How To Get Lilies To Open

How To Get Lilies To Open

So now that you know all about the different types of lilies from our last blog post, we hope you’re excited about using them the next time you need flowers.  If you’re using lilies for a wedding or event, we recommend getting them delivered at least 4-5 days before. Remember, lilies ship with closed buds, so you’ll need to give them time to open.  However, if they aren’t opening fast enough, see our handy chart for some tips to help you coax them open:

Faster blooming lilies

How to get lilies to open faster:

  1. Recut the stems to help the flowers take water
  2. Place stems in deep warm water.  Normally you wouldn’t do this as more stems in water means more dirt and bacteria in the water, but in this case you need the extra water depth to help open up the flowers
  3. Remove stamens/pollen; we don’t have scientific proof of this, but some florists swear that putting some of these into the water makes lilies open faster
  4. Give them warmth (but careful not to let them bake).  Once the lilies start opening, you can move them to a cooler place if you want to slow down the process.
  5. Watch them bloom and enjoy!

The blooms may not all open overnight, but these steps will certainly get them going in the right direction. Also, you can re-cut the stems after 1-2 days to ensure they keep drinking water (re-cutting removes any bacteria that may have formed at the end that can inhibit the stem from taking in water).

Lastly, lilies are sensitive to ethylene gas.  This is a naturally occurring gas that ripens fruit and opens flowers, but too much of it will not be good for your lilies and they may not open. So just avoid placing them next to a big basket of ripening fruit like bananas, apples and pears!

We hope you found this helpful and are inspired to create something beautiful!  Remember to check out our Lilies page!




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  1. 4
    Mary Bicknese

    My tall in ground Asiatic lilies proliferated immensely this year. Tall, look healthy, but have not opened. Big, healthy buds, tall, have not changed at all in a month – no sign of opening. This is a first – should be open by now… ???

    • 5
      Ellie H.

      Hi Mary! Sorry to hear about your lilies! I wish I had some good advice to provide; however, our expertise is with lilies as a cut bloom to use in arranging and I’m not as knowledgeable about gardening lilies! Hopefully a gardening blog or message board can be of better help!

  2. 6

    Hi , I have a question
    Can someone tell me , roughly how many days needed for the Lilly to bloom ?
    I bought them with closed buds, so how long do I have to wait for them to blossom? I do not want to make this quicker just the normal way, usually how many days do they require ? Thanks

    • 7
      Ellie H.

      Hi Lorenzo,

      It can vary depending on the type of lilies, how they are cared for and the temperature that they are kept at. However, the average time is generally around 3-5 days for blooms to open. Hope this helps!

    • 9
      Ellie H.

      Hi Linda!
      If you follow the tips in our blog post above, the blooms should open up! If you don’t see any blooms opening up at all, then it’s possible that the stem was cut too early and the buds did not mature enough to eventually bloom; but, this shouldn’t happen if you’ve purchased the lilies from a reputable source. Hope you start seeing your lilies bloom soon!

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