Azucena Flower | Madonna lily: Meaning, Care and Propagation 

Do you know about a plant that has thrived since ancient Roman times and continues to captivate with its enduring beauty, cherished by people of all ages ? If you don’t, today is the perfect opportunity to discover about the exquisite and graceful flower known as Azucena Flower.

Lilies are wonderful flowers. They are the sign of both innocence and rebirth. According to some spiritual beliefs they are considered as the sign of death and the moment when the soul departs from the body. There are thousands of lilies discovered so far. Among them, we will be learning in detail about Madonna lily in this article. 

Azucena (Lilium candidum) falls in the liliaceae family. It is the perennial bulbous plant which is famous for its enchanting flowers. ‘Azucena’ is the Spanish word given for lily. It is also famous as the Madonna lily or white lily. Lilies have a very fragrant smell. Some varieties of madonna lilies are very fragrant while some impart mild fragrance. When you visit a lily farm you will receive an excessively rich, sweet and sometimes zesty smell that can make your day. The smell is very pleasing and satisfying to the mind and heart. These white lilies, being a symbol of peace, grace and tranquillity, are also preferred by many young to be marked as tattoos on their body. 

The General Overview of Azucena Flower is Tabulated Below:-

Plant name Lilium candidum 
Other name Azucena lily, white lily, Madonna lily
Grown for Flower
Plant typeRosettes type 
Family liliaceae 
Origin The Balkans and Middle east countries
Plant type Perennial bulbous 
Nature of plantEvergreen 
Life span 3 to 5 years 
USDA growing zone USDA 5 to 9 hardiness zone
Flower colourWhite with yellow pollens in middle
Blooming time Spring to summer 
Height 4 to 6 ft tall 
Width 1 to 2 ft wide
Light RequirementPrefers at least six hours of daylight 
Cold toleranceLess tolerant
Irrigation Whenever the soil becomes dry; 1 inch in every week
Soil type Rich in organic matter, Sandy loam, clay loam or loamy; well drained 
Soil pH6.5 to 7.5 ; neutral 
Toxicity Toxic to pets


Azucena flower lilies originate from the Balkans and Middle Eastern countries around 3000 years ago. It originated from the northern part of Israel then it was spread all over the world and is loved and grown in most of the houses. These are used as decorative cut flowers in hotels, lodges, and restaurants including home decorations.


These flowers were kept in the temples of Manoah. After the destruction of the second temple, it became very important for the Christian and Jesus association. It has been associated with the Virgin Mary. Madonna’s are the rare beauties that are cherished and cultivated with the hope that their beauty and fragrance will be perpetuated from generation to generation. 

Madonna Lily Distribution  

These beautiful white blossoms are widely grown in temperate regions and various countries of Europe such as France, Italy, etc. 

Madonna lilies are best grown when it gets full sun to partial shade. So it is preferred to grow outdoors in gardens. Also, there are many advantages of growing madonna outdoors. One of those advantages is that these flowers have big, bright, colourful petals with pleasant nectar, so these help in attracting pollinators like honeybees in the field. The next advantage is it makes our garden look amazingly beautiful and enhances the beauty of the garden. 

The preference scale for outdoor growing is large but saying this it is no doubt that it is also grown indoors, by providing favourable environments such as climate, soil, temperature, humidity, etc.  


Lilies are big and bright. These are surrounded by bright, long, and tubular petals. About five to six petals are present in one flower which surrounds reproductive parts where stamens and stigmas are long and are present in the centre. It has both male and female reproductive parts present in a single flower; so it is known as a hermaphrodite plant. The flowers are more or less extended tubes which may take the appearance of a trumpet.

Near view of azucena flower showing anthers and pollens surrounded by white petals

Being a long day plant it requires at least six hours of good sunlight. Lilies prefer adequate sunlight but they shouldn’t be exposed to very bright lights for long periods. Also, the feet of lilies should be kept in the shade. To create this environment lilies can be grown in areas of annual or perennial grasses. Madonnas are herbaceous, bulbous plants which grow to a height of 120 to 180 cm. The fact that herbaceous plants have low height is because their stem is made up of xylem cells. Xylem cells are soft and tender which is why they cannot withstand the weight of the whole plant. So these plants tend to be small in comparison to those plants having both xylem and phloem cells. 

Botanical Classification

Kingdom Plantae 
Phylum Magnoliophyta 
Family liliaceae 
Scientific name Lilium candidum

Purpose of Growing

Lilies are grown for their vibrant white coloured flowers beautified with yellowish orange stamen sticks in the centre. Azucena lilies are mostly preferred as cut flowers and are used for decorative purposes; both because of their beautiful appearance and their amazing aroma. A bunch of five to six sticks is enough to fill the room with its refreshing and pleasant fragrance.

Growth Rate and Dimensions

These white-blooming plants are herbaceous and grow to a height of four to six or eight feet and are one to two feet wide. Each flower may expand to a length of two to three inches on average. 

Also Read: 20+ Large Succulents Which Looks Stunning


Unlike other flowers, the roots of Azucena lily are modified into bulbs and these bulbs can be used as propagating material once it is matured. While propagating, the bulb should be well covered with soil up to one inch but not more than one inch. Over covering of bulbs with more soil may cause low germination and bulb decaying problems. The plant Azucena lily requires six or more hours of direct sunlight, saying this, make sure that the root part gets enough shade and is moist. 


leaves are green-coloured long slender …inch in length. The green colour of the leaves gives a compliment to white coloured flowers. Leaves are green in colour due to the presence of chlorophyll pigment in them. The leaves are present more vigorously towards the middle and end as compared to the top part of the plant. 


White-coloured flowers are the characteristic feature of madonna lilies, these flowers consist of five to six petals (six being more common). The outer base of these petals is characterised by the presence of green sepals. In the centre of the petals there we can find a bunch of stamen sticks topped with yellowish pollen. Stigmas are also present in between the mass of stamens since the plant is hermaphrodite. 

The blooming period for Madonnas is during the late spring or early summer. One single plant produces about 20 blossoms. The plant, when let to grow naturally, ends up producing seeds. The seeds are small, blackish-brown in colour and are used as propagating material. Seeds are also used for hybridization purposes as seed carries variation. 

Lilies are excellent cut flowers because of their large bombing days. The lilies can bloom for about 3 weeks depending on the type and amount of care given plus on the presence of a favourable environment. Besides, lilies have a vase life of about ten to fourteen days. This period can be extended to sixteen to eighteen days or more if preserved well. The lilies have been shown to have longer vase life when trimmed diagonally. 

One secret to increasing the juvenility of dull flowers is by trimming a small portion of the stem from the base of the vase plant. 

USDA Growing Zone

Madonnas can be grown in USDA 5 to 9 hardiness zones of 5 to 9. Central US, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana fall under this zone.  

Azucena Flower Care


Madonnas are light-loving species. They have a high demand for light so these plants can barely be grown indoors. According to some researchers, it requires a minimum of six hours of daylight. However, very harsh light should be avoided. On very hot days, you can bring the potted plants indoors or in a shady place. Still, make sure the plant gets proper sunlight. Planting these plants in very shady places makes them longer unpleasantly; decreases flower quality and the number of blooms per stem. Moreover, the plant becomes more prone to diseases. To prevent your plant from looking bad, plant them away from shades and extremely hot places. 


Azucena flowers are extremely sensitive to both drought and waterlogged conditions, even for a very short period. More importantly, the critical stages should be given more concern. Because a little ignorance during critical periods may cause severe to complete loss of plants and blooms. The critical periods for this beautiful plant are the seedling stage, peak vegetative stage, and flowering stage. However, little but daily watering is found easier and more effective. Daily or weekly watering of about one inch of water is ok if you cannot distinguish the critical periods. Or water the plant whenever it is dry to the touch. Remember to keep the pot or field moist all the time. Saying this, also make sure the field does not reach a waterlogged condition. 


These peace-radiating blooms can be grown in many different types of soil like sandy loam, clay loam or simply loam. You can choose any of these types of soil making sure the type you choose will not let a waterlogged condition because madonnas are very sensitive to waterlogging. If your soil is heavy and prone to drainage problems add perlite to the pot. Also, the soil should be rich and healthy. It should contain the optimum amount of organic matter along with other nutrients. The pH of the soil can range from 6.5 to 7.5, meaning neutral pH can be perfect. 


White lilies are a good nutrient consumer. They require optimum nutrients. Fertilisers rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc, iron, molybdenum, aluminium, copper, etc can be best. Fertilisers rich in all these nutrients are barely found so a variety of fertilisers can be used. Also, use organic fertilisers such as compost, cocopeat, vermicompost, etc because these organic sources not only provide primary nutrients but also provide other micronutrients indirectly. This benefit cannot be obtained from specific chemical fertilisers. In addition to this, organic fertilisers promote the growth of useful microbes. 

Azucena Flower Propagation

Madonna Lily after rainfall splashing its pollens into petals

Different propagating materials are available for Azucena flowers. Those are bulbs, seeds, and bulblets. Among these, propagation from bulbs and bulblets is preferred and more practical because these propagating materials have a high germination rate, contain fewer impurities and can grow faster than that seeds. 

Propagating by Bulbs: 

To propagate Azucena flower from bulbs, first, separate a disease-free bulb from the clumps. Then dip the bulb in 4% thiourea solution to prevent disease infestation. After an hour, plant it in well-draining soil.

Propagating by Bulblets : 

Bulblets are small or secondary bulbs, which are also used as propagating material. To propagate from bulblets, split a bulb into 2 or 3 pieces vertically. Then plant the bulbs in well-draining soil with the tip facing above the surface. And provide water and necessary management as per requirement. 


You can buy these flowers from any flower shops or nurseries or you can also make orders from online stores. 


In a nutshell, madonna lilies also known as Azucena flower lilies are the rare and most gorgeous bloom. It is planted both outdoors and indoors and is very popular in today’s markets. It has bright white coloured petals with complementary yellow stamens in the middle. These are sold as cut flowers and hold a unique value and figure in everyone’s heart.

Also Read: How to Make Best Succulent Soil Mix (With Recipe)

What is an Azucena flower in English?

Azucena flowers are known as white lilies or madonna lilies in English. These were termed Azucena to symbolise purity and innocence. 

What are the characteristics of the Azucena flower?

Azucena flowers have a characteristic white colour and are brightened by a bunch of yellow stamen sticks. Also, it has a characteristic flavour or smell. But these air fresheners have a natural evolution. 

What does Azucena symbolise?

Azucena has a 3,000-year-old history and varies in meaning based on the culture. The Azucena flower, which stands for purity in Greek and Roman culture, symbolises the goddess Hera. Roman society, meanwhile, connected it


  • Puja Subedi

    My name is Puja Subedi and I am currently pursuing my bachelor's degree at the Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan. As a passionate learner, I strive to understand the beauty and secrets of nature and botanical life.

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