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When is the best time to move lily bulbs?

Vancouver, WA(Zone 7a)

Hi. I'm new to the lily area, so I apologize if this topic has been covered already.

I have some lilies that are blooming nicely this year, but I can see that the shrubs next to them will soon overtake them. I know lily bulbs never truly go dormant, so what signs do I look for that tell me it's okay to move them? Thanks!

Waxhaw (Charlotte), NC(Zone 7b)

The best time to move them is when the flower stem starts to turn brown and the foliage yellow in late fall/early winter. You can move them at any time, if you dig deep enough and move them with some soil around the bulb/root. Also, leave some soil along the stem because feeder roots develop here...

Vancouver, WA(Zone 7a)


Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

For most plants a good rule to remember is that if they bloom in the spring or early summer, move them in the fall. If they bloom in the fall, move them in the spring. Somethings you can get by with moving anytime. I have moved a lily when it had big buds on it because I wanted to plant something else where it was. I was careful not to disturb the soil much and it bloomed fine in it's new location. Just easier and better to do it in the fall.


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I always find out what I did wrong, eventually. When I was in my digging mode a few weeks ago I felt like flowerfrenzy and knew the lilies would be hidden in the shrubs so I dug them up. I replanted them and had kept them moist so I hope they like their new home. The worst that can happen is no bloom this year - is that right kd?

Prospect Park, PA(Zone 7a)

Ha! I was just about to post this same question!! Beginner's mistake, I got lots of bulbs in the coop last fall and can already see how crowded I am!

Franklin, LA(Zone 9a)

Well, the reason my Easter lilies are so crowded is because I keep waiting until fall to divide. Then something comes up and I have no time for lilies in the fall . . . so they don't get divided. It's easy to put off dividing them when the foliage is dormant, right? ;-)

So they are getting divided now. It's not the right time for them, it's the right time for me. LOL! As pirl says, the worst that will happen is no blooms next spring. And if they don't get divided soon, that could happen anyway!


Waxhaw (Charlotte), NC(Zone 7b)

If you divide after flowering, they should have plenty of time to establish themselves for next spring. If you divide before flowering, you risk loosing this years flowers.

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