Post-bloom lilies turning brown

Q: What would you suggest for my lilies that, after blooming in late July, have bent leaves turning brown? They look as if they are in the process of dying….but always come back later. I just want to avoid this “ugly” stage as they are in the front of my house and a focal point in my landscaping.

This seems like normal lily behavior – once the flowers fade, trim off approximately the top third of the plant (no more). By removing the browning leaves and spent flowers, you can help your lilies gear up for next year’s bloom. Removing the spent flower means it won’t go to seed and, thus, can direct its energy to recharging the bulb for next year’s bloom. You must leave the remaining stems and leaves in place to complete this recharging process (photosynthesis). Tidied up in this way, your post-bloom lilies won’t attract much attention now, letting other blooming plants take center stage. By planting additional foliage plants around lilies, their foliage will be compatible with the lilies after they bloom to soften the look.