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We have been enjoying the spring from heaven. I live in Zone 5, but it has been in the 70's and tomorrow will be in the 80's. My garden is weeks ahead: daffodils blooming and much of my plants are in good growth. This includes several of my lilies: orientals, hansonii and more. In 5 days we are going to hit a high in the lower and 60's and nights in the lower 40's. Since I have never had growth like this so early, should I be covering these shoots at night when the temperatures go plummeting?
I live in the greatlakes region and was beginning to believe we would have an early spring when southerners,Tenessee,Kentucky, Louisiana ,all talked about unusual mild weather. This goes back as far as January.
Now I believe we will have another early spring as 2010. I dont believe its the end of cold temps as its supposed to go to the 50's next week.
This is NOT gospel but a strong inclination. Gawd help me if the lilies freeze.
Do you have any old flower pots? This happens to us almost every spring in zone 5a. Pop those pots on top of your lilies and they will be fine! Just take them off in the morning if the temperature is going to soar.
Thanks for all of your input. If the forecast is correct, it is even going to be lower in temps. I have several clear bottles that I use to cover my small transplants when the temperatures fall after Memorial Day. I will just bring them out earlier. I hate to lose all my lily blooms!
Once they are frosted that is usually a wrap. Now, I have had some on which the leaves were nipped, and they were OK. But frosted means bye bye.
My neighbors used to laugh when the temperatures would be plunging toward the low 30's and I would be running around with pots, pot lids, pails, bowls - anything I could find. I also realized that regale is one of the more sensitive to frost, which you wouldn't expect given it's tough origins in China.
I can alsmost hear them now "there goes that crazy lady again!"
The only lily I have up so far is Arabesque. How odd. I planted 5 sets of 5 in different places in 2008, I think, and 2 of the places they have sprouted. Usually my Asiatics are first up. But I have straw sitting next to them to cover if necessary, and I can do the inverted pot thing. So far they are only up about 2". Not my favorite lily, but it's nice, and I would hate to lose them.
Well, I am psychic, but this is just experience talking. The first year I did a mass planting of lilies they all came up quickly in the hot weather and got frosted to mush. The next year they were fine, but that doesn't help the year we're in.
I just found a couple more up. Asiatics this time.
The return to winter has me covering lilies. Temps started out at 39* but have dropped. Tonight and tomorrow night they are calling for hard freezes.
Whole beds are covered with beachtowles and a queen size lightweight blanket. I had enough pots to cover most of the rest. If I missed anyone or lurkers emerge todat they are on their own.