Is Lily folliage safe to compost?

redpeonySeptember 26, 2007

I am new this year to composting, and am not sure what I can all add to my compost pile this fall. My lilies all looked oK disease wise - but I'm still not sure if I can put them in the compost pile or not. I know I can't put in peony folliage or anything that has had powdery mildew on it - but are there any other rules (besides weeds) that I should know?

I learned the hard way this fall that I need to make sure that I turn my pile regularily and keep it moist. I surprised myself one day when I went to wet the pile and turn it when 4 baby mice jumped out at me! I ended up catching 7 mice (4 babies, 3 adults) and destroyed the nest that was in the compost pile. I think part of my problem was that they are starting to develop the subdivision just to the north of us (2 houses north of us) and they just cleared a whole field.

Any tips that people have are most welcome!


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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

Janet, I treat my lily foliage just like my peony foliage. Get rid of it in the fall and throw it into the garbage.
The rest of my perennials, I usually don't cut down until spring. I leave the foliage on to collect snow.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:51AM
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I think on the Canadian prairies, botrytis is the main bad disease that can affect lilies. It does overwinter in the foliage, so once the stalks die down you are supposed to cut the above-ground parts to soil level and dispose of them. I have composted lily foliage in the past with no problems, but it really shouldn't be done.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 8:36PM
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I would garbage all my lily as well as iris waste. Much better to be safe than sorry. Will do that with my peony waste as well, from now on.

If you have rotting lilies or iris, samething. Put in the garbage, not in the compost.

Manitoba Regional Lily Society
Northern Lights Regional Iris Society

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Oops.... wish I'd seen this post before starting my compost pile. I think Daylily foliage was one of the first things in there! My lilies have been pretty healthy though, so fingers crossed, and I won't do that again...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 11:48AM
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sharons2(z3-4 ID)

Daylily (Hemerocallis) foliage is just fine to compost. It's true Lily (Lilium) foliage that is subject to disease.

Daylilies grow from roots that look like fat fingers. They are perennials that have their foliage grow up in arching clumps like wide-bladed grass from the ground.

True Lilies grow from bulbs, and they have their foliage grow as short little leaves sticking out horizontally all up the flower stalk.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 9:06PM
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Thanks Sharon. When I think and talk about lilies I never even really think about daylilies. Have to watch myself I guess. To me lilies are only lilium. Do have some daylilies but never really think of them as lilies to worry about.

Inanda with lilium and iris seedlings all over my window sills.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 3:53PM
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