Although they are not difficult to keep, an indoor lily does require a little bit of extra attention in order to thrive. A place with just enough light, proper moisture and regular fertilising are critical for an indoor lily, but it pays dividends with striking foliage, beautiful flowers and air purification. While there are several types of popular indoor lilies, such as Peace, Calla and Arum, the same basic care principles apply to all varieties.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Potting soil
- Indoor houseplant fertiliser
- Scissors or small pruning shears
Choose a location for your lily that is out of direct sun and not subject to frequent temperature changes. While an indoor lily will grow in low or artificial light, it will do best in a location with indirect sunlight. Also, look for a spot that is out of the way of drafts and stays fairly warm. Indoor lilies prefer temperatures that stay between 18.3 and 29.4 degrees C, without any rapid fluctuations.
Transplant your lily into a regular container or pot if it is in a temporary plastic pot. Fill the pot with potting soil mixed with an equal amount of perlite to create a light planting mixture that drains easily and won't compact.
Water thoroughly, but allow the soil to nearly dry out between waterings. After watering, check the bottom of the pot to make sure water is draining and the lily is not sitting in soggy or over-saturated soil. Soggy conditions can kill an indoor lily. Also, make sure the water is at least room temperature and is not cold.
Fertilise with a 20-20-20 liquid fertiliser designed for houseplants every three months during the winter and every two weeks during the summer for optimum blooms. If your plant is not ready to flower, or you prefer fewer blooms, fertilise once a month year-round. If leaves begin turning brown, reduce the amount of fertiliser.
Remove any dead or damaged leaves as they occur, as well as faded blooms, by cutting at the base of the stem. No other pruning is necessary.
Tips and warnings
- If your lily is in a temporary plastic pot and you are not ready to transplant, be sure and remove any decorative cling film or covering around the outside so that water can drain out the bottom of the pot.
- Sand or peat can be substituted for perlite.
- Don't overwater or over-fertilise your indoor lily. More damage is done to a lily with excess watering and fertilisation than by neglect or failure to fertilise regularly.
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