Lilies from seed

dmsms(6 Idaho)March 23, 2008


If you are interested in growing lilies from seed, you should visit the North American Lily Society's website at:

They have a great seed exchange that allows online ordering. If you are not a member, you can join at the same time you order seeds.


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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi All,

David made a good suggestion. I have a bunch of seed that have already germinated that I got from the NALS seed exchange this year.

If you don't mind taking your chances on seed being sold out In the past they have opened it up to non-members after they've given their members first chance at them for a while.

Some easy species lilies (Div. 9) to grow from seed (immediate epigeal) that are currently available are the trumpets, L. Leucanthum and L. Regale. They both can produce some flowers the very next year after germination. L. Candidum (Madonna Lily) is also available which is a beautiful lily that can be a tricky bulb to establish (and is $$$). Yet it grows easily from seed and flowers a couple years after that. (Read up on its cultural requirements before planting out.) I have some I grew from seed that flowered last year. The bulbs I bought BEFORE I started my seed still have yet to do much (and they cost a lot more than $1.50 per 25!). Candidum can also be a virus carrier (since it is resistant), a risk you avoid growing from seed.

The Martagon v. Album on the seed exhange is delayed hypogeal (which takes more patience) and then takes a number of year to bloom (more patience still). But like the Candidum it can be $$$ and doesn't care for transplanting much. The seed I bought this year had a really great germination rate (close to 100%). After I keep them warm for a few months so they can form a little bulblet it's into the fridge for a few more months. They should get their first leaf after that ("crossed fingers!").

I germinated my seed with a very simple method that satisfied my need to "poke around" to see if anything's happening. I took a paper towel that I folded over so it would lay flat in a ziplock baggie, dampened it with water, sprinkled seed over it, sealed it up, and put it over my fridge. That way I could look to see when they germinated (at which point I fished them out and planted them). This is helpful since some lily seed is much slower than others - and you can check to see if the ungerminated seed is still plump and healthy without disturbing them.

If anyone decides to try it, Good Luck!


    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 4:25PM
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