Lily Garden-Need site recommendations

thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)June 29, 2013

Well, I guess I'm in the lily forum for my seeming once-a-year post.

Over the last 6 years or so, I've accumulated a dozen or two varieties of lilies.... asiatics, trumpet, tiger, orientals, hybrids. Varying sizes from Pixie and Tiny series all the way to Casablanca (and I think another one that's even taller).

I currently have them in an area that used to get a great deal more sun, but with maturing trees, it gets less than before... but still enough that most of the lilies look like they're starting to set buds.

But as you can see, this garden is in major need of an overhaul.... it's become infested with grasses and other migrating weeds, courtesy of my rear neighbor. And it's overall design is certainly not what I planned... with the failure of some of the plant choices.... including the less-than-spectacular-performance from the 3 river birch at the back. So, I've started the arduous task of uprooting the daylilies.... and trying to figure how what to do about the other perennials, including the lilies.

My problem is that I don't really have any space to temporarily holdover most of these plants. I recently started a small garden (total about 3x20) along the south side of my garage. It gets sun ALL DAY, plus reflected light and heat off of my white siding. Couple that with only light supplemental watering. And it's small.....It might be enough for the lilies (at least the single stem ones)... but probably not my big clumps of 'Cancun'.

I considered moving my lilies to this new location, but I thought I recalled reading that lilies will grow fine in all-day sun, but their colors will fade without some respite from the sun. Is this true?

Ok, so let's say I decide to move some/all of my lilies to this new spot.... Would they hate me if I did it now? I often have good intentions of trying to work with them after foliage has faded, but I do know myself well enough to know that I won't do it then. Will they still bloom for me if I move them now? Are the stalks too fragile to handle a move? Will the root systems be shocked too badly to move now?

So many questions here, but I'd like to know your thoughts!

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Never a great idea to attempt to move lilies so close to bloom time - too easy to break stems and knock off flower buds, not to mention interrupting its normal growth cycle.

I'd recommend waiting at least until after flowering but preferably, move in fall after the stock and foliage has ripened properly. That is really the best time to do 90% of your garden rearranging :-)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 4:07PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

As gardengal said, fall is better. I have moved lilies in the spring, early June one year when it was a move em or lose em situation. I lost some blooms but all the lilies made it and most bloomed. However, as I said it was a bit earlier in the season. If you decide to go ahead and move them now, have the hole ready for them, dig a large clump of soil with them, digging one clump at a time and water it in immediately. You may want to consider adding some martagon lilies to your now shady area.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 10:55PM
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roxanna(z5b MA)

not to change the subject, but in the photo I see three small trees in the back -- are these the river birches you mentioned? if so, may I inform you that river birches will get enormous -- far too large to have three of them so close to each other! I have a river birch clump (five main stems) that has grown to about 35 feet in 7 years....
Also, river birches are water-loving, so if yours are not doing well, it may be that they need more water.

Good luck with moving your lilies -- don't forget to label them if it matters to you in relocating colors. I have various Asiatic and Oriental lilies in full sun as well as in 6-hour sunny area which do well. I haven't really noticed any major fading.

You can pot the lilies into large-enough containers to hold them if you need to. The tall ones might need staking in some manner, tho.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 12:51PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

Yes Roxanna, those are the river birches.
We had a drought last year after the sprinkler system was shut off, so, the birches got really mad at me.

If they do not rebound within the next year, they're going to be ripped out.

I am aware of how large they get, but given that they do not get a ton of water back there, I presumed their growth habit would be slower.

I've decided to wait until after they've bloomed to move them. Since my Tiny's are starting to pop now, I know that my other asiatics are right behind. So I can at least label what I can as they bloom.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 8:39PM
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