiatic lily leaves are dark green, glossy and oval shaped. The flowers are funnel shaped with 6 tepals, free and carry nectory on their base. The flowers can also have different patterns of darker shades. They are borne in umbels or racemes at the axil of the stem and can be of different colors like white, yellow, pink, orange, purple and red. They release a slight, pleasant soothing smell.

Usage and Advantage of Asiatic Lilies

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.
  • The flowers are used in decoration.

General Care for Asiatic Lilies


They prefer a well draining nutrient rich soil. Most of the varieties prefer slightly acidic to neutral pH soil. Add well composted organic matter to the soil to increase aeration. If preparing the soil at home add peat moss or straw to increase drainage.


They prefer their soil to be moist. Water the plants regularly during dry climatic conditions. During rainy season make sure the soil is starting to dry before watering them. Avoid over watering or underwatering.


They prefer bright direct sunlight or partial shade to thrive. A continuous supply of bright direct sunlight for 6-8 hours a days helps them to grow and mature into a healthy plant. Insufficient sunlight can cause the stems to become spindly.


They prefer a cool to normal climatic conditions without harsh summers or very cold winters. The plants thrive best in normal humidity.

Special Care for Asiatic Lily

Bury the bulbs at least 12- 18 cm deep to promote formation of stronger stems. Mulch the soil with an organic compost to maintain moisture in the soil and to prevent spread of any soil borne pathogens. Do not cut back the dried leaves as it can provide nutrition to the bulb. Deadhead the flowers as soon as they start to wilt.


Add organic compost to the soil while planting the bulbs. A slow release fertilizer can be added while the plants start to grow. A potassium rich fertilizer can also be added to the plants before the plants starts to flower.

Pests and other problems for Asiatic Lilies

These plants can be prone to infections and pests of they are not provided with proper air circulation and enough amount of sunlight. The bulbs can rot if the soil is soggy for a long period. Make sure to provide enough aeration to the plants and also provide them with brought direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day to prevent any kind of infection or pest. Avoid over head watering and overwatering of the plants.

Some of the common diseases seen in lilies are:

Gray mold

The infected leaves develop spots that look like water soaked lesions. These spots further develop and turn onto gray spots which spreads throughout the leaf causing it to wilt and die. They can spread fast and easily. Use a mild fungicide on the first sight of infection. Remove the infected part as soon as possible.

Bulb rot

This happens mostly when there is excess water in the soil. The bulb starts to turn brown and becomes soggy. This causes the plant to wilt and die. Avoid overwatering the plant. Use the correct potting mix which helps retain enough moisture but provides proper drainage to get rid of the excess water.


Some of the common pests seen to attack Asiatic lilies are red lily beetle, slugs, snails, aphids. In case of pest attack, either manually remove the pests or use a pesticides or insecticide. Neem oil can also be sprayed to get rid of the pests. The aphids have an ability to spread viruses that can further infect the plant causing infections. In such cases, get rid of the whole plant.

Propagation of Asiatic Lilies

They can be propagated through bulbs or though division of the bulbs.

Collect the fresh bulbs and plant them 12-18 inches deep into the soil. The depth of the hole should be at least thrice that of the size of the bulb. Make sure to place the pointy side facing towards the top. Fill the hole and water it thoroughly. The planting of the bulbs can be done late winter or when the temperature starts to come down.

They can also be propagated through division. The plants can be divided after 3 or 4 years. Divide the plants during the spring as the new growth can be seen during this period. Divide the clumps of bulb and plant them separately.

reema shaju

reema shaju

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