How To Cut or Deadhead Lilies When They Have Finished Flowering

One of the most frequently asked questions by many people is: should I cut or trim my lilies when they have finished flowering? When is the right time to cut them back?

You are going to observe that your lilies will fully dry back, and it will turn all the stems brown after they have finished flowering. When this happens, it is time for you to take your clippers or secateurs to clip them back.

Deadheading lilies may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! With just a few simple steps and some regular maintenance, you can keep your lily garden looking its best throughout the entire growing season.

Whether you’re dealing with Asiatic or Oriental varieties of lilies – or any other type for that matter – there are certain steps you need to follow in order to ensure their health and vitality. In this article, we’ll cover everything from how to identify when it’s time to deadhead, all the way through tidying up after the process is complete. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

With careful attention and consistent care, keeping your lily garden healthy will become second nature in no time at all. You’ll also enjoy extended bloom times as well as larger blossoms compared to those who don’t practice proper pruning techniques. So let’s dive into the details behind successful deadheading so that your lilies can thrive!

Benefits Of Deadheading

Deadheading lilies can provide many benefits in the garden. Not only does it keep the blooms looking neat and tidy, but it also encourages re-blooming throughout the season. In addition to improving their aesthetic value, deadheading your lilies can help promote a healthier flowering cycle for years to come.

The Benefits of Deadheading Lilies Include:

  • Increasing Flower Production: By removing spent blossoms from your plant before they go to seed, you will encourage more flowers to form during later bloom cycles. This is especially important if you want your lily plants to produce multiple flushes of blooms throughout the growing season.
  • Promoting Healthy Growth Habits: Removing old flower heads helps ensure that all energy goes into promoting healthy foliage growth instead of producing seeds. This increases air circulation around the stems and leaves so that water evaporates quickly and doesn’t cause fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or botrytis blight.
  • Controlling Pests & Diseases: When flowers are removed regularly, this allows sunlight to reach deep inside the stem where pests and disease spores may be lurking. The increased light exposure helps kill off any potential problems before they take hold of your plants.

Tools Needed For The Task

As any great gardener knows, the right tools for the job are just as important as having a green thumb. Deadheading lilies are no exception! To make sure your flowers look their best and last longer, you’ll need to gather some supplies before getting started.

The most basic tool for deadheading is a pair of sharp scissors or pruners. Make sure they’re clean to avoid introducing diseases into the plant; sterilize them by wiping them with rubbing alcohol if necessary. Snipping off spent blooms helps to promote new growth and encourages more buds to form in the future. A good pair of gardening gloves can also come in handy when dealing with prickly stems or leaves.

You may choose to have on hand a container or bucket where you can place all the discarded flower heads once they’ve been cut away from the stem. Keeping these separate will help keep your garden tidy and prevent pests or other issues that could arise from leaving debris behind.

Clean Your Tool First

I would suggest you disinfect your clippers or secateurs first before you use them to prune your plant. You can wipe them by using a clean towel that is soaked with alcohol. The purpose for you to do this is to prevent the spread of diseases between plants.

When cutting, you need to leave the plant about an inch showing and just cut them back right away through. Just making sure that there’s no green left on the stems whatsoever. With this, all the goodness is now fallen back into the bowl.

You can then give the bowl a little clear-up and take any excess foliage off the pot. Then top the pot up with a nice new compost. You can also replant your lilies into a bigger pot or separated your lilies into different bowls.

It is always a good practice for you to give your plant about two inches tall of fresh compost every year. You are doing it by giving them a nice freshen-up and having your pot ready for winter.

Making sure that you have got plenty of drainage in the pot. You can let the pot stay outside, and it doesn’t need anything to protect it. If you have got a cold greenhouse, that’s fine, but it won’t need any heat, and they are already good enough to regrow the next year.

When To Deadhead

It is important to know when to deadhead lilies for best results. Deadheading should occur when the flowers are spent and have faded in color. To ensure healthy plants, remove all of the flower heads from each plant prior to seed formation. It is estimated that up to ninety percent of a lily’s energy goes into producing its spectacular blooms, so it is essential to deadhead them at the right time for vigorous growth and more abundant flowering.

Lilies tend to bloom in waves over an extended period of time throughout the growing season, so you may need to do several rounds of deadheading throughout this period. As soon as one wave of flowers fades and dies off, cut back any remaining stems down to just above ground level with sharp garden shears or scissors. This will help prevent disease by removing any potential infection sites on lower parts of the stem near the soil level.

It will allow nutrients and energy stored within the leaves and stems to be diverted towards new buds further up on the stem and encourage additional flowering displays later in summer or fall.

When performing maintenance deadheading, take care not to disturb newly emerging buds while cutting away old ones. If possible try snipping off only those fading flower heads while leaving developing buds intact – this way your lilies can continue displaying their vibrant blossoms throughout their entire blooming cycle.

Preparing To Deadhead

As with any gardening task, preparation is key for the successful deadheading of lilies. To prepare, you’ll need to inspect your plants closely and identify the blooms that have already died or are dying. Dead flowers can be easily identified by their color – they will appear faded compared to the live blooms around them. You may also notice brown or yellow spots on the petals.

Next, assess the stems where the dead bloom was attached. If there is a green pod at the base of the stem, then it’s time to start snipping away! The green pods signify seed formation and should be removed in order to encourage new growth and further flowering throughout the season. Once you’ve located all of these areas and determined which flowers must go, it’s time to move on to gathering your tools for removal.

How To Deadhead Reblooming Lilies?

The first thing you’re going to have is a couple of lilies in the pots. You can then go ahead to deadhead these lilies so that they can make your garden look a lot nicer.

The tools that you need are a pair of pruning shears. We are going to go to the garden and take a look at your lilies’ plants. You may find some of your lilies have got some spent blooms.

It would help if you remembered that lilies only bloom for one day. The next day they are gone. So it is always a good idea to remove those old heads so that when your plants bloom the following day, you don’t have to worry about those going to seed.

If your plants go to seed, they will take away many nutrients from the plant itself. So what we are going to do is cut off any of the old blooms from the previous day. It will just take you a few minutes to do so.

You should go ahead and do that. One thing I also like to do when I am deadheading my lilies is to go through and remove any diseased leaves or even diseased old stems from the plant that they have already finished blooming.

Most of the lilies that grow in the garden will have many flowers. So what you need to do is get your pair of pruners and prune right at the base of the stem. You can go ahead and prune the lily head off.

Make sure you have a sharp pruner with you. It can be convenient if you don’t have a sharp pair of pruners to cut properly. By cutting properly, you won’t injure the stem. Also, we want to make sure that we remove any of the old stems in the plant.

If you found any old spent leaves, go ahead to pull those together and clip them off. If you see any browning tips on the tops of your plants, you can cut those tips off as well.

You can do a quick cut-through and remove some of these old dead-looking tips to make your plant look nice and crisp. Your lilies will look a lot nicer with a nice clean look in the garden.

cut lily plant

Should Lilies Be Cut Back After Flowering?

Yes, they should. I have a lily plant in a pot that’s nicely trimmed back. Any old growth has been cut back. There are no dead blossoms anymore you can find in there.

Deadheading lilies encourage vigorous growth as well as prevent the disease from spreading throughout the plant. Removing spent blooms also prevents seed formation, which can cause overcrowding in garden beds if left unchecked.

After they have bloomed, they are starting to die back. At that point, what you want to do is to have some sharp shears. If it has multiple blossoms, once that first blossom has started to die, you can grab the top of it, and at the base, you want to cut and remove the dead or dying blossom.

I normally reach down to the plant, cut the stalk, and pull it off. After trimming back, the rest of the lilies will continue to be vigorous. It will focus the energy on the plant and the leaves.

So this allows the plant to grow up again and have a nice shoot. They will blossom again later in summer. By cutting back your lily in this way, you will have a longer growth cycle.

The other thing that you want to do is during the fall or winter. If your lilies start to die back, particularly for the leaves, you will definitely want to cut them all back. By doing so, the plant will have a chance to continue to grow and flourish again.


If you found your lily plant gets soft rot, this can be a disease that is caused primarily by over-watering occasionally or poor drainage. Such a disease is incurable, and you will need to remove the entire plant.

Sometimes you will spot a cavity at the root part, or you may also see some dark spots on your bulb. Bacteria cause all these. When bacteria infect your lily, and you see these symptoms, you know your plant is gone.

So it would be best if you destroyed the bulb quickly before it infects other plants.

How To Get The Best Bloom From Your Lilies

Once you’ve deadheaded your lilies, it is important to take the right steps for getting the best bloom from them. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your lily plants:

  • Feed your lilies with a balanced fertilizer formulated specifically for flowering plants. This will give them the nutrients they need to thrive and produce beautiful blooms.
  • Water your lilies regularly and deeply throughout their growing season, as this will encourage strong root growth and more flowers. Make sure not to over-water or let the soil dry out too much between waterings.
  • Deadhead spent blossoms as soon as possible so that energy can be directed into producing new buds instead of seed production. Cut off any old flower stalks at the base of the stem just above where the leaves begin.
  • Provide adequate sunlight by planting in an area that receives 6-8 hours of direct sun each day during the summer months. If necessary, supplement natural light with indoor lighting kits designed specifically for plant growth indoors or outdoors.

By following these easy tips, you should be able to enjoy abundant blooms all season long! With proper care and attention, lilies make stunning additions to gardens and landscapes alike—and now you have all the information you need to ensure success in growing them!

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How to Cut or Deadhead Lilies When They Have Finished Flowering

2 Comments on “How To Cut or Deadhead Lilies When They Have Finished Flowering”

  1. Can I cut the lilies down to the ground (there are100 plants and we are in a water shortage.

    1. Yes, you can cut your lilies down to the ground, especially if you are in a water shortage. Lilies are pretty hardy plants and cutting them back won’t harm them. In fact, cutting them back can help conserve moisture in the soil and reduce water usage.

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