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Beginner Gardening Questions: Lavander Mountain Lilies & Paperwhites Planting/storage Q.

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Cicca
Herndon, VA
(Zone 6b)

December 31, 2013
2:49 PM

Post #9737654

I received, as a gift over the holiday bulbs of Lavander Mountain Lilies and Paperwhites.
My question(s) are: A) is it too late the plant in a container now? If not how do I do this properly? IE what soil is best and are there any special considerations I should be aware of, I know some bulbs need to be chilled before planting is this the case with these? If so how do I go about that, just stick them outside?

B) If it is too late and I have to wait until fall to plant them how do I store them until that time, I doubt sticking them in my file cabinet drawer is good for them? Someone told me to place them in the freezer until fall, but that did not sound right to me so anyone know?

Thanks in advance,
~C~
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

January 2, 2014
1:48 PM

Post #9738892

I would plant now, In Pots or containers with good quality compost, IF you get really cold weather (like freeze, keep the containers either in cool garage or out side in very sheltered area,
They will never last until next fall either in freezer (far too long time-wise and far too cold also) while inside in containers or in the garden where they are sheltered, you must keep an eye on them and water JUST enough to prevent them dying off, once you see green shoots it's time to offer a little more water and by spring they should be able to sit outside, give a feed and after flowering, leave the foliage to die down naturally as this feeds and gives nutrients back to the bulbs for next years flowering, it's at this stage you can plant out into the gardener for their final planting place, once planted out, IF you get ground freeze you just throw a few inches of leaf mould or compost to help act as a blanket will protect the bulbs oor lift them end of summer and store indoors.
Hope this helps you out and you enjoy your new plants.
Best Regards. WeeNel.
Cicca
Herndon, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 2, 2014
10:27 PM

Post #9739173

WeeNel,
I live in an apartment, would they be ok in a planter for a few years?
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

January 3, 2014
12:42 PM

Post #9739495

I would say YES, they should be fine with care and watering when required NOT just pour water on every day.
Make sure IF you plant to grow things in containers on a balcony you use saucers under the pots to prevent water soaking the folks under you and don't use too heavy soil either or you could create problems but having not seen your place maybe that's not an issue.

when spring comes and the pots are requiring a little more watering, you can add half strength liquid feed like miracle grow or some other choice, after a few weeks increase to full strength, the reason for feeding is because plants quite quickly use up any nutrients withing the pots, when growing in the garden, the roots get to travel either down or outwards to search for water / nutrients but in pots, the roots are trapped taking up all the space the pot offer's after a couple of seasons, by then you need to empty the pots and maybe split up the bulbs, replant and this allows the bulbs more room.
Hope this helps you out and you enjoy you new plantings for many years.
Best Regards.
WeeNel.
Cicca
Herndon, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 5, 2014
1:07 PM

Post #9740902

Thank you WeeNel,

I just have one more question, I was reading online and one site suggested I "force" the bulbs before planting in a pot. I understand how to do this, but should I? The jury on that article was hung it seemed.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

January 6, 2014
12:18 PM

Post #9741738

My own experience tells me that MOST growers of bulbs that supply the public have already treated there bulbs for either planting INDOORS (like Daf's, Hyacinths or any bulbs that is sold for INDOOR plantings. All other bulbs for outdoor planting is seasonal timed plantings,

Therefore, your bulbs should have been planted within WQEEKS of purchase to be timed for the NORMAL flowering times (SPRING OR SUMMER) de3pending on the type of flowering bulbs you have.

You have withheld the correct planting time therefore you either forget about planting as you are insure IF they will flower this year OR do as I suggest, and go ahead and plant NOW, forget trying to cold store the bulbs, Nature will do that for you as the winter is here, BUT what I have said, what do you have to loose, either give the bulbs the chance to flourish or leave them to rot and die, never to know IF your bulbs can be saved.

My instinct would be allow the bulbs to try grow (even IF you get now flowers, any greenery tells you the bulbs are alive, so you leave them to die back (yellow foliage, and then remove this dried foliage as it has died back and fed the bulbs for next season) leave the bulbs in the pots and just water to keep alive, early next autumn or winter you should have the bulbs re-growing IN their proper seasonal times and should continue to do so each year IF you care for them.
I know some people who believe freezing or cold storage is the right way to treat bulbs to plant BUT I would only imagine any good for that treatment would be bulbs from an un-known grower or maybe trying to grow winter/early spring time bulbs outside in say Florida,

I know bulb growers have helped prepare bulbs long before they reach the customer / garden centres, and here the packaging is informative telling you they are PREPARED READY TO PLANT bulbs, lets face it, everyone's fridge or freezer is set to a different temp so what is right about that info.
Just plant your bulbs and see how they go, IF you don't plant now, they will dry out, perish and die before next autumn.
Good luck. WeeNel.
Cicca
Herndon, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 6, 2014
6:25 PM

Post #9742022

Ok thanks for the info.
It got them as a gift for Christmas so I had little to do with the timing of it. But I'm happy to give it a go. :)
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

January 8, 2014
10:25 AM

Post #9743263

You are dealing with two different buls with two different requirements.
Paperwhites are only hardy in zones 8-10 so at best they would be marginal outside. This year no way. Paperwhites are usually just planted an let grow. They have very little cold requirements. The Lilies do have cold requirements. I assume the lilies are in some kind of brown material that I think is a peat moss mix. Make sure it's not all dried out and put it in the back of the refrigerator for two or three months and then plant.

If you want to reuse the paperwhites again next year they are going to have to have good lighting during and for seven weeks after blooming to grow a new bulb. The lily will need light until it dies down in the fall.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

January 8, 2014
3:05 PM

Post #9743420

All Bulbs, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor bulbs, for the Novice gardener need to be given care soon as possible after the bulbs are available from the growers/ suppliers. You can leave the bulbs till next year in a bag and the bulbs (most of them) will sprout greenery, in a poor state but greenery never the less, They will NOT flower nor be fit to follow on for the next season due to lack of water, nutrients, light, air, and food, heat if required, shade if needed.

The reason for the green shoots IF left unattended is because the bulbs are like a store cupboard, it contains all the substance required for growing on over a short period of time without care and attention gardeners offer them as in the wild, nature would supply all requirements.

IF your area is too cold for outdoor planting, you can still plant in pots and keep indoors till the weather warms up enough in spring and then place outside,
Personally, IF you don't get freezing weather, then I don't see a problem placing both types of plants outdoors in early spring, Zone 6 is not what we would call prolonged freezes BUT then again, look at what is happening both here, Canada and USA, sheltered from winds or frost, some winter sun and good light all play an important part in what and how we all learn what we can grow or push the boundaries with BUT leaving the bulbs in a drawer is not going to win you any blooms this year either and almost certainly no life left in the bulbs for late this years plantings. Sometimes we just have to take the chance and know, some plants are tougher than we think.
Best Regards and good luck.
WeeNel.
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

January 8, 2014
9:12 PM

Post #9743639

[quote="WeeNel"]
Personally, IF you don't get freezing weather, then I don't see a problem placing both types of plants outdoors in early spring, Zone 6 is not what we would call prolonged freezes BUT then again, look at what is happening both here, Canada and USA, sheltered from winds or frost, some winter sun and good light all play an important part in what and how we all learn what we can grow or push the boundaries with BUT leaving the bulbs in a drawer is not going to win you any blooms this year either and almost certainly no life left in the bulbs for late this years plantings. Sometimes we just have to take the chance and know, some plants are tougher than we think.
Best Regards and good luck.
WeeNel.
[/quote]

I suspect that your zone numbers and the USDA zone numbers are different. USDA zone 6, which is what most of Virginia is, very definitely will get heavy freezes and prolonged cold. Much too cold for paperwhite narcissus. Planting anything this time of year in Virgina and areas north involves a pick ax and almost sure death of the plant.

The paperwhite narcissus I grow as a house plant and haven't always tried to save the bulbs after they bloom. The lilies I'd keep moist and in the back of the refrigerator and plant outside as soon as the ground thawed.




This message was edited Jan 9, 2014 12:20 AM
Cicca
Herndon, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 10, 2014
12:07 AM

Post #9744341

Well thanks for the info everyone...
I guess I'll pot them and just see what happens.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

January 10, 2014
5:02 AM

Post #9744417

Good Choice get back to us and tell us all how the plants did as believe it or nor, this site is a learning curve for most of us, no matter where we live, and always keep in mind, everyone developes their own ways after the basics have sunk in.
Good luck, hope all goes well, just don't forget to keep a close eye on your pots over the first several weeks, that will be the tell tale time for success or problems. then you will have time to move, alter or be patient.
Kindest Regards, WeeNel.

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