How Fast do Tiger Lilies Spread?

Tiger Lili (Lilium Tigrinum) is a beautiful and hardy herbaceous plant. It gets the name from its beautiful orange flowers with strikes. Each Tiger Lili flower is 8 to 10 cm long with dark beauty spots. Tiger lilies spread slowly but consistently for several years in the same spot. It is one of the easiest lily plants to grow and care for.

Tiger lilies can be grown in the USDA zone 3 to 9. It doesn’t require much care. You don’t even need to worry about pests or diseases, nor frequent fertilization.

How Fast do Tiger Lilies Spread
How Fast do Tiger Lilies Spread?

Check out my previous post: How to Propagate Tiger Lilies?

How Fast do tiger lilies Spread? 

Tiger lilies spread slowly in most geolocation. In an ideal situation, a tiger lily plant will mature in 1 to 2 years to bloom. Meanwhile, it will develop 5 to 10 bulblets every year. New bulbs will grow and multiply again in subsequent years.

If you maintain the optimum soil moisture and nutrients level then these plants can spread quickly.

Consider having only 3 bulbs from a single tiger lily bulb per year. Now compound it for 3 subsequent years with 3 new bulbs from each parent bulb. If you count it through then 1 Tiger lily plant can trip up to 10 to 20 Tiger lilies.

If 1 bulb takes 3 to 4-inch diameter space in the garden. Then within 3 years, the root ball will spread up to 1 foot or 12-inch diameter.

Therefore you should concern with the growth rate as tiger lilies can spread a lot in good soil conditions.

Are tiger lilies Invasive?

Yes, Unfortunately Tiger lilies can be Invasive at least in good growing conditions. It can suppress other plants growing nearby with dense clustered fibrous roots.

Tiger lilies are strong and hardy plants all over from north to south in Zones 3 to 9. It is also grown these days in zone 10,11 and 12 with little preparation.

These beautiful flowers are introduced in the US in the late 19th century. Since then they are flourishing all over the states. In an ideal condition, these plants can continue to grow and thrive for decades. And yes, They will spread to 10 times or more than their original location during this time.

Usually, this will not happen with most of the home gardeners. Tiger lilies grown in containers can be managed more efficiently than those grown in isolated garden spaces.

How fast do tiger lilies multiply?

Tiger lilies can multiply fast. A single Tiger Lili bulb can multiply up to 5 times in the best case. At least you can find 3 bulbs growing around each parent bulb. This multiplication continues until all of the available space is occupied.

In the scarcity of open growing space, the old bulbs will start rotting and die back. Still, the new ones continue to grow and divide into new bulbs.

In few years you can observe bulbs coming out of the soil. Mature bulbs usually force out the new bulbs. If there is no available room for new bulbs then they will come out of the soil.

Also read: Flower Bulb Division: When and How to Divide Plant Bulbs

How many bulblets can a Tiger lily bulb form in a year?

Tiger lily bulbs can form at least 3 to 5 baby bulbs per year. This count can increase up to 12 bulbs if it gets the best soil condition to grow.

The new bulb will grow bigger in the first year and divide in next year. It will continue to develop 3 or more bulbs until no space is available for a new one.

Every year the cluster size of the bulbs will increase and new bulbs will form on the outer edges. These new bulbs should be separated and regrown in new locations.

How much Time does a Tiger Lili bulb need to mature?

A baby Tiger Lili bulb will mature in 2 years. If you grow the bulbils then they will bloom after 2 to three years. Sometimes it can take extra time according to climatic conditions.

Generally, a single patch of tiger Lili will mature and bloom within 2 years. Mature bulbs will size up to 4 inches or more in diameter. It will take a couple of years for a 1 inch Tiger Lili bulb to mature and bloom.

How to Speed up Tiger Lili Spread?

If your Tiger lilies don’t spread enough then you should try some of these methods. It will help the bulbs to grow and multiply faster than ever.

  • Apply Bone meal once in 2 months around the root ball.
  • Add organic compost to the soil once every month.
  • Check for squishy, soft bulbs and remove them to get some room for new bulbs.
  • Divide overgrown and irregular Tiger Lili bulbs to maintain quality and uniformity in the root structure.
  • Dig out the bulbs and loosen the soil once every year. Amend it with fertilizers, Bonemeal, Coco peat, wood ash, and fungicide.
  • If none of these works then change the location and look out for the moisture level in the soil.

Safety Measures to avoid Invasion of Tiger Lilies

Are you worried about the fast growth of Tiger lilies? Are they invading your garden? Probably not. Still, you should take safety measures to keep the Tiger Lili growth in control.

You can follow these steps-

  • Don’t forget to divide the Bulbs every year. This is the best method to keep the Tiger Lili spread in control.
  • You can try growing  Tiger lilies in containers to avoid unnecessary spread.

Check out: How to Dispose of a Christmas Tree responsibly?

Final Words

Tiger lilies are beautiful yellow, orange flowers. These plants are easy to grow and are almost maintenance-free. This makes them a fast-growing possibly invasive plant. It grows from bulbs or bulbils, sometimes from seeds as well. The adaptability of this plant with different soil types and climatic conditions helps it to grow everywhere. What do you think – How Fast do Tiger Lilies Spread? Maybe 2 or 3 times in a couple of years.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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