Lily bulbs are never truly dormant. Especially in the spring, these bulbs want to grow. Plant as soon as possible. If your gardens are not ready to receive the bulbs yet, they may be held under refrigeration. Do not allow them to freeze. If sprouting, be sure to loosen the packaging to allow for the growth to insure they grow straight. DO NOT hold in a refrigerator used for storing fresh fruit such as apples. Gases given off by the ripening fruit will inhibit flowering. Be careful not to break the stalk.
Lilies require excellent drainage. If you fail to provide it, your lilies are doomed. Pick a spot where soil is loose and will allow water will drain away from the bulb and roots.
Lilies love the sun. If you live in area where the summers are very hot, you may want to consider growing your lilies in an area with high overhead shade to prevent rapid fading and scorching of the foliage. Lilies planted near a building will generally lean towards the sun. To improve appearance, you may want to stake them. (It is best to place the stake in the ground when planting to avoid spearing the bulb later in the season.)
Plant your lilies 4 – 6 inches deep. The rule of thumb is three times as deep as they are wide. However, with spring shipped bulbs, they frequently have started to sprout during shipment. At a minimum, plant sprouted lilies with the entire stalk underground with the tip of the lily about an inch below the soil surface. Lilies should be planted 6 inches apart at a minimum. Remember, lilies love to have their heads in the sun and their feet in the shade. Mulch or use low growing perennials or annuals at their feet. Once planted remember to water them in! Even if your soil is moist, watering settles the soil around the bulb and stimulates root growth. (I personally like to use a water soluble rooting stimulant in the water to give them extra encouragement to start growing.)
Lilies are heavy feeders. Fertilize in the spring and again after they bloom while they are storing for the next years bloom. Do not cut stalks back until the stalk has turned brown. A good all purpose garden fertilizer is adequate.
Happy gardening! May your lilies be the centerpiece of your garden!