Should I pot spring purchased lilies?

linnea56(z5 IL)March 18, 2010

I bought some lilies already and IÂm not sure what to do with them. None of the existing ones in the garden are up yet, to show me where they are. Though all were tagged in the fall, a certain number of tags disappear over the winter. We had heavy snow, they might have been pushed too deeply into the soil. The garden is STUFFED so the odds of hitting something while digging are pretty good.

I have 2 different issues:

first one: 3 kinds were sprouted already, so I didnÂt think they could wait. I potted them up. Should they go outside or be kept in the house until I can plant them in the garden? What about frosts?

Second: the newest ones bought do not have sprouts. Am I safe in waiting to plant them until I see where the existing lilies are? I can keep them in the cold garage or in the basement on the cement floor. Or should I pot them up too?


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I had similar issue, this what I did:
sprouted ones: planted them in the pots. they will go in the ground after the last frost.
Un-sprouted ones: I planted them rightaway, in the ground.
( btw, Lilies do better if you plant them in the spring)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 3:45PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I would put the pots outside, maybe on the east side of a building, but not on the south side. As to the un-sprouted ones, if you really don't care to plant them in the ground now, I think I would also pot those. You could probably keep them in a cool place for about a week, but remember that lily bulbs can dry out easily. If your temps threaten to drop below freezing you could move them into the garage.
Chowdhry, I'm curious as to why you feel lilies are best planted in the spring? Everything I've heard or read says fall is the ideal time. I'm not trying to be a smart alec, I would really like to know your reasons.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 10:19PM
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Although most recommend planting bulbs during the fall, I plant them in the spring when ground is not frozen any more. Perhaps it has something related to bulb matuarity or cold. I order my bulbs in the spring and plant mostly asiatic/hybrids. My personal experience is that they are more vigorous, blooms are larger and they have better survival rate. btw, my zone is Canadian 6b which is USDA 5.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:23AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks. When the snow melts tomorrow IÂll move the potted ones outside. I will have to keep an eye on the as-yet unplanted ones. I should learn. But that would be out of character.

I wish more stuff would pop up so IÂd know what spaces were empty. I canÂt remember when the lilies showed last year. Maybe IÂll post on this, specifically, see what others have to say.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 3:03PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Thanks for your response. I haven't experienced a difference, other than the spring planted bulbs tend to bloom a bit later that first year.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 7:10PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

For me asiatics seem less affected by planting in the spring. I will still get some bloom. Orientals though seem fussier and will really underperform. I have wondered if it is actually due to the spring planted items being out of the ground too long (assuming they were dug in the fall before selling). When I have transplanted lilies from my own garden, they didnÂt miss a beat.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 7:31PM
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