Lilium candidum

("Madonna lily")

Lilium candidum

This lily must be planted in very early Fall (other lilies such as Asiatic and Oriental hybrids can be planted later in Fall or, preferably, Spring). Be very careful to avoid damaging the roots. Madonna lilies are not planted as deep like other lilies and must have 1-2" (3-5 cm) of soil covering the nose of the bulb. Plant in a rapidly draining, calcium-rich soil (pH 7) in a location that receives plenty of light but not too much direct sun. Plant among ground covers and bulbs left in the same location will act as perennial plants. Its dazzling white flowers stand at right angles to the flower stem and smell positively delicious. Each flower stem can provide 10-20 flowers. Long regarded as a medicinal plant, the flowers have been used to produce perfumes. Needless to say they make wonderful cutflowers to bring their fragrance inside the house.

What You Need To Know Before You Plant:

When Will This Flower Bloom?

Late Summer

When Should I Buy and Plant These Bulbs?


What Kind of Light Does This Bulb Prefer?

Full sun

What Color Will the Flower Be?

Pure white

How Far Apart Should I Plant These Bulbs?

8 in / 20 cm

How Deep Should I Dig?

5* in / 13* cm

How Tall Will It Grow?

40-44 in / 100-110 cm

Recommended Number of Bulbs Per Square Foot?


Is It Deer/Critter Resistant?


How Can I Best Use It in My Landscaping?

In borders, beds with perennial plants and as cut flowers.

Other Popular Varieties

Species only.

Additional Information

* PLANTING NOTE: unlike other lilies do not plant deep, top of the bulb should only be covered with 2" (5 cm) of soil. Adjust your planting dept according to the size of the bulb.

About the Family

Lilium Family

There are well over 100 lilium species. They grow wild all across the Northern Hemisphere and are so varied and complex (and through cross-hybridizing still ever expanding) that it is very difficult to organize and describe them. For your convenience we have focused here on the garden types (usually hybrids) that you will find most commonly commercially available. Lilium Candidum (aka Madonna Lily) is claimed to be the very first flower for cutting purposes. It was cultivated in cloister gardens of the Middle Ages and used for decoration in churches.

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