Grow Oriental Lilies for Outstanding Garden Color

Updated: Jul. 25, 2023

Plant oriental lily bulbs for a dazzling display of color all summer long. These large, eye-popping flowers are super fragrant, too!

Oriental Lily Care

oriental lilyCourtesy Kelly Frisina Bland
Sunny Keys oriental lily
  • Lilium orientalis
  • Zones: 4 to 9
  • Size: 2 to 5 feet high
  • Light needs: Full sun

With elegantly shaped flowers in eye-catching colors, it’s easy to see why lilies top the list among garden bloomers and cut flowers. The huge, trumpet-shaped flowers on Oriental lily types are showstoppers. You won’t need to visit a florist with these bouquet-ready beauties blooming in your yard.

Oriental lilies grow best when planted in a sunny spot with rich soil, plenty of water and mulched roots. They may need a little extra staking for support to withstand summer storms. Remove faded flowers to direct energy into the bulbs for next year’s floral display.

These extravagant blooms smell as hypnotizing as they look. To some sensitive noses, the heavy, sweet fragrance is a bit too much. Plant them in the middle or back of the flower bed to minimize the aroma. Just a few bulbs will be enough to perfume a big area.

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Oriental Lily Varieties to Grow

The biggest challenge is in choosing which breathtaking variety to grow. Here’s a few of our favorites.

Magic Star


Lilium ‘Magic Star,’ Zones 3 to 8

Double oriental lilies are among the most ostentatious summer flowering bulbs! You’ll enjoy layers upon layers of ruffled petals in a range of colors. Magic Star‘s extra large, extra fragrant blooms are particularly dazzling with pink petals striped in red, trimmed in white and dotted with crimson speckles. The cut flowers are very long lasting in vases and floral arrangements.

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Bnbbyc17 Marie Hanaway 1Courtesy Marie Hanaway

Lilium ‘Stargazer,’ Zones 4 to 8

Stargazer was introduced decades ago, and it continues to be one of the most popular lilies to grow. Why? Just look at the flowers, which are a breathtaking blend of crimson, pink and white, with bright red freckles dancing across the petals. Stargazer is an easy Oriental lily for beginners and the highly fragrant blooms attract butterflies, too!

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Bnbbyc17 Karin MitchellCourtesy Karin Mitchell

Lilium ‘Casa Blanca,’ Zones 3 to 8

For garden star power, you can’t beat Casablanca, an Oriental lily that grows up to 4 feet tall and produces huge pure white flowers. It’s captivating in the sunshine, but also a favorite in moon gardens where the pale blooms seem to glow after dark. It grows well in most soils, but needs full sun to truly thrive. Casablanca is a popular choice among gardeners who appreciate its hardiness and heavenly scent. It also makes an excellent addition to a cutting garden for DIY bouquets.

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After Eight

Bnbbyc18 James Gantt1Courtesy James Gantt

Lilium ‘After Eight’, Zones 5 to 8

This stunning oriental lily is like a mini stargazer with shorter stems, making After Eight perfect for smaller spaces. Reader James Gantt says, “This is a showy fragrant lily that attracts attention wherever its planted. It blooms from summer to fall.”

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Next, learn how to care for a gloriosa lily.