10 Types of Lilies Gardeners Should Grow

Lilies are beautiful, fragrant blooms for your flower garden. Some lilies are also prized as indoor plants. Learn about the different types of lilies.

With elegantly shaped flowers in bright colors, some of them offering intoxicating scents, it’s easy to see why lilies are beloved among gardeners. Lilies are simple to grow—if you can keep the rabbits and deer away. Lily flowers bloom from spring to fall, depending on the species, and can make wonderful bouquets. If you want to know about the different types of lilies you can grow, here’s a helpful guide to help you out.

Asiatic LilyCourtesy Alan Boucher

Asiatic Lilies

Lilium Asiatic, Zones 4 to 9

Among the first to bloom, they’re easy to grow, but Asiatic lilies feature little to no scent. A vast range of colors and patterns plus spectacularly huge flowers make Asiatic lilies a classic garden favorite. The massive blooms burst open in early or midsummer, depending on variety.

Why we love it: Not only do these beauties offer a sturdy place for birds to perch, they also attract beneficial pollinators.

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Bnbbyc17 Marie Hanaway 1Courtesy Marie Hanaway
Oriental stargazer lily

Oriental Lilies

Lilium Orientalis, Zones 4 to 9

Not quite as easy to grow as other types of lilies, oriental lilies demand rich soil, ample water and mulched roots. But the large flowers with great scents are worth it. Sound the horn for these trumpet-shaped blooms that smell as exotic as they look. For easy color in the garden, lilies are No. 1. The trouble is in deciding which gorgeous variety to grow. Just be sure to provide a little extra staking for when summer storms blow in.

Why we love it: There’s no need to visit a florist with bouquet-ready beauties growing in your backyard. Remove faded flowers to direct energy into the bulbs for next year’s floral display.

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trumpet lilyVia Breck's

Trumpet Lilies

Lilium aurelian x trumpet, Zones 3 to 8

Trumpet lilies are showstoppers. The plants are tall and elegant with large, trumpet-shaped fragrant flowers.

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Check out the ultimate guide to planting spring bulbs.

Orienpet LilyVia Holland Bulb Farms

Orienpet Lilies

Lilium, Zones 4 to 8

These plants are a cross of Oriental and trumpet lilies. Also known as OT hybrids, the flowers are large and heavily scented.

Psst—love exotic colorful flowers? Plant blackberry lily in your flower garden.

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Bnbbyc17 Danny Wilson

Martagon Lilies

Lilium martagon, Zones 4 to 8

This European native, also known as Turk’s Cap Lily, can tolerate sun and part shade. These lilies add visual drama with their lofty heights and spires of downward-facing blossoms. Plant in areas with moist, well-draining soil.

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Check out more easy-to-grow plants to add color to your shade garden.

Attract hummingbirds with red dayliliesCourtesy Katie Wanner

Daylilies

Hemerocallis, Zones 3 to 10

This summer favorite is beloved for its reliability. And with thousands of cultivars out there, gardeners have almost endless choices for color. Though individual flowers last just a day, many hybrids bloom repeatedly all growing season long.

Why we love it: Daylily plants are perfect for sharing. Divide them every three to five years to revitalize and prevent the fleshy roots from becoming too tough. Plus hummingbirds love to drink nectar from the tube-shaped blooms!

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AustraliacannaVia Longfield GardensCanna Lilies

Canna, Zones 8 to 11

Northern gardeners need to dig up canna bulbs to store indoors over winter, but it’s worth the extra effort. Try Australia canna—hummingbirds are big fans of the crimson red blooms.

Why we love it: The midsummer flowers are a nice touch, but this type of lily is primarily grown for the stunning, dramatic foliage.

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A pink calla lilyCourtesy Denise RasmussenCalla Lilies

Zantedeschia, Zones 8 to 11

Add a sophisticated touch to your garden with calla lilies. They’re a snap to grow. Plant them in rich soil where they’ll receive full sun or partial shade, and they’ll stay in bloom in summer. Those in cooler climates will want to take a crack at growing them in containers. This beautiful lily is an annual in Zones 3 to 7. Or overwinter indoors as a houseplant when the weather takes a turn. Do keep in mind that many types of lilies are poisonous to cats.

Why we love it: Location won’t stop these lilies!

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Peace lilygavran333/Getty ImagesPeace Lily

Spathiphyllum Spp.

Peace lily is a popular indoor flowering plant. A common mistake when growing peace lilies is under- or overwatering. Check the soil with your finger before watering to see if the plant is actually in need of a drink. Repot once peace lilies outgrow their pots. Skip growing peace lilies if you have pet dogs or small children.

Why we love it: Peace lilies are favorites because of the dark green leaves and white flowers. For more blooms, expose the plant to more light.

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Bnbbyc17 Merrie LargmannCourtesy Merrie Largmann

Lily of the Valley

Convallaria Majus, Zones 3 to 9

The delicate, tiny white blossoms sitting on lush green foliage may catch your eye first, but if you get a little closer, lily-of-the-valley’s sweet fragrance lures you in. Blooming from spring through early summer, this perennial favorite type of lily will brighten up your garden’s shady spots. Before you plant lily of the valley, make sure it’s not invasive in your area.

Why we love it: The small stature and spreading growth habit makes it an excellent ground cover option.

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Next, learn how to arrange fresh cut flowers like a pro.

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Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She enjoys growing vegetables in containers and raised beds and watching for birds in her backyard.