Transplanting Lilies – How to Plant Lilies from Pots or Bags

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Transplanting lilies from bulbs in pots takes only a few moments and it’s pretty hard to mess up! Discover how to plant lilies in your garden from containers or packages of bulbs, and enjoy blooms for many years to come.

Head to any garden center in the spring and you’ll see gorgeous Asiatic lilies of all colors, along with trumpet lilies and Oriental lilies as far as the eye can see.

Transplanting lilies bulbs from pots or bags, hand holding lily bulb
Transplanting lilies bulbs from pots or bags

These lilies are generally full price when in bud form or blooming, but you can often snag a great deal after the blooms are done.

Whether you buy blooming lilies or clearance ones after the flowers fade, you can easily transplant lily bulbs into your garden.

When to Transplant Lilies

Deciding when to transplant lilies comes down to availability and opportunity. For best results, transplant lilies in the fall so the bulb can gather energy and be ready for big blooms next spring and summer. If you purchase potted lilies or bulbs in spring or even early summer, you can still plant lilies at that time.

Be aware blooming schedules may shift due to the planting times.

How to Transplant Asiatic Lilies, Trumpet Lilies, and Oriental Lilies

In this case, a lily is a lily. If you have a bag of lily bulbs or a potted lily that’s done blooming, it’s easy to learn how to transplant lilies.

Follow these steps to replant lily bulbs in the garden:

  1. Dig a hole in the garden where you wish to grow lilies. Make sure the hole is about 7 to 8 inches deep.
  2. Add about two inches of good, loose soil to the planting hole.
  3. Transplant lily bulbs by placing several bulbs root-side facing down in the hole.
  4. Fill the hole with good soil back up to the soil surface. Pat it down and add more if needed.
  5. Water the lily bulbs to help them acclimate to the transplanted location.
  6. Place a garden marker at the edge of the planting hole so you remember where you replanted your lilies.
  7. Water when the soil is dry and watch for signs of growth over the next few weeks.

By the way, you might also enjoy our post on transplanting daylilies!

Transplanting Montego Bay Lilies from bags
Transplanting Montego Bay Lilies from bags

Transplanting Asiatic Lilies from Pot to Ground: Tips

When you transplant Asiatic lily bulbs, or any others for that matter, try not to overthink it!

Lilies are good growers and will likely forgive you if you don’t do it exactly to spec.

Here are a few additional tips when transplanting lilies of the Asiatic, Oriental, or trumpet varieties.

  • Grouping – Lilies don’t mind crowding, so feel free to group several lily bulbs together if you like.

  • Separating – If you wish to grow lilies in several different parts of the garden, you can separate the potted lily bulbs. They should each multiply and form bigger lily clusters over the years. You can even separate out the tiny bulblets to form new lily plantings.

  • Broken Scales – If pieces of the bulb break off – for example, the scales – save them to try to grow more lilies. Check out my post on how to propagate lilies for instructions on that!

Do you have any questions on transplanting Asiatic lilies, trumpets, or Oriental lilies like stargazers? Feel free to reach out in the comments or share your own tips or lily stories – we love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

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