Do you know what might be going on with these blooms?

gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)July 17, 2006

I have some Stargazers and Casablanca that have lengthwise cracks in the unopened blooms. A few that have opened that were like that, the bloom is messed up. Anyone know what this could be? Could it be from not enough rain? We've been in a drought state since last winter.


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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi again Deanna,

By lengthwise cracks do you mean it appears the bud petals are opening at the sides before they reach blooming size and then shriveling up. If so, that is called "bud blast" and happens when a lily is stressed environmentally. I have it happen more for first season or crowded plants that produce a lot of buds (I guess more than the roots and garden conditions can support).


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 4:06PM
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I think that this is happening to one of my orientals or speciosum rubrum....was outside and just noticed what you (Deanna) described. They are first year lilies but spaced correctly as far as I can tell. We've had a lot of rain lately, and then HOT temps yesterday and today. Didn't notice this before today. Thanks Helen, for explaining. :0) Phyl

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 7:36PM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

Helen, yes that's exactly what I'm seeing. The summers here in Missouri are never ideal (too hot, too humid, little rain), but my lilies have never had these problems before. They're in different beds but doing the same thing, so I'm thinking it's the combination of not enough rain for several months and the extreme heat we're having. Very disappointing, as the blooming of my orientals is one of my favorite things in the garden! Thanks for your help!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 12:43AM
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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi Deanna,

Its probably the heat more than the drought that is affecting them (though I'm guessing here since neither is a good thing). Orientals aren't as heat tolerant as Asiatics and and sometimes do better in part sun (4 hours direct sun) rather than baking all day if you have hot summers.

Are they in full sun, (or even hot afternoon part sun) and how deeply are they planted? Planting deep would help them get additional moisture through stem roots and it would also keep the bulb cooler. Ditto for mulching. After the spring "slug season" a good organic mulch helps retain moisture and keeps the bulbs cool.

If hot, dry summers are standard for your area, you might want to amend the soil when you get a chance. Turning in a lot of good organic stuff (I use shredded leaves, leaf humus and peat moss) will help the soil retain whatever water it gets.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 12:25AM
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