I've had these lilies in pots for probably 3 or 4 years and would be interested in planting them in the ground. Could you please tell me when it would be safe to do this -- before or after blooming this year. Thanks a lot for the help.
I moved crystal blancas (a shorter relative) in semi bloom because the area in which they were got intense heat. I dug up clumps and put them in my car, drove to my new home, put them in a pot, and they bloomed without missing a beat. If I could move them successfully from the ground to a pot, moving them from a pot to the ground should not be a problem.
Have your new location ready. Tilt the pot to get as much soil as possible, put them into their new location, water well and stand back. Sprinkle a little bulb food, or a diluted fertilizer on the soil around them. I think you'll be pleased.
They will do best if the bulb and root are not disturbed. Therefore make the hole larger than the container it is in and don't loosen the soil, and they'll probably be happy. If you need to separate them at all, wait till the bloom is done and separate afterward.
Cathy, I absolutely agree. I did my best to preserve the soil, and was lucky enough to be able to do it. My actual experience was the reverse of yours, as I mentioned above. My lilies were burning in the ground, so I dug them up intact, drove 30 miles with them in my car, and put them in a pot. This was in July of last year.
Pic 1. Burned lilies
Pic 2. A couple of days later.
Pic 3. 4 days later
They are my new favorite lily. They were so great they could be heaved out of the ground and put in a pot. What you are doing is milder. The bulbs probably won't "know". Except that they are now in fresh soil.
The previous owner, who is a dear friend, had casa blanca lilies in his garden. The lily of the valley ate so many things (I dug up a Silver Sunburst bulb that had been completely engulfed and replanted it.
Well, in the midst of some of the choking lily of the valley I found a distinctive leaf shape. There were two, and they were not going to bloom this year, but they have been rescued, and since the bulbs are mature, I will see them next year.
You've got me! Someone offered me some years ago. I said no, they pressed it on me, and I took it home and threw it in the garbage.
Would you believe that there are people who live around me who ask if they can have some? I have spent hours removing about 200 of them, with about 100 to go. It's pretty backbreaking. And once they bloom they start going dormant. And they are not attractive. Imagine filling your yard with something like that.
The biggest problem is that it can spread several feet in a single year. It doesn't know when to stop. Turn your back for a couple of years and it's all you have in your yard.