Question about transplanting an Asiatic Lily: Enchantment

smlechten(6 (STL))April 23, 2006

Hi. I'm very new to making any effort to maintain my landscape and care for my existing, inherited plants. I'm just now trying to reclaim several ornamental beds and relocate some plants that are not in what I consider to be ideal or preferred locations. I have one lonely little Enchantment lily that has survived in my backyard which I would like to relocate to an ornamental bed in the front. I have the same situation with a perenial tulip, but I was told that the tulip may not like being moved to a flat bed that receives more care, and may only survive one season in the new location. I'm wondering if the same goes for the lily also. The area the lily is in usually gets treated with vegetation kill and then mulched; I suspect this one remaining plant is a lone surviver of what was probably a colony planted by the former home owner at one time. Before it bloomed last year, I didn't recognize it at all, and I thought the leafy stalks were just weeds. The current location is on the east side of the house, and is at the top of a steep slope, but the area in which it sits is a fairly flat section and has only a shallow grade. It gets pretty much full sun in the early spring, then partial to substantial shade from late spring until winter (from a number of mature oak, maple, etc. trees). The soil is truly awful. The bed it would be moving to is on the west side of the house. It also gets pretty much full sun in the early spring, then partial to substantial shade from late spring until winter from a Japanese Maple. The bed is flat, I don't regularly water or fertilize, but the bed is mulched with Sweet Peet (a local, organic compost-mulch). Currently there are a bunch of established grape hyacinth and tete-a-tet thriving in front bed where I want to put the lily. I could fertilize the lily - or not, and I could also keep it well watered while it re-establishes in its new home. I'm wondering, if like the tulip the lily prefers the poor soil, lack of attention, and slope for drainage and would likely not survive in the new "improved" location? My other question, is can I move it now? I'm in the Cleveland area, so we have wet spring and fall, with a hot dry summer about 2 - 2 1/2 months from mid-June through August. The lily obviously has not bloomed, it has an 18"? leafy stalk.

Thanks,

Sherri

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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

I think the key for both the tulip and lily is good draining soil. Poor drainage can potentially cause rot in both types of bulbs. The foliage is what technically "feeds" the bulb, although some supplement (good composted materials and perhaps some bulb fertilizer or bone meal) might help build a strong root system.

Since your lily is up that tall, it might be better, if possible, to wait until the fall to move it as the stem is dying back. That way you have a better chance at getting a decent bloom next year. Otherwise, if you move, try to dig down deep and be careful of breaking the stem. You might find babies under the soil too.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 12:24PM
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smlechten(6 (STL))

This is probably a very novice question - but how do I know how well my soil drains? It doesn't puddle up during heavy rains, I know that. We did till last year and add some new soil into the bed, but mostly it is still heavy clay below. I was really planning to use vegetation kill on the weeds surrounding that lily in the next week or so, and start reclaiming the small terraced beds next to it for use next year or the following one. I'll dig well around the lily and be very careful, but I'd really like to move it soon - I don't want to wait until next fall to get started. Thank you very much.

Sherri

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 9:14PM
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