How to sell more lilies - in pots!

While the urban jungle trend popular among millennials is focussed around mostly green and tropical houseplants, don’t forget that a huge propotion of customers of all tastes and generations are more likely to be attracted by colourful, blooming flowers. Lilies (Lilium) have a powerful presence with bright, majestic blooms and often an exquisite fragrance. They’re more commonly known as a cut flower rather than a houseplant so stocking them potted up and ready to grow could be a winning strategy for your business.  And of course, the colour choice is extensive from red, yellow, orange and pink through to bi-coloured cultivars and pastel shades.


Lily is the Houseplant of the Month for March... use it to sell more!

It’s a campaign developed to help you sell, so read up on the Flower Council’s care, sales and display advice plus fascinating facts so that you’re ready to share it all with your customers and sell more in-store. You can also download high-res royalty free photos and posters to use on your website, socials and more.



The lily is a herbaceous plant which is part of the lily family. The plant grows from a bulb and consists of more than a hundred species, of which most can be found in the northern hemisphere. The original plant probably came from China - the plant still grows in Korea, Japan and parts of Siberia - and spread via the Caucasus, the Balkans and the Alps to Europe, and later America. In the wild, lilies usually grow in a woodland setting or on grasslands. 


Potted lily range

The range of potted lilies is growing. Well known varieties come from the Asiatic Group, often with brightly coloured flowers, and from the Oriental Group, with large flowers with a strong scent. In addition, there are double-flowered lilies in pink and white, without pollen and with a light sweet fragrance. There are also compact varieties in pink or white with round leaves and a light fragrance. 


6 lily houseplant of the month florist 2


What to look for when buying potted lilies 

  • Check the ripeness and the number of buds per stem. The buds should not be open at the time of purchase but can show some colour.
  • The potted lily’s bulb must be well-rooted so that the stems are firmly supported. 
  • The plant should not have any dried-out buds or yellow leaves. 
  • If there is botrytis present on the flower or the foliage the plant has been kept in damp conditions or has been given too much water.


Care tips for customers 

  • Lilies like a lot of light, but not bright sunlight.
  • The cooler the plant’s position, longer flowering can be extended (up to 2 to 3 weeks).  
  • Water regularly - it’s better if the soil doesn’t dry out.
  • Wilted flowers can be removed. 
  • After its lavish flowering the plant is ‘finished’ and the bulb can be planted in the garden.  


Sales and display for potted lilies 

Keep the base simple (potted lilies look fantastic in black or white pots) and display the plants at different heights to give a lively look. Keep the bright colours and the pastels together, use white lilies as the linking factor to maintain a sense of coherence. Because the plants are sold to the customer in bud, accompanying image material showing potted lilies in bloom can provide extra inspiration for buying. 


Images of potted lily 

You can download and use the images below free of charge if you credit

Instagram: @thejoyofplants 

Facebook: @thejoyofplants

Twitter: @thejoyofplants

For more information about the 2019 Houseplants of the Month selection, click here.


Lily posters

You can download the posters using the links below. 

Lily poster A3

Lily poster A1