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Lilies: Basic Question on Bulbs

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Debsroots
Northwest, MO
(Zone 5a)

June 18, 2011
6:07 AM

Post #8638021

Why are my Asiatic and Oriental lilies all getting smaller. I've had some in the ground for only two to three years and the plants and blooms are getting smaller. I thought if you left them in the ground they would only get bigger even though they are producing baby bulbs as each year passes.

Thanks for any response you might provide.
Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

June 18, 2011
8:54 PM

Post #8639396

Do you have the same number of stems as the number of bulbs that you originally planted? Have you left the stems to die back naturally or were they cut while still green? Did you cut any for bouquets?
Debsroots
Northwest, MO
(Zone 5a)

June 19, 2011
5:26 AM

Post #8639721

I cut some for flower bouquets in the house, I pretty much let the stems die back on their own and take them out in the spring. If I cut them back it is only by about `1/3. It seems like they are expanding, but the stems are small and the blooms are small. I didn't know if the mother bulb quits producing after it produces baby bulb-lets or not.

Thanks for any help you can provide. Maybe I need to fertilize them.

Thanks for any additional help.

Debbie

Moby
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b)

June 19, 2011
10:45 AM

Post #8640275

It's good that you've left 2/3 of the stem. Lilies reproduce by division, so it isn't that the 'mother' is exhausted (as in irises) but split into 2 or more bulbs. That is why the stems are smaller but will mature with time. Some varieties are more prone to making stem bulblets (below ground), and others also make bulbils (on the stem above ground). Orientals are the slowest to reproduce, which is a bummer.

LIlies can always benefit by using a good, balanced fertilizer.
Debsroots
Northwest, MO
(Zone 5a)

June 19, 2011
7:01 PM

Post #8641210

Thanks for the info Moby. I guess I'll just wait a couple of years while they mature.

Debbie

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 20, 2011
2:00 AM

Post #8641722

feed them too.I use Bulbtone.

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