How to Grow and Care for Pink Lilies

Reviewed by Sabrina Lopez | September 8, 2022

Pink Lillies in a house

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Jump to: Fast Facts | How to Grow | How to Plant | Common Issues | Our Recommendations | FAQ

If you’re looking for a bloom that will last from mid-summer to the first winter frost, pink lilies are the perfect floral accessory to bring elegance to your home. The lily group contains several varieties, including calla lilies and white lilies. Unlike its finicky sisters, the late-blooming pink lily—with its delicate, pink pastel petals and lovely fragrance—will last a long time with minimal care.



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Fast Facts on Pink Lilies

Common namePink lily

Plant family


Native climate

North America, Europe, Asia

Light level

Full, direct sunlight

Average mature height (indoor)

3 to 6 feet tall

Soil type

Enriched, moist, well-drained soil; cover in moist mulch to keep bulbs cool

Frequency of watering

Freely, enough to keep the soil moist


Toxic to cats and dogs

Ideal humidity level


Common variations

Stargazer lily (Lilium Stargazer), Mona Lisa lily (Lilium Mona Lisa), Journey’s End lily

How to Grow Pink Lilies

Pink lilies are a species of Oriental lily (Lilium spp.) and include the Journey’s End and Mona Lisa lily varieties. Oriental lilies bloom in the late summer and fall, unlike their oft-confused Asiatic lily cousins, which bloom in early spring. 

Another key difference between them is the Oriental lily’s lush fragrance, which makes them a popular flower arrangement option. Be sure to cut flowers before they bloom if you want to make a lily bouquet.

Lilies are not great houseplants if you have pets, as all parts of the plant are toxic to cats and dogs. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, even small amounts of its pollen can cause kidney failure and death in furry friends. 

Use the following care tips to grow exquisite lilies this season.


Apply a high-potassium fertilizer to the lily bulb when first planted. The plant leaves will grow better than the flowers when nitrogen levels are too high, so it’s best to use a fertilizer with a lower nitrogen level to allow the lily flowers to grow. 

You can continue to fertilize every few weeks, especially when the flower begins to bloom, but stop fertilizing a few weeks after the lily has fully flowered. If you’re keeping your lily in enriched soil that’s giving it all the nutrients it needs, you may not need to fertilize again.


Pink lilies require full sun for at least six to eight hours daily. It’s best to avoid exposing them to even partial shade. Otherwise, the flowers may fall over as they attempt to lean more towards the sun. 


Pink lilies prefer rich, moist, but well-drained soil. These flowers thrive in soil mixed with organic matter to encourage drainage and avoid root-rotting. When planting the flower, you should put down a layer of moist mulch to help keep the bulbs cool when the temperature is on the higher side.


The pink lily is native to the Northern Hemisphere, where the climate range is temperate. These regions typically have wide temperature ranges and endure regular and recurring seasonal changes. The flower withstands the temperature ranges by undergoing dormancy during certain times of the year, during which the plant stops growing and focuses on conserving nutrients. 

Because pink lilies require a cooler dormant period before blooming, the best time to grow them is when summer temperatures begin to drop. 


You’ll want to keep your pink lily’s soil moist at all times, but not wet. It can be watered freely during the growing season, either daily or every other day, especially in areas where the humidity is low. You don’t need to water the plant as frequently in the winter—only about once per month.



How to Plant Pink Lilies

As a part of the Lilium genus, pink lilies grow from bulbs. Placing the bulb deeper in the soil allows for sturdy roots and helps the bulb stay cool when the temperature rises. Adding a layer of mulch can also help keep the bulbs cool, especially if you’re heading into the winter months. 

  1. You can find lily bulbs in many stores, and they can even be bought online from various independent sellers
  2. Plant three to four bulbs in loosened soil at 12 to 15 inches. Place the flat side of the bulb down and the pointy end up.
  3. Space the bulbs at least 8 inches from each other to avoid crowding.
  4. Gently pat the soil down as you fill the hole around the bulb with enriched soil. 
  5. Water the soil thoroughly when planting, continuing to keep the soil moist.



Common Issues with Pink Lilies

While pink lilies are easy to grow and care for, sometimes, mistakes happen. The following are the most common issues you may notice with your pink lilies.


Oriental cultivars and other types of lilies, such as the tiger lily, are more susceptible to viruses. Symptoms of a virus typically affect the appearance of the plant. The most common diseases you may encounter are the following:

While many commercial sprays can treat these viruses and diseases, sometimes they affect the plant so significantly that there’s no saving it. The good news is you can avoid these diseases with proper care. If you notice any issues with the appearance of your lily, it’s best to start treating it before it’s too late. Apply neem oil—a natural fungicide—regularly as a preemptive measure.

Not Producing Flowers

There could be several reasons the plant isn’t producing flowers. It could be that the bulb wasn’t planted deep enough, or the soil is too wet or too dry. These can be fixed by ensuring that your lily’s soil is moist, well-drained, and nutrient-rich.


Pink lilies are vulnerable to attacks from several pests, including aphids, mites, and the red lily leaf beetle. Some pests, like the red beetle, cause physical damage to the plant as they feed on its leaves. Others may spread diseases among your plants.

Staying on top of your plant and having a pest control plan is the best way to ensure you don’t have to deal with a detrimental attack.



Our Recommendation

Pink lilies make an elegant addition to your home, indoor or outdoor. They are easy to grow and maintain, especially since they go dormant and reflower independently. However, these plants thrive best in seasonal areas, so if you live where the humidity is high and the temperatures are even higher all year, the pink lily may not be the best option for you.  

 Pink lilies require rich, moist soil, so keep up with watering and fertilizer to ensure the plant stays sturdy and healthy year-round.  



Pink Lilies FAQ

What are the pink lilies called?

Pink lilies are sometimes called Oriental lilies. Well-known Oriental lily cultivars include Star Gazer, Journey’s End, and Mona Lisa in shades of pink and Casa Blanca, which has white flowers.

What does a pink lily symbolize?

A pink lily symbolizes admiration, love, and femininity. This is why floral arrangements given to new mothers often include pink lily flowers. These beautiful flowers may also be used for a bridal bouquet as they are said to symbolize beauty and purity.

Are pink lilies poisonous to dogs?

Pink lilies are poisonous to dogs. If your dog has ingested any part of the pink lily plant, it may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. It’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has ingested pink lilies.