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How long does it take for a lily bulb to grow once planted?

Updated February 21, 2017

Lily bulbs are miracles of nature. They contain a complete plant and enough food to keep it through a year of growth. Each bulb contains its own precise clock to manage growth from fragile spring shoot to blooming full flower.

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Each variety of lily has its own bloom time, but all lilies start growing when the ground warms. Cold weather, cold soil and cloudy days may delay the start of growth.

Planting time

Autumn-planted bulbs and bulbs planted as soon as the ground is frost free will develop shoots within a few weeks -- often before the last frost. Late-planted lilies or potted plants laid out in the garden after blooming may not bloom reliably during their first year in the garden.

Bulb types

Each class of lily blooms during a specific range of time. Most Asiatic lilies bloom from 30 to 45 days after growth begins. Orientals take from 40 to 90 days. Tiger lilies are the latest bloomers, 100 to 120 days after spring growth starts.

Lily choice

Gardeners may choose several varieties from two or more classes of lily so they have lilies blooming from mid-June until mid-August. Once lilies bloom, they stop growing and simply gather food for the next year's growth.

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About the Author

Laura Reynolds

An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.

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