What to do with Asiatic lily bulbs?

glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)April 8, 2006

Hello all,

I receive my bulbs in the mail from T&T seeds. They look good, the begonias tubers show signs of life. I know what to do with those, but the lily bulbs are sprouting as well. I know they often mail things in time for planting, but it seems cruel planting them in the cold soggy soil outdoors. There is nice weather coming up for the next few days but yesterday the high was only 3C (today more like 10).

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Should I just store the lilies in the fridge crisper for a couple more weeks then plant in their spot directly in the garden? Has anyone planted them in pots and grow like annuals until outdoor planting time (putting them outside on the deck on nice days).

If I do plant them in pots, do they transplant easily? They seem kind of fragile to me. Is it important to plant them the same depth that they would be upon being planting in the final spot in the garden?

One year I bought lily bulbs and kept them in the fridge crisper, but they dehydrated and most of them didn't grow when I planted them later on.

Thanks for any advice,

Regards,

Glen

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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Since your ground is thawed, you can plant them straight out. Don't worry - they can take it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 12:26PM
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sierra_z2b

If you don't want to plant them out yet....Yes you can plant them in pots. I use one gallon pots. I have found that planting them in pots saves the mess from putting them in the crisper and they start growing and twisting ....then they are really difficult to plant.
They will grow and probably flower earlier in the pots...but will be okay once planted out for next year.

The speciosa lilies that I got at Costco were planted in one gallon pots....the whites are up about a foot and a half the pinks are just a couple inches tall. When I plant out they will go about 4 to 6 inches deep....slightly deeper than the pots they are in.

I hope Vessys and Dominion don't send the bulbs this early. I don't have a spot for them yet. LOL!

Sierra

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 12:39PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I was going to say pots too, since you often find asiatic lilies for sale at nurseries in pots and they do fine planted straight into the garden in May.

I would have thought they would need hardening off before going into the ground - but if Lori says it's ok I believe her.

Gillian

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 2:53PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

I was going to add that potted lily bulbs grown indoors DO need hardening off before they go into the ground, but bulbs/roots don't need hardening off... since they're under the ground, they don't need to be accustomized to bright sunlight, right?

I expect that Gillian and I are envisioning that Glen's bulbs are overgrown to a different degree...I was assuming they'd just sprouted, but weren't up 8" or a 1' yet; Gillian is likely figuring that they are, I think?

"Just sprouting" is fine for planting out directly; lily bulbs are planted 6" or so underground so that spindly new growth would be underground anyway. (By the way, planting depth is not critical; the bulbs will adjust their depth somewhat with their stem roots...amazingly.)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 3:37PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Lori, I concur. I was imagining a few inches of growth.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 3:50PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Thanks for posting this, Glen, as i had a lily question too.

I have some container lilies that i put in the ground for the winter. That area is thawed and dry. If i dig them out and repot them in their container, can i just leave them outside?

Glen, i've planted lily bulbs into large peat pots and they've been fine in them. When i plant them out, i cut the bottom off the peat pot and put the whole thing into the ground.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 4:47PM
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valleyrimgirl(2b)

I was at a hort day today in Brandon. One of the topics was lilies. The speaker mentioned something that may be the reason why your lilies in the fridge, Glen, did not work out. If you happened to store your apples in the same fridge as the lilies...the apples give off a gas that inhibits the growth of lily bulbs. This same gas makes carrots bitter and so... never store carrots and apples together in the same fridge either.

Just an interesting tidbit.

Talking about lilies...I have oriental lilies started in square pots in the sunroom, they are just sprouting. I am thinking of treating them as an annual and just throwing them out at the end of the season since they are not really hardy here in our zone. As for hardening them off I will be opening the greenhouse this next week. So, they will go into the greenhouse and once there, be planted right into the container that they will be in for the rest of the summer.

Brenda

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:43PM
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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

Valleygirl, don't through your orientals out. Put the pot in the ground in late fall in a place you can did it out easy in the spring. Bring them into the house next spring as soon as you can to force them to grow sooner. The orientals are hardy here, but our growing season is too short for them. Check out what plantlilies (at ValleyK Greenhouses) has to say about them.

I purchased some asiatic lilies a month ago. I immediatly put them into pots. Some of them are 2 ft tall already and have flower buds. I am setting the pots outside on the south side of my house on warmer days.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 10:20AM
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valleyrimgirl(2b)

I know all about the orientals...putting the pot in the ground...bringing it out ASAP in the spring...etc. etc. Not sure whether I want to go to all that bother or not. It is simplier to just go to HD in the spring and buy 3 Stargazer lilies for $3.98 and start them each spring. I bought mine at HD about a month ago, and started them then. Whereas if I had sunk a pot in the ground I would only be pulling it out about now. So...I know it can be done but...

Brenda

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 1:42PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Thanks for all the interesting information. No, the bulbs haven't grown much yet, just beginning to sprout, so I suppose I could just put them in the fridge if I wanted. Then again, I guess planting them in cool soil outdoors is sort of the equivalent of the fridge.

Interesting about apples creating a gas that inhibits growth, but my problem a couple of years back was likely dehydration, those few wood chips they put in the bags wasn't quite enough to store them I suppose. Of course I forgot about them and by late May they were shrivelled. I believed I planted them and two of the three did revive.

Thanks again,
Glen

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 4:02PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Yes, dehydration was likely your problem. Ethylene gas affects flowering both of lily bulbs and of other bulbs (tulips/daffodils/etc.). Unlike tulips/daffodils, lily bulbs don't have a "dormant" period, nor a protective outer coating to conserve moisture. It is best for them to be in moist medium at all times, so planting them out (or in pots, but why waste effort on an extra step?) as soon as they are received (spring or fall) is best care you can give them.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 4:22PM
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debbiecz3(z3MB)

I succumbed and bought some lily bulbs (asiatic and l.a.'s)that I really don't have any room for in the garden right now. Can I plant them outside in some large containers right now or must I start them indoors and plant out after last frost?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2006 at 2:02PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I think you could put them outside now. When you think about it, the bulbs that are already in the ground are out there, so why not new ones?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2006 at 10:47PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

O.K. so I couldn't resist the temptation of lilies at costco, I do this every year. Last year I put the bag in the basement and hoped that they would not start growing, but before I knew it they were wild and I had a heck of a time trying to get them in the ground. With the weather this year I'm afraid the ground will not thaw until well into May. I still have up to three feet of snow in spots. Upon opening the bag this morning I discovered that they are starting to sprout. I guess I should pot them. Question is should I do them individually in four inch pots or in groups in larger pots. This cold long winter is killing me. Help. Cheryl

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 5:50PM
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sierra_z2b

Hi Cheryl,

How big are the bulbs? When I buy the bags at costco I usually put 3 to 5 bulbs in a one gallon pot....but it really depends on the size of them. You can pull them gently apart at planting time or leave them in a clump. What I have found is that they will bloom before you plant them out this year. Next year they will be nicer in your garden.

I still have a good 5 feet of snow and up to 8ft in some places....so you arn't alone.

Sierra

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 6:11PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Hi Sierra, the bulbs are about 1-2" across, good size. Could I plant them and then put them in the fridge to slow them up. Or is that totally crazy. Or would just putting the whole bag in the fridge to easier. Cheryl

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:22AM
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sierra_z2b

Cheryl, I have tried putting them in the fridge in the bags. All that happens is the stems grow around the bulbs and at funny angles, making them very hard to plant. I planted them and tried them in the greenhouse and they rotted before plant out time...to cold or froze I guess. In my experience, it is just easier to let them grow and enjoy them next year in your garden. I buy them knowing now that it will be for next year. You will see the blooms this year so know what they look like though....just in the pots. Sounds like you got good sized bulbs....maybe only 2 will fit in a one gallon pot.

Sierra

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 1:06PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Thanks for the advice, tomorrow is supposed to be stormy here again. I think I will pot them up and enjoy, it could be a long time until spring. If any one was looking the bag of bulbs was $11.00 with the coupon for 18 bulbs, in Calgary. Cheryl

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 3:39PM
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mysterylilies

Hey all, I just planted 18 mixed Asiatics outside in a rubbermaid container (with drainage holes) because where they are Supposed to end up is currently under construction... I've had them in the fridge for a couple of months and they have been sprouting -some have no sprouts, others have 2-3 inches already, so I'm taking a chance.
Really hoping I don't kill them all -the soil I used was from the backyard and is very heavy and yet sandy -weird sand/clay mixture... (I shuddered as I buried them gently under that heavy stuff)
I planted them as deep as I plan on putting them in the ground (about 6" -I'm in zone 6) and hope that the cool weather won't rot them out.
Anyone have any suggestions about something I can do to 'help' keep them -or if I just did a big 'no-no' in anything, I did put some bone meal in with them...
I'm new to lilies this will be my second year with them...
Any general lily advice would be loved...
I am using used coffee grounds sprinkled around my established plants to ward of slugs (I have a huge slug infestation that salting will not help as it just salts the ground and with as many as I have that's just not helpful)
Thanks for any advice!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:29PM
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CharWan(7)

When I was a kid I worked at a green house. To get the lilies, tulips, daffodils, to come in at a certain time we made a square box outdoors and planted them in 3 in pots first and buried them in this box under saw dust. Just take them out during the winter when you get ready to plant. Saw dust comes off clean.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 8:21PM
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