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Lilies: Buying Lily bulbs this time of year

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nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 12, 2011
12:59 PM

Post #8625911

I know pretty much nothing about lilies, other than I totally love them, and I do have some growing in my yard. I was at my local nursery yesterday, and they have lily bulbs on sale for half price, probably because it's so late in the year. Is it still okay to plant them this late? I wouldn't expect them to bloom this year, but even at half price, they are a little on the expensive side. It's a very expensive nursery to begin with, so I know they are totally overpriced to begin with, but I don't like throwing away money on something that has no chance of survival. There were a few that I'd love to get, if anyone says it is still okay to plant them.

If it helps, I'm in zone 5, and the tallest lilies in my yard are now only about a foot tall so far (some are only about 6 inches), and are about 3 to 4 feet when they bloom. I don't know the names of any of them, or what kind they are, and I don't know if this matters or not!

Thanks for any suggestions!

Natalie
roosterlorn
Pleasant Prairie, WI

June 12, 2011
7:00 PM

Post #8626457

Generally, its to late. For the little you save, you'll lose (more) in the end. You see, lily bulbs go thru an annual cycle in life every year. Each year they sprout, grow a stem, grow feeder roots on the stem above bulb, bloom , then maintain its green leaves for several weeks before they turn yellow and fall off. The lengthly green period after blooming is essential for it is during this time those feeder roots are replenishing and growing a (larger) bulb for next year. It is this essential green period after blooming that you will be short on if you plant this late and as a result the bulb may not winter over or if it does it will be a weaker, even smaller plant next year. On the other hand, if you're willing to take a gamble on a warm, late fall -- give it a try. But, generally its too late.
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 12, 2011
7:13 PM

Post #8626490

Thanks so much for the wonderful information. I think I'll pass on the sale since I almost never get a warm fall here! Also, even at half price, they weren't cheap, so I don't think I'll take the risk.

We lived in Great Lakes, IL, on the Navy base, before my husband retired from the Navy 9 years ago and we moved to Utah. I've been to Pleasant Prairie many times! It's a really nice area!

Natalie
roosterlorn
Pleasant Prairie, WI

June 12, 2011
8:29 PM

Post #8626660

Natalie--Thanks for the compliment on Pleasant Prairie. Certain areas--especially here near the lake have excellent soil type and climate for lilies. Just as a note, if your really interested in lilies, I get most of mine from B&D lilies and The Lily Garden. If you schrol down this forum to a thread by Tabasco on lily sources, there's a list of very reputable lily growers/sellers and thier websites. The best time to plant lilies is in the Fall. You can request a copy of thier fall 2011 catalog now. Best Wishes and Good Luck--roosterlorn.
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 13, 2011
12:08 PM

Post #8627951

Thanks for letting me know of a reliable source for buying lilies. I really love them! I don't have a lot of room because of my Daylily obsession, but I've got a few places I'd like to fill in with some other lilies. I've always been afraid of purchasing from anyone online, but knowing that they are reputable takes all the worry away. I'll check them out in a minute! Someone posted a link on the Daylily forum to a site that sells them and they were over 8 feet tall. I had no idea that they got over 4 feet tall, so I really need to check into getting some of the tall ones! They were stunning!

We lived about a mile from Lake Michigan, and our soil was amazing! The only problem was that we lived in Navy housing, and we were only allowed to plant annuals, and they had to be removed when we moved out. Before my husband retired from the Navy, I hadn't planted anything fancier than a petunia! We rented our house in Utah to a friend who is a landscape architect, and when we moved back in, I was positive that we were at the wrong house! It was amazing! I pretty much killed it all off because I had no idea what to do with any of the flowers, but I've come a long way in the 9 years we've been back here! I just wish that I had the same soil that I had in IL!

Natalie

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
1:22 AM

Post #8629115

Hi Natalie. There are shorter lilies thab 8 feet.
Check out Asiatics ,most get to 40 inches.
The bear is over 5 feet tall,red lilies and yellows are near 4 feet.The really tall ones in the back are Henries and Olianas which are not asiatics.
Asiatics come in tons of colors.Should make for a happy garden.
Asiatic border and pot lilies are 24 inches tall or less.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
1:24 AM

Post #8629117

These are Tiny Snowflake in a planter.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 14, 2011
9:32 AM

Post #8629760

WOW ge! Those are beautiful!! I really want some of the ones that get 8 feet tall, so I'm going to shop for them in the fall. I don't have much spare room for anything, but I do have a small area for lilies, and some 8 footers would be perfect at the back! I'm just a little over 5 feet tall, so most of them are almost as big as me anyway!

Thanks for posting the pictures!

Natalie

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
9:39 AM

Post #8629769

I didnt read your post correctly.
The Lily Garden has some nice tall ones,also Brent and Becky's bulbs.
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 14, 2011
9:40 AM

Post #8629773

Thanks ge! I see more lawn going away in my future!

Natalie
Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

June 14, 2011
9:46 AM

Post #8629787

The nice thing about lilies is that they don't require a lot of space. Easy to tuck in between daylilies, irises and roses since they like their feet shaded anyway.

Once planted, it takes 2-3 years to get to their full height potential.
(I'm 5'2")

Thumbnail by Moby
Click the image for an enlarged view.

nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 14, 2011
9:51 AM

Post #8629801

Moby, thanks for the great picture! I'm even more excited now!

If I had room between my daylilies for anything, I'm sure I'd cram in more daylilies! I'm terribly addicted to them and started hybridizing last year, but I do have a little area in the front bed that has some lilies, but that bed also has room for a few more. I do like it that they don't take up much room, but are very dramatic!

I'm 5' 3 1/2"! My Mom is only 4" 10", so I feel like a giant next to her!

Natalie

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
9:52 AM

Post #8629802

I found the small hole for lilies went just about anywhere.
Its addictive.
Just a few here and there. Last year I planted 150 more bulbs.
It was not smart, the asiatics have multiplied and now I am having to dig this fall and disburse amongst my friends who dont have deer.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
9:55 AM

Post #8629815

These are Species Regals I believe. Brent and Beckys planted fall 2008.
Last year they made at least 7 feet.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 14, 2011
9:57 AM

Post #8629820

ge, it's nice to know that the asiatics multiply fast. I've only got a couple of them, and haven't noticed any increase, but I've also moved them a couple of times, which has probably slowed them down.

I can't imagine how amazing 150 of them would be! Do they bloom at different times of the year?

Natalie

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
9:57 AM

Post #8629822

Yes in july I measured 89 inches and that wasnt the end

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
9:59 AM

Post #8629824

I wish I had more controle of bloom time.
The new ones were planted in April and didnt bloom with established lilies.
They all are budded now so maybe it will be a lily riot here end of June.
I will post pix on Lily forum.
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 14, 2011
10:28 AM

Post #8629890

ge, are those hostas in front of the lilies? It's so beautiful!

Natalie

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
10:52 AM

Post #8629963

No.Thats Ligularia Desdemins or MayBritt I cant remember. They love it in that garden on the west side of the house. Its always moist there.
Here they are a month later Aug.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 14, 2011
11:03 AM

Post #8629986

I've never heard of them before, but they are really beautiful!

Natalie

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 14, 2011
11:22 AM

Post #8630021

Very dramatic.There is a long pointed flower.Ligularia The Rocket
wifey246
Brea, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 16, 2011
10:34 AM

Post #8634215

roosterlorn wrote:Generally, its to late. For the little you save, you'll lose (more) in the end. You see, lily bulbs go thru an annual cycle in life every year. Each year they sprout, grow a stem, grow feeder roots on the stem above bulb, bloom , then maintain its green leaves for several weeks before they turn yellow and fall off. The lengthly green period after blooming is essential for it is during this time those feeder roots are replenishing and growing a (larger) bulb for next year. It is this essential green period after blooming that you will be short on if you plant this late and as a result the bulb may not winter over or if it does it will be a weaker, even smaller plant next year. On the other hand, if you're willing to take a gamble on a warm, late fall -- give it a try. But, generally its too late.


Hi, I'm sorry to butt in, but I am also a newbie at gardening and have fallen in love at with lilies. I stumbled into a bunch of casablanca lilies in a grab bag that didn't get delivered until a couple of weeks ago. I bought it on sale at a ridiculously low price so I guess I shouldn't be whining that it took forever to ship. I did get a pretty good lot from the bag - a bunch of huge dahlias, daylilies, hostas, phlox, astilbes, and glads. I decided that my favorite are the casablanca bulbs. The bulbs are just starting to sprout - merely a couple of inches at most. Is there any hope for these lilies? What can I do to help it along? I'm in zone 9.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 16, 2011
10:37 AM

Post #8634218

Best to plant them. Dont know if you will see blooms this year but they are happier in the ground.
Its a krapshoot which ever way you look at it.
I have planted lilies as late as May here in Z6 they bloomed a couple of months later.
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 16, 2011
11:53 AM

Post #8634329

wifey, you aren't butting in at all! That's what this thread is for! Please let us know how they do. I'm in a colder zone, so I decided not the risk it, but maybe you'll have great luck.

One thing I wanted to comment on is your hostas. My Mom bought 3 bare roots 3 years ago, super cheap, and decided she wouldn't lose anything if they didn't grow. One came up but didn't do very well, and the other two failed to grow at all. Last year, the one that came up the first year did a little better, though not great, and to our surprise, the other two grew a little too! This year though, all three are growing like crazy! So, if you don't see any growth on the hostas, I wouldn't give up on them! I think I spotted a couple in my yard today that I planted a couple of years ago and they were so sad looking last year that I thought I would lose them for sure! They survived, and it looks like they are going to be great plants this year!

Good luck with your plants, and I hope they grow like crazy!

Natalie
Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

June 16, 2011
1:41 PM

Post #8634459

There's nothing wrong with planting lilies this time of year if they're not sprouted too far. Especially if they're cheap! Keep the soil as cool as possible as this facilitates root development.

Several years ago, my favorite hardware store had big boxes of loose bulbs for sale. At the end of the season I bought some for 50 cents each. Some had sprouts a foot long with lots of bulblets, so I planted them and laid the stems in a little trench, covered lightly with soil. They did just fine. Nevers hurts to try. :)
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 16, 2011
2:28 PM

Post #8634525

I'm really afraid to try because even at half price, some are $6 or $7 for each bulb! Not cheap by any means, at least for me, so I'd rather wait and buy something at the proper time when I'd have a better chance of the plants growing well. Yes, it would be full price then, but I'd prefer to have them probably grow, instead of "maybe" grow. If they were 50 cents, I'd jump on them!

Natalie
Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

June 16, 2011
5:02 PM

Post #8634816

Geez, they must be really special at that price! Do you remember any names? I'd be hard-pressed to pay 12-14 bucks per bulb unless it came directly from a reputable grower. At least you have some recourse if you get an incorrect bulb. The priciest nursery in town here, and I've never gotten a correct bulbs from them.
fleur_guy
Parma, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 16, 2011
5:17 PM

Post #8634849

GE
What is the plant with pink flower in the foreground of your pic of 6-14-11 @11:55am ?? Looks good to me.I like Ligularia but can't supply the moisture it needs.
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 16, 2011
6:19 PM

Post #8634978

Moby, I don't remember the names, but they were pretty in the pictures. I've bought small single bulbs (not lilies) from them in the past for very little money in comparison, so these are probably on the "special" side. They are pre-packaged though so who knows what I'd get. The only good deal this place ever has is on their loose bulbs. It's the local nursery that is at least 50% higher on prices than anywhere else I've been, but they have everything imaginable. I usually just window shop there because it's so beautiful, but I also buy seeds from them on occasion. It shocks me that there are people there who are paying $4 for a single small petunia when they could drive down the street and get a 6 pack for $2.25! My next door neighbors family started this nursery over 50 years ago, so I think people shop there because their parents and grandparents shopped there!

Natalie
Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

June 16, 2011
6:35 PM

Post #8634997

Yep, I know exactly what you mean.
wifey246
Brea, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 17, 2011
11:46 AM

Post #8636546

Thanks for the encouraging replies! 4 out of the 6 casablanca bulbs have sprouted. I will dig through the mulch for the other two this weekend. The California weather has so far been very cooperative with my delayed planting.

My hostas are doing very well. Some are growing faster than others. There were 15 of them in the grab bag, i haven't had time to identify them yet. I'll take pics and get some help in the hosta forum:) This website is awesome! I've never felt so welcome and sorrounded by helping hands!
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 17, 2011
9:08 PM

Post #8637671

wifey, Aren't the people here wonderful? I love this site! I'm almost as addicted to it as I am the flowers in my garden! I learn something new every day too, which is wonderful! I can't wait to see your pictures!

Natalie

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