First Aid for Lilies

Have you ever bought a bunch of lilies with your weekend shop and in your haste to get home left them in the boot of your car? If so, what did you do – chuck them in the bin, or try to revive your bedraggled bunch?

FlowerStart World

I’ve recently done a Facebook Live about giving first aid to your lilies.  If you love having flowers at home you really ought to join the group it’s called FlowerStart World (click to join).  It’s a lovely place to ask questions and share handy hints and tips.

The first thing to remember when you’re looking after flowers is that flowers need water.  Looking back at my very first blog  I made this very point.  It’s so easy to do and so easily forgotten.  You need to make sure your vase is kept topped up with water and that when you rejig your stems in your vase that each and every one of them is still in water …

I quite like the challenge of bringing seemingly dead flowers back to life – so before you chuck your forgotten flowers in the bin, why not try a bit of first aid first.

looking after lilies

Looking after your lilies

Start by taking your lilies out of their packaging.  If you’re using scissors make sure you don’t pierce open the sachet of flower food. Have a vase of water at the ready and then pour in your flower food.  You need to make sure you add the correct amount of water for your flower food.

The lilies featured in my Facebook Live were really very bedraggled.  I didn’t take a photo of them before I started, so you'll have to watch the video to get an idea of how awful they were.

The first thing to do is to cut off all the flower heads that have gone over.  Be brave.  It’s quite possible you’ll end up with only one or two flower heads.  After that, take off most of your leaves. The reason for this is that you need to make sure your water doesn’t get diverted to your leaves, before they reach your lily heads.

The next thing to do is fiddly but satisfying.  Where you can, get your fingers into each of the flower heads and pull off the pollen.  You can do this with your fingers – one by one, or by grabbing all of them between your fingertips.  If your pollen is mature – powdery - this will stain your fingers.  If that bothers you use a piece of kitchen towel to do the dirty work.

My lily stems were well and truly dried out. Normally, I’d suggest cutting off a couple of centimetres from each stem – this time I took off a good 10-15 centimetres. Once your stems are cut, put your flowers in water. In the next 24 hours you’ll notice a real difference.

Top tips

Buy your lilies when they are in bud (with some colour showing) and then:

  1. Re-cut your stems
  2. Pinch out the pollen as your flowers open – if any shatters onto your petals brush it off with a pipe cleaner straight away
  3. Snip off the faded blooms as they mature

Giving your lilies some emergency care is very satisfying.  However, if you’re thinking of gifting flowers to a friend I would recommend you get them in water as soon as you can, rather than having to resuscitate them.

It you have any lily care tips you’d like to share, please leave me a comment below.

Until next time, happy flowers!




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FlowerStart World on Facebook

If you love having flowers at home make sure you join FlowerStart World on Facebook - a place where you can share your flower arranging successes and pick up some general hints, tips and advice

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