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Lilies: Someone Should have Warned Me!

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lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 29, 2009
3:15 PM

Post #7116313

I wasn't expecting this to happen when I planted 3 LATVIA bulbs 3 falls ago! Guess maybe they need to be divided every 2 years. I've never had a litly reproduce this fast.

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lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 29, 2009
3:21 PM

Post #7116328

I'm surprised they bloomed so well last summer with so many bulbs piled up on top of one another. I'm going to replant 5 of the larger bulbs and add some of the medium ones to packages I'm shipping today, but will be glad to mail out some of the smaller bulbs if anyone wants them.

Susan

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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 29, 2009
3:35 PM

Post #7116363

That's scary! In a good way, of course. My regales were freaky the same way but I had a neighbor who was thrilled to take them.
magnolialover
Southern, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 29, 2009
3:40 PM

Post #7116375

Susan, I love the look of that many bulbs! I think it is really cool and boy did they look great at your house last summer. So I guess they liked all that crowding ;)
Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 29, 2009
6:15 PM

Post #7116880

I feel your pain!! My Mom no longer wanted her tiger lilies and asked me to dig them.
No way am I about to plant this mess so they're going to our lily society sale. Sometimes we have kids express an interest in growing lilies (but mom and dad don't want to spend the money) so they'll make great give-aways.

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lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 29, 2009
7:37 PM

Post #7117086

How long is it OK to just let lilies lay around after they are dug up? I'd really like to go to bed, but I suppose I'd better get some of the ones I dug yesterday planted.

Susan
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 29, 2009
11:25 PM

Post #7117796

If you can stick them into a pot and cover them with potting soil or really matured compost, they'll be fine. I do this all the time.

Donna
Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 29, 2009
11:26 PM

Post #7117803

Can't say how long they would be OK, but that clump above was kept in a plastic grocery bag for 2 days until I could get them cleaned up. If you need some peat to make your trades, let me know ~ I have a big ol' block of it.
Rutens
San Rafael, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 30, 2009
3:32 AM

Post #7118690

Susan, if I'd been in touch with you lo those 3 autumns ago, I could have told you that the original lily stock that came from Latvia, per my relatives there who're pendantic authorities, *always* needs to be divided every other year. : ) My cousin Undine has *piles* upon piles of lily bulbs in her gardening shed every autumn, each cultivar carefully divided so that she can keep track of them. I suppose it should be kept in mind that Latvia has the highest percentage of peat bogs in all of Europe, hence garden beds - mostly sandy, but some clay, too - are highly supplemented with the free peat to be had. I suppose that must help, but be that as it may be - biennial dividing of Latvian lilies is the rule of thumb. :)

Elizabete

PS Good luck with the trades! It makes me feel warm & fuzzy inside to see westerners get excited by lilies whose stock originated in my country. : )
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

September 30, 2009
10:33 AM

Post #7119037

Thanks for the information. They really are a generous multipiler! Moby, thanks for the offe pf peat, but I have some coir that I used to ship the bulbs I sent yesterday. Hope that works OK. I just had it slightly damp, not soggy. I never realized until I started packing up some bulbs yesterday that I've never shipped lilies before. I did get 6 of the Latvias replanted yesterday but still have a few others that are going to have to wait until at least Thur to get replanted. I'll cover them with some potting soil. Does anyone know of any other bulbs that should be divided every 2 years? The only one I can think of is maybe Lollipop. I don't get around to doing it, but when I dig them up they always seem to have divided into a lot of smaller bulbs. The Latvias surprised me because the original bulbs were at least 4 times bigger than when I planted them besides are the other bulbs that were also fairly good sized. Sounds like Latvian gardens would be perfect for lilies with all that sand for drainage and peat for supplement. Elizabete, do you know what otherlilies originated in Latvia besides Pink Latvia?

Susan

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

October 5, 2009
3:27 PM

Post #7137120

I was shocked at how quickly Avacado multiplied. I had to move mine and I was giving a friend one and they were huge with several nice small bulbs each attached to the mother bulb. I was able to give a neighbor some also along with Triumphator which clumps up very quickly too.

That is scary... I just am now seeing this...after planting the ones you sent me! LOL
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 5, 2009
3:46 PM

Post #7137214

I guess it explains why most lily bulbs sell for a reasonable price. I've just finished dividing Blackjack, Loreto and Cote d'Azur. They were less generous that Latvia, but still ended up with lots more bulbs than what I started with. Ortego was the only bulb I dug up that hadn't multiplies at all and sadly I cut the single bulb that was there in half while digging it.

Susan

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

October 5, 2009
4:28 PM

Post #7137366

Oh, don't you hate that! I was trying to dig Arena to see if it had multipiled any and I hacked it. :( There was 1 really small bulb, so I am hoping it will grow...arrgh!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

October 5, 2009
9:13 PM

Post #7138300

I got the best piece of advice from someone on another thread. Always use a fork to dig bulbs. I used to use a shovel, cross my finger, and slice bulbs. Or I'd freak and give up. If you use a forklike device the chances that you will slice them are much less. I got all kinds of bulbs out intact this year that I'd slices or given up on previously.

If only I could remember the person's name so I could properly acknowledge him or her.
Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 5, 2009
11:11 PM

Post #7138676

Even if you slice the poor thing in half, there's a chance it will recover. Whichever part has the crown, wash it as best as you're able, apply fungicide or Comet/Ajax to the cut area and replant. I tried this once and it took a couple years but you'll get little bulblets and eventually stems.
wickerparker
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

October 6, 2009
1:56 AM

Post #7139425

I spent the afternoon digging up lilies and replanting them, and sliced a couple, but planted them again anyway. Wish I'd read this first. Didn't think to wash them with anything.

Got almost everything, new and old, planted today. Just a few daffodils and allium left, and I'm done for the fall. Seems earlier than most years, but the weather forecast ain't good.

That Latvia harvest is pretty impressive!
Rutens
San Rafael, CA
(Zone 9a)

October 6, 2009
2:13 AM

Post #7139511

Hi, Susan, Other than knowing that what’s now called the “Latvia” Asiatic lily was bought by the Dutch, and then introduced to the west, and the Tango series – as well as your Latvia Pink, and probably others - were developed from it or siblings, I know little else. Except, of course, from seeing on-the-ground-in-Latvia that the markings on these Asiatics not only look different from what we were used to, but they also behave a bit differently – individual bulb(s) fairly quickly becoming relatively huge. My cousin Undīne could tell you more about what they’re like in LV, but she’s a bit PC-phobic, alas. : ) All the best, Elizabete
Seandor
Springfield, MA
(Zone 6a)

October 7, 2009
1:33 PM

Post #7144062

Do all lilies need to be divided regularly? Like oriental lilies or trumpet lilies?
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
2:16 PM

Post #7144185

I think some just make larger bulbs overtime. My Ortego had been in the ground at least 5 years and was just one big bulb and it never sent up more than 1 stem each year. I dug up a White Henryi a week or so ago and it had been in the ground for maybe 7-8 years. It had divided into 6 large bulbs. It was hard to tell which had been the original bulb. I divided it because it was sending up at least 6 large stems each year and was getting hard to support. Some lilies I've noticed will start sending up smaller stems with fewer flowers after a few years and these are the ones that seem to have a lot of small bulbs attached to the mother bulb. Guess this doesn't really answer your question, but it does seem to vary with the cultiver of lily.

Susan

This message was edited Oct 7, 2009 9:23 AM
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
2:29 PM

Post #7144220

Asiatics seem to me to need divided about every 3 years. Here is a clump of Desert Song that had not been in this location larger than 3 years. A large tree fell on this lily bed over the summer and I ended up having to redo the entire bed. Between the tree and the tree men, all my markers managed to either get lost, smashed or relocated. I was able to recognize Desert Song by it's very white bulbs and the fact that the 3 I planted had turned into maybe 30. It's a favorite, so I kept enough for 2 large groups and gave the rest to work mates. Most of the other bulbs are going to have to bloom before I can ID them for sure.

Susan

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
2:30 PM

Post #7144223

OMG...I planted Latvia right in front of Desert Song!! LOL
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
4:10 PM

Post #7144548

Here's the photo of Desert Song:

Thumbnail by lincolnitess
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
8:12 PM

Post #7145278

Seandor, some lilies are much more prolific than others, even amongst the asiatics. Some LA's can be down-right agressive. Lilies will let you know when they need to be divided as stems may go every which way, lay down or the blooms are cramped and unable to open properly. As long as you find the display attractive then there's no need to worry about it.
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
9:43 PM

Post #7145565

I dug and divided some Monte Negro's today. All the bulbs were planted at the same time and one was still a single bulb, but some of the others had 15 or more small bulbs around them. Funny that they should be so different. I replaced them with some Stargazers that were planted too close together to begin with. They had been planted at the same time and had not multiplied a lot. Think I had maybe 5 or 6 small ones I replanted. Both the Monte Negro and the Stargazers were free bulbs I got from Michigan Bulbs a couple years ago just for paying the postage. I don't usually buy from them, but these bulbs sure did good and were healthy. Here's Monte Negro from last summer with a bleeding heart growing below it. This combination seemed to work well since the bleeding heart go dormant later in the summer. I moved a few of the bleeding hearts to grow at the base of the Stargazers.

susan

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DIRTYGIRL71
Brandon, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 8, 2009
11:17 AM

Post #7147246

If there are any 'left over': bulbs that need to be adopted *S* I'll give them a very nice home.
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 8, 2009
2:06 PM

Post #7147713

I can send you a box with some Monte Negro, Ceres, Orange Pixie and some small Latvia for postage. Probably at least 5-6 of each. Most of these are smallish bulbs that may not all bloom next year. Then I think I'll be out.

Thanks
Susan
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 8, 2009
6:26 PM

Post #7148459

I've been digging Lilies the last couple of days, and its a chore! Some of these bulbs are huge! ..so its a double chore getting them back in the ground. I'm emptying out a bed, or I should say, an attempted bed. A previous occupant of the house had what I think was a Rose garden in this area. I found a bunch of brick work under the growth there, and several metal Jackson and Perkins tags. The soil is so friable and rich, its a dream to work in, and everything grows amazingly there. Over the years Mulberries, Black Locust seedlings, and Johnson grass have practically taken over the bed, and my repeated attempts to eradicate them have been a dismal failure. So, all the good stuff is coming out, and I'm bringing out the big guns, LOL. My plan is to take a whole year to kill everything green that shows itself there! There's also poison ivy in parts of it, so I may resort to chemical help.
Leftwood
Saint Bonifacius, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 8, 2009
7:18 PM

Post #7148617

Neil, if you have big unwanted root systems there, like quack grass or Canada thistle (not familiar with Johnson grass), I'm not sure that just
one season of of light deprivation will kill them.

One of the few chemicals that I know that you can mix together is glyphosate (like Roundup) and 2,4-D formulations (like Weed-B-Gon). If you are just putting back lilies, don't worry about the 2.4-D residue. It has no effect on monocots (unless they are fragile seedlings). All lilies are monocots. But many other flowers are dicots, and are susceptible. Roundup, of course, has no action once in the soil, but the chemical itself still lingers for a year or so.

Good luck, and watch out for those rose and locust thorns!
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 8, 2009
7:30 PM

Post #7148650

Oh yes- the thorns, when I came in and washed my hands it felt like there were a hundred wounds! Johnson grass is like those you mentioned, huge, aggressive, stoloniferous root systems, with stolons as thick as my fingers. They're brittle too, and every little piece forms a new plant. I have been considering covering the area with dark tarps for the year. There are monocot and dicot invasives in there, so I should try that first. I'm thinking it will be spring 2011 before I'll be planting anything there again, so if I do have to resort to a chemical cocktail there will be some time to break down.
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 8, 2009
7:49 PM

Post #7148703

Man, I wouldn't mess around trying to cover anything, I'd drag the big guns out now. I had a beautiful bed that was invaded by bindweed. grrrrrrrrr. It took a couple of years of spraying it, but we got it. I believe Dan used 24D. It just laughed at Round-up.
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 8, 2009
8:09 PM

Post #7148739

Ah, the joys of gardening. It sounds like you will have a really nice area of good soil Neil, if it ever gets under control. I'm always battling Creeping Charlie, bindweed and dandelions because most of my neighbors don't do the best job of taking care of their yards. My big problem children right now are Monk's Hood Vines and Porcelain vine, both planted by me. The PV was OK for a few years but now is getting out of hand and seedlings are popping up all over. The MV sends up shoots 8' away from where it is planted. I just got them all pulled off the chain link fence and cut back this last week and also cut back a lot of saplings that had grown up along the fence too. I have a gallon of Triclopyr 61/6% that I hope will work on everything. It did seem to kill the vines I treated last Spring and cover with baggies, but there are lots more left. I will have a good sized bed to fill if I can get the MH undercontrol. It has a lot of odds and ends right now and not the greatest soil. Think I will get a truck load of compost in the Spring and redo that area and the area by the fence that is now covered with PV. Wish there was time to do it all this Fall, but it's starting to feel like winter will be here any day. Still waiting for a bulb order from PNWLS and may divide my Lollipops yet, but most of the lily dividing is done.

Susan
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 8, 2009
8:26 PM

Post #7148771

Ah Susan, it will warm up again in a week or so. Seems we always get this nasty freeze the first part of October and then it straightens up for a few weeks. :)
cjcjmass
Snellville, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 8, 2009
8:51 PM

Post #7148859

Hello I'm starting a new garden and was wondering if you had just a few bulbs to share.

cindy
Leftwood
Saint Bonifacius, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 8, 2009
10:53 PM

Post #7149216

Triclopyr does well in cooler weather, either sprayed on foliage (as directed) or painted full strength on freshly cut stems and all along the stems.

Is your monks hood vine a true Aconitum species? There are Aconitums that vine, but they are pretty uncommon and I've never heard of any getting out of control.
lincolnitess
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 9, 2009
5:49 AM

Post #7150306

I was mistaken about the Monk's Hood vine. It's really a Aristolochia or Dutchman's Pipe. Not sure of the exact type, but it's hardy in zone 5 and has never had noticable flowers for me. I cut them back to about 5" and plant to paint them with the Triclopyr, then cover them with plastic wrap or baggies so my pets won't get exposed to it.

Susan
DIRTYGIRL71
Brandon, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 9, 2009
1:21 PM

Post #7150830

Whens the best time to get them in the ground? We are finally dipping to the 70's
But still 90's in daytime
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 9, 2009
9:08 PM

Post #7152474

Hmmm...I'd think when its a bit cooler. How cold does it get there? The bulbs can be kept in the fridg (not with fruit) till your temps fall.
DIRTYGIRL71
Brandon, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 9, 2009
9:35 PM

Post #7152549

It will soon start dropping a bit...but we never have ground freeze
marty13
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10a)

October 10, 2009
1:00 AM

Post #7153185

I have learned that that my lilies do better and last longer if I put them in the fridge for 8-10 weeks before I put them in the ground, if they are new or I dug them up and am replanting. San Diego does not get much of a winter chill anymore than your area does. I have found that cedar mulch works great. So I put them in a plastic baggie,, surrounded by cedar mulch, put a few holes in the bag and put it on the bottom shelf of the fridge and leave them. Just check that mulch and the bulbs are only slightly damp, not wet. This was suggested to me by Bob Gibson of B&D Lilies for my climate and it has really improved my repeat bloom rate. Also it hold them until an ideal planting time for our zones, which is December through February. Hope this works for you, if you try it.. Marty
Leftwood
Saint Bonifacius, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 10, 2009
2:13 AM

Post #7153431

Marty has the right idea. If you put them in the frig (that is colder than your soil in Florida will probably ever get), when you take them out and plant them, whether it be fall winter or spring, the bulb will think it is spring because it is going from cold to warmer.

Remember the idea of the cedar mulch in the frig is to keep the bulb from dehydrating too much, not to keep them in a moist environment where fungi will thrive in. Whatever you use, cedar mulch, peat, vermiculite, etc, it must be barely moist. And remember, barely moist at room temperature becomes wetter as water condenses out of the air in the bag at cooler refrigerator temperatures.
marty13
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10a)

October 10, 2009
5:27 AM

Post #7153845

Thanks for the info on why my dry mulch, becomes moist in the fridge. I just assumed that is pulled moisture from the mulch. I've tried vermiculite and found it to be much messier and it took so much to cover the bulbs, that it was very expensive. A bag of cedar mulch costs about 4.50 and I just use the large pieces as mulch in my garden. Also is discourages or kills any buggies that might be around.
plantman1125
Memphis, TN

October 15, 2009
3:35 PM

Post #7171866

hello, wow the Latvia bulbs are very impressive. Its amazing that so few bulbs could produce that many. Please if you have a few left I have a good spot for them. thanks
Veshengo
Faversham
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

November 30, 2011
2:37 PM

Post #8911704

Leftwood wrote:
Is your monks hood vine a true Aconitum species? There are Aconitums that vine, but they are pretty uncommon and I've never heard of any getting out of control.


Monkshood Vine is NOT an Aconitum. It is called Monkshood Vine because the leaves have a shape very similar to that of Aconitum. The ones that climb are A. Hemsleyanum and A. Alboviolaceum, to name two. There are more but most of them are not true climbers.

They don't get out of control because they die back every year. Usually late fall or early winter, depending on frosts.

Steve

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