How cold is too cold for lilies?

1. Introduction
2. Types of Lilies and their Cold Tolerance
3. Preparing Lilies for Winter
4. Selecting Hardy Varieties
5. Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
6. Site Selection and Mulching
7. Watering During Winter Months
8. Protecting from Frost and Snow
9. Common Problems During Cold Weather
10. Conclusion
11. Resources

How Cold is Too Cold for Lilies?

Although lilies are a hardy species, they can be sensitive to extreme cold temperatures, especially when coupled with other environmental factors such as wind, soil moisture, and snow cover. As a flower gardener, it is important to understand the cold tolerance of various lily varieties in order to provide the best protection during winter months.

Types of Lilies and Their Cold Tolerance

Lilies come in many varieties, all with different levels of cold tolerance. Asiatic hybrids are generally the most hardy variety and can tolerate temperatures down to -35F (-37C). Taller varieties of Oriental lilies and their hybrids have a slightly lower threshold for cold tolerance, surviving down to -25F (-32C).

Preparing Lilies for Winter

To ensure that your lily plants survive through winter months, it is important to provide them with adequate preparation before the arrival of bitter cold temperatures. The first step is to select hardy varieties that fit with your local climate conditions.

Next, make sure that your soil has the right nutrient levels and pH balance by performing a soil test if necessary. Applying fertilizer prior to winter can help maintain healthy growth throughout colder months.

When selecting a site for planting your lily bulbs or transplants, be sure to choose one that is sheltered from strong winds and has good drainage during wet periods.

Mulching and Watering During Winter Months

Mulching is an important practice for protecting lilies during winter months as it helps insulate the soil from extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the day and night. Apply organic mulch 2-3 inches deep around each plant in early autumn before temperatures begin to drop.

In order for lilies to survive through freezing temperatures they must stay hydrated throughout winter months; however, over water can cause root rot which can be fatal during cold periods due to lack of oxygen in waterlogged soils.

Protecting from Frost and Snow

When temperatures drop below freezing or snow falls heavily on unprotected plants it can cause damage due to extreme changes in temperature or weight of snowfall on stems; therefore, you may want to consider covering your planted areas with a protective fabric like burlap or row cover.

Common Problems During Cold Weather

During winter months you may find yourself dealing with pests like aphids or even fungal diseases caused by too much moisture around the roots of plants; however, these problems can be avoided by following proper growing practices.


Lilies are a beautiful addition to any garden but they need special care during colder months in order to survive well into springtime blooms. Knowing which variety of lily best fits your local climate conditions as well as understanding how to prepare them for winter weather will increase their chances of making it through even the harshest winters.


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