Lilium regale and mice

nycowboyApril 17, 2013

Hi. What happened to my pride and joy lilium regale? Arrrgggh. I was cleaning up my front flower bed and saw a couple of little tunnel-things where my lilies are. Not deep, just surface things. Now there are no signs of lily buds. It has been a cold spring, though, and I'm wondering if my lilies are there and just haven't come up yet. If mice or other critters just got to the buds and not the bulbs, do you think that my lilies will come up and bloom this year? How much longer should I wait for them to come up before I replant? My other lilies (Casa Blanca, Mrs. Backhouse) at least have buds now...

Thanks,
Allen

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nycowboy

and now that I think of it:

I'm wondering if the purple tulips that have been in that same bed for years are still there... we've lived in that house for 12 years and never have had any problems before.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 1:12PM
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interspecific(5)

It would help to know if you live in the Midwest, Northeast, etc. The little tunnels you see are most likely caused be Voles and, yes, they are active all winter and eat, eat, eat. They especially like starchy, tasty little morsels like lily bulbs. That's why if you live in the Midwest or Northeast you shouldn't mulch until the ground has frozen. Many put miniature Daffodils around the parameter of their gardens to keep voles away. Apparently, Daffodils contain a toxin that Voles can't stand.

If you live in the Midwest or Northeast, give your Regales more time to come up. It's a late Spring in the Northland this year. Things are slow.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:49PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I have lots and lots of Lilium regale surrounded with ample amounts of narcissus, hyacinths, alliums and lycoris (all hated by rodents of all kinds). I live in a fairly warm microclimate but this spring has been so slow, late and chilly that I only have found 2-3 little noses starting to break through the soil. I know the bulbs are healthy since I accidentally speared one while planting last weekend (I hate it when that happens!!!).

My 'Triumphator' and 'El Condor', both LO hybrids, are being quite precocious and some are already 4-5" high.

Just be patient. I am sure your regales will sprout in due time! :-)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 1:11AM
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nycowboy

OK. Thanks. I will keep waiting. I am in Western NY state in a valley. The tulips are up - they didn't get eaten. I've never had problems with voles before - I'm not saying they aren't there, just haven't had the "pleasure" of voles before. Glad to know that your regales aren't up yet. Just no sign of those lilies yet. I will be patient and will keep checking every day.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:31AM
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interspecific(5)

Voles would be common in western New York state. People I communicate with regularly from Rochester area experience them. I didn't have them here in Wisconsin until about 5 years ago and now they have become my most dreaded lily predator, outside of deer. They do their damage during the winter--out of sight under the snow.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:21AM
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organic_kitten(8)

If you need to get rid of voles, you can spray with Castor Oil mixed with dish spray and water. won't kill them but will make them leave the area you spray.

I found this out after losing several roses, daylilies and azaleas to them. Gardens Alive has a product for moles (has Castor Oil in it but is a dry granular product) that you can scatter easily and run them away.

kay

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 7:39PM
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