Can Lilies Handle Frost? How To Protect Lilies From Frost?

by Lee Safin

Lilies are summer-flowering perennials that grow in many parts of the world. They can grow in different types of weather conditions. Many gardeners worry whether their lilies will be safe during cold climates.

Can lilies handle frost?

Yes, lilies can handle frost if you protect them as we suggested. There is usually no problem with lilies being damaged by frost. Cold weather can be quite tolerable for most lilies. Though lilies have a fast recovering ability from a hard freeze, it is better to protect them, especially from late spring cold.

Because there is a possibility that the growth of lilies may slow for a few‌ ‌weeks. We will talk about “How To Protect Lilies From Frost?” in this article. So, stay with us.

If you are curious to know more about “how to grow lilies indoors?” Check our latest article.

Can Lilies Handle Frost? How To Protect Lilies From Frost?
Can Lilies Handle Frost? How To Protect Lilies From Frost?

Can Lilies Handle Frost?

Lilies are unlikely to be significantly damaged by frost or freeze. ‌Their hardiness and toughness make them very ‌resilient. Spring frost is not a problem for them since they have the right genes.

In winter, the bulbs of lilies harden to withstand cold temperatures. During the growing season, they can sometimes be damaged severely by a heavy frost, which occurs when they have just begun growing.

‌The risk of freezing weather during the late spring could pose a threat to new leaves that are more sensitive to temperature.

For severe damage to occur to the bulb, there will need to be a very long and intense frost. Lilies benefit from partial protection from their bulbs when they are grown sheltered by other plants.

In early summer, daylilies aren’t likely to bloom, so a freeze is very unlikely to damage blossom buds.

Frost or freezing temperatures can burn the tips of daylily leaves. But, this typically won’t cause any damage to the plant, and it won’t set it back much.

‌Frosted daylilies usually recover quickly from damage caused by cold weather. However, with clean, disinfected clippers, you can trim the burned tips if they are unsightly.

Lilly plants do not need this for their health or well-being. Nevertheless, trimming the leaves a few inches or more will not harm your daylilies but can give your plants a neater appearance.

What’s more, you might want to protect these especially valuable plants from frosts if you have received warnings about the severity of this winter’s frosts.

What Causes Frost?

In the daytime, solar energy warms the soil and plants. The plant begins to lose all its stored heat as the day turns into the night.

A few degrees colder than air may even be found in the soil and plant cells. Condensation of dew occurs when the temperature falls.

The plant starts to freezes when the temperature reaches 32° F. However, most plants are not damaged at 32° or are only damaged by‌ ‌a‌ ‌leaf‌ ‌or‌ ‌two. But a plant that isn’t hardy will die if temperatures drop low enough to cause cell freezing.

Will Frost Kill Lilies?

If you are too uncaring about taking care of your lilies, you may notice some damage to lilies due to frost. However, there is merely any chance of killing lilies due to frost. As we mentioned earlier, they have a high endurance level to withstand different temperature conditions. However, the right level of caring will prevent any sign of damage. Because we know “prevention is better than cure.”

Several factors contribute to lily damage, including —

  1. Types of lilies
  2. The time period of frost
  3. Lilies age
  4. Weather conditions

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Lilies?

Types of plants differ in their cold hardiness. The Asian hybrid can withstand a temperature of down‌ ‌to‌ ‌-35F‌ ‌(-37C). However, hybrid Oriental lilies and taller varieties can withstand temperatures as low as‌ ‌-25F‌ ‌(-32C). When lilies have superb drainage, they are suitable for growing in harsh winter climates.

Here we are mentioning some lilies with their temperatures endurance/preference level:

Lily Types Temperature
Easter lily 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit
Asiatic-lily 50-55¼ degrees Fahrenheit
Tiger lily Up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit
Water lily about 70 degrees Fahrenheit
Day lily Up to -25 degrees Fahrenheit

What Temperature Can Lilies Tolerate?

If you live in a mild climate without excessive snow, deep freezes, or excessive rain during colder months, lilies can survive in the outdoors over winter.

Lilies can handle temperature fluctuations within a reasonable range but cannot handle extreme temperature fluctuations.

It is said that lilies are capable of withstanding temperatures of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and they can tolerate below-freezing level temperature too.

Regardless of where a lily is grown, tropical regions are a problem since lilies require a long period of cold weather.

Plants receive extra nutrients and energy from the dormant season in order ‌to‌ ‌produce their‌ ‌next‌ ‌round‌ ‌of‌ ‌blooms. ‌No matter how indoors the plants are, they will still grow in the same way.

Frost Damage Care For Lilies

Lily growers’ greatest fear is a late spring frost. A touch of frost on any part of your lily tops could damage the buds, which may lead to deformed blooms.

Your bulb required some special attention this growing season because it has suffered stem, leaf, and flower loss. Avoid overwatering. Fertilize‌ ‌the plant after leaf loss to restore its vigor. If you are using a product, use a weak solution.

For those who would like to cover the lilies with a cloth, stakes would be necessary to support the cloth’s weight if the lilies are taller than ground level. An unsupported covering will lead to bending and even breaking off the stems. Some bent stems cannot be straightened.

In the event of a frost forecast, cover your tall bulbs with a covering. Take‌ ‌two newspaper sheets and staple them‌ ‌together. Using this method, you can create a baglike‌ ‌veil.

The unstapled side of the covering should have some flaps for securing it‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌ground. Cover flaps with dirt, stones, etc., so that wind won’t blow them away.

To make the covering sturdy, use enough newspaper sheets. Staple three sides of the cover if it needs to be higher.

The benefits are particularly good for martagons, which tend to appear‌ ‌early. Daytime removal of these covers is recommended.

You may also want to plant the bulbs a little deeper if you do so. Growth will remain underground for a while longer this way.

In the absence of any unforeseen circumstances, these bulbs will bloom next year. Ensure that they are taken care of. Mark the place where the stems will be next spring so you will know where to find them since the stems could be fragile.

So, we knew the facts. Now we should know How To Protect Lilies From Frost?

Have you ever thought “What Happens If You Cut Down Lilies Too Early?

How To Protect Lilies From Frost?


How To Mulch Lilies To Protect It From Frost
How To Mulch Lilies To Protect It From Frost

Maintain a thick layer of mulch on your daylilies to prevent damage from frost or freezes. Keep the soil warm around your plants by mulching it with leaves or chopped bark. Cold nights have a more negligible effect on them because of it.

‌Adding mulch to your garden beds when you begin gardening in the spring or when you finish gardening in the fall is the best way to stay on top of it.


You can provide some protection for your daylily leaves on cold spring nights if you cannot tolerate the sight of them.

Place each clump of daylilies in its own little frame. You can accomplish this by using an upside-down tomato cage. Each frame should be covered with a blanket, sheet, or towel.

‌Make sure you don’t let any leaves touch the covering. The temperature will be transferred when the cold air passes through the material.

Aside from that, a large bucket or bowl can also be used to cover each lily clump. However, make sure you remove the cover the following day. So, your lilies will not be affected by overheating.


Water‌ ‌serves‌ ‌as‌ ‌an‌ ‌insulator. Water-filled plant cells have a higher resistance to‌ ‌cold‌ ‌damage.

Additionally, moisture-rich soil generally remains‌ ‌warmer‌ ‌than‌ ‌dry‌ ‌soil. Before freezing temperatures strike, the plants need to be well soaked.

If you live in a temperate climate zone, sun and heat shouldn’t negatively affect your lilies. However, when the water vaporizes from the foliage very quickly, there might be some problems.

It especially causes problems when it is almost as if the soil below has become desert-like, with its water reservoir heavily depleted. In‌ ‌these situations, you will need to soak the ground thoroughly.


So, are you still wondering about this golden question, “Can lilies handle frost?” Hopefully, we have covered everything about this topic. Also now you know How To Protect Lilies From Frost.

However, if you are interested more to know “How Do You Get Daylilies To Bloom All Summer?” Check our latest article.

Happy Gardening!

Read More – How Can You Mow Over Daylilies?

About Lee Safin

Lee Safin was born near Sacramento, California on a prune growing farm. His parents were immigrants from Russia who had fled the Bolshevik Revolution. They were determined to give their children a better life than they had known. Education was the key for Lee and his siblings, so they could make their own way in the world. Lee attended five universities, where he studied plant sciences and soil technologies. He also has many years of experience in the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a commercial fertilizer formulator.

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