Best time for dividing lilies

maggiem_2007March 23, 2009

I have around 10 lilies (I think asiatic) planted in my garden for about 3 years. I noticed last year that the leaves were turning yellow/brown on the bottom. They still bloomed, although I think the blooms were a little smaller. I considered dividing them, but was afraid to, I do not know how to without damaging them. Then I saw the post on this forum about dividing lilies. I think I could do them now with this very good description, but I think I should wait til Fall. Or would it be safe to do now. I'm afraid if I don't they will be even worse looking this year.

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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

It is possible to do it now, though fall is the best. If the stems were crowded they are probably in need of division. Asiatics usually need dividing every 3 to 5 years. It really depends on the variety and on how closely they were planted to begin with.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:25PM
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I checked and they are asiatic lilies and they are planted 18-24 in apart. I can see bulbils on the top of the soil line right now. So I'm pretty sure there must be a large clump of bulbs under the ground. Maybe I should just try one set of bulbs for now?? There are 10 original lily bulbs planted (yellow, orange, white and one red). And I believe this would be year 4 for them all. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 1:19AM
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lila888(Z5 IL)

I divided my lilies as soon as the soil was workable. I dug them up before their noses come up. That way, I could avoid breaking the nose of the bulb or I will lose this year's blooms. Last fall, I left the dried stalk so I know where to dig. You can still divide them now, just be careful not to break the nose. I hope this help.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 12:59AM
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Thanks for the tip about the noses. I have a few that appear to have the noses already popping up. So I picked one to dig up that didn't seem to be sprouting up yet and was able to separate about 7 good sized bulbs with roots. Alot of smaller ones (I think, bulbils) that I also replanted, so maybe they might not bloom this year. I'm crossing my fingers. The main bulb was quite large though and I don't know if there was more than one with that but I left it intact and replanted it in the same spot.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 1:37AM
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