Updated at: 22-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

It’s crucial to know how to urge lilies to open, depending on their shape, in order to get the most out of your garden. Lilies can be forced to open from bulbs, cut stems, or potted plants. You never know when you’ll need to do this. While it’s preferable to leave flowers to grow on their own, there are times when you must intervene.

Flowers can be started in the greenhouse for spring planting if you are unable to do it during their preferred season, which is fall. It is not necessary to limit your work in this way even if the conditions outside are not perfect. While a greenhouse can work around this issue, you or your customers may desire the lilies to bloom at a time other than when they normally do.

Tips On How To Force Lilies To Open: For Bulbs, Cut Stems, And Potted Plants


Bulb-grown lilies can be planted in the spring, but early fall is the best time to do so. Plants may open sooner or later after sowing, depending on the cultivar you selected. As a general rule, spring and summer are the best times to plant flowers.

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How to encourage bulbs to bloom

What can you do to encourage the blooming of your lily bulbs? To begin, gardeners recommend sprouting the bulbs in a greenhouse. You should let them grow indoors for 60 days so that they can flower more effectively

By snipping off one-third of the lilies’ stems in the morning, you can urge them to blossom. The speed at which the bulbs are planted also has an impact on how quickly they blossom. It’s best to use a mix of peat, dirt, and garden soil to grow bulbs.

To encourage blooming, keep the soil moist and set the container in direct sunlight with a temperature range of 65°F to 70°F. After eight to ten weeks, the lilies should begin to bloom, but don’t forget to fertilize them every two weeks.

Cut stems

Cut lilies are a popular lily that gardeners frequently force open. The cut stem lilies will begin to open as soon as they are brought indoors and put in water. In order to speed things up, you can cut one inch up the stem at an angle to open the flowers more quickly.

Basically, you’re allowing the plant to carry more water up to the bloom so that it’ll open. Use lukewarm (75-85°F) water for submersion and keep the container half-full for best results. Alternatively, a large plastic bag can be used to keep an eye on your lilies.

How to take care of cut lilies

You’ll want to keep your cut lilies in a healthy state as long as possible after encouraging them to open. Remove the leaves from the stems by slicing them off below the surface of the water. Bacteria that can harm the lilies can be prevented by changing the vase on a regular basis.

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For lilies, some propose adding a preservative to the water; others prefer letting chlorine evaporation take place. Alternatively, if you want to use the water in the vase the next day, you can leave it out in the open overnight. Last but not least, avoid coloring your lilies by pinching the anthers covered in pollen.

Why should you open the cut lilies yourself?

Open lilies have shorter lives, so people who require them at a given time have to be careful. Because of this, lilies grown in greenhouses are sold with some of their buds still attached. The lilies will blossom at a more convenient time as well, as their buds aren’t as tightly packed.

Potted plants

It is possible to acquire lily plants in pots, and then cultivate them yourself. When the lilies are ready to bloom, you can maintain them in a greenhouse at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. A 16-hour-a-day growth light placed a foot above the flowers and tented in the same manner as lily bulbs can promote flowering.

Last but not least, perform all of the routine care procedures, such as keeping the soil moist to promote the blooming of lilies.

Gathered Blooms

Future flowers are ensured when the plant’s stem is left longer.

Throughout the year, lily bulbs produce new tissue and bulblets, which can be used to generate new plants. Plant hardiness zones 4 through 8 are where most hardy lilies may be found, but some species only grow in a smaller area. Lilies will bloom all summer long if you cut the stems in early morning and leave at least one-third of them. Begin planting bulbs inside 60 days before you plan to bring them into bloom.

Getting Buds to Open on Cut Stems

To ensure that the blooms open equally, rotate the vase every day.

When cut lilies are brought indoors and placed in water, they should begin to open. New capillaries for water transport can be opened 1 inch or more up the stem to expedite bud opening. Keep the vase half-full at all times and immerse the stems immediately in lukewarm water (75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit). Lilies should not be placed directly in the sun, but they should be placed near a window so they receive plenty of light. To give your lilies a little extra oomph, cover them with a large plastic bag, including the stems and leaves as well as the blooms. Turn the dry cleaning bag inside out before using it to avoid exposing the buds to the cleaning solvents.

Forced Potted Lilies

Ensure that you select a pot with bottom drain holes to avoid rot.

When the lilies are ready to bloom, transport them to a room with a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the plants are under fluorescent light for 14 to 16 hours a day or leave the room’s lights on all day. If the room is too hot, lower the grow light’s intensity to avoid burning the delicate lily petals. Set the pots on a large dish or tray full of pebbles and water, or tent the lilies. When watering lilies, keep the soil moist but allow the water to drain. The bulbs are damaged by wet soil, which finally rots them.

Tips for Success

Lily flowers have a shelf life of one to seven days, depending on the type.

The best way to keep cut lilies clean is to remove the stems’ leaves and change the water regularly to keep the stems from becoming infested with bacteria. Cut the stems at an angle to maximize water absorption. Make use of water that has been pretreated with a floral preservative or water that has been left out in the open overnight to let the chlorine to evaporate. Once your lilies have bloomed, pinch off the anthers covered in yellow or brown pollen to extend their beauty. The lily’s petals become stained when pollen-covered anthers are allowed to remain on the flower.

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Why Are My Lilies Not Opening?

Temperature is an important consideration if your lilies aren’t opening. It is possible that ethylene gas from fruits like apples and bananas or cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes could be the cause of your cut flowers wilting. As an added bonus, you may use this method to open the buds on any of your plants, not just while getting ready for lilies.


It’s always useful to be aware of new ways to work with plants and flowers in case you ever need them. Lily-opening is one among the skills that you should not skip out on. The bulbs, clipped stems, or potted lilies may need to be pushed to bloom, as receiving them right before they open ensures a longer blooming duration.

Lilies need water to open their blossoms, so all you’re doing is helping them drink more and keeping the temperatures in check. It’s possible that your lilies aren’t blooming because the temperature is too high or because they’re too close to ethylene gas.