Oriental shoot just rotted on me! Help!

cym_envyMarch 10, 2007

I had a potted oriental stargazer lilly that flowered beautifully for me last year. I cut the yellowed foliage last fall and let it dry out in an unheated garage. Late in February, I saw a sprout commming up in the garage, so I brought it inside and put it in a bright window. I gave it a good watering, (and watered it lightly about two more times) and the shoot grew to about 3 inches above the soil, but then one day I touched it and it came right out of the soil, and had a black rotted section on it's end!

Did it rot because I watered it? should I have let it stay dry until it was warm enough to stick it outside? Should I have just left it in the garage and buried it more?

Is the fact that it lost it's shoot going to prevent it from shooting again?


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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi Cym_envy,

February is VERY early for any lily to sprout in zone 3, much less an oriental like Stargazer which blooms late July - early August. Did you plant your bulb very shallowly in its pot? (Hybrid oriental lilies should be planted 6" deep or more.) If this were the case, you should have put more soil on it and left it in the garage.

But that said, I'm not sure why it would have rotted, unless by "good watering" you mean that you soaked it and the pot didn't have drainage holes. Lilies are pretty tolerant of non ideal conditions but they require good drainage. If your lily shoot rotted the bulb is probably gone as well. If the bulb is still there, you can plant it outside and hope for a new shoot next season, but not this season. It will spend this season recovering.

I wish I could be more help.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 4:36PM
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Yes, I think you're right. I doubt I'm going to see another shoot, and February was extremely early for an Oriental. Must have been a chinook that raised the temperature enough for a while to encourage a premature shoot. That's the problem with calgary - unpredictable temperatures.

I think watering it didn't help. If a root system was not developed, there was nothing to take up the water I gave it, and the bulb just rotted. Oh well. Live and learn.

I didn't plant it though - I bought it from home depot. I think it was planted about 3 inches deep.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 12:36AM
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