proper watering for potted Stargazer lillies

haus_katAugust 2, 2009

We live in an apartment so I have to have all the flowers grown in pots on our patio and can not plant them in the ground. We bought a large pot with beautiful Stargazer lilies from Home Depot two weeks ago and it was healthy and green when we bought it and covered with large pink lilies. I watered the lilies most every day with a watering can when I'd water all my other plants and flowers and then I found all the blooms fell off by the end of the next week (after the petals turned light brown) and some of the leaves are yellow now and there are no flowers at all. I assume I watered them too much. I've never had lilies before and read at another website that they like very moist soil but I guess that information was wrong :( They pot which they were planted in when I bought them is about ten inches diameter round and has drain holes in the bottom. How often should the lilies be watered and how much water should I give them? What should I do with them in winter?

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Here are some photo I took of them the day that I bought them:

No care instruction card was included with them. I assumed they were Stargazer lilies because I thought they looked like them but I can't be sure.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 5:33PM
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Doesn't look like a Stargazer - but a very beautiful lily, nonetheless.

If it was purchased in full bloom, it might simply have finished its blooming cycle in the time you had it at home. I don't keep track, but maybe each bloom lasts a week before fading and dropping.

I think you definitely overdid the watering though - especially for a potted lily. The bulbs are self contained; they have everything they need to sprout, grow and bloom. In the ground, they're watered when first planted, then nature pretty much takes over. Sitting in water is a lily bulbs worst enemy - they rot.

Stop watering! Let the stem get brown and dry out. Once that happens, you might lift the bulb to see what shape it's in - if firm, it's probably okay; soft or mushy and you've got rot.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:28AM
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corgicorner(Mass 6/7)

You might look into the soil the bulb is planted in. If I were you I would go back to where you bot the lily, and ask them if they have any instructons. If they have them, but won't give you a set, ask them if they would "Xerox" a copy for you. At the same time grub around and see if any they have left has a growers name and address, and if so write them and ask what the soil mix is--i.e. what brand it is. Then write the manufacturer of the soil mix and ask them if it is correct for the bulb, and ask them to make any suggestions for growing them.
If the bulb proves to be o.k. I think you should bring the bulb and the pot it is in into your appartment for the winter and with hold water until the bulb shows sign of growing, in which case you can put it outdoors on good days, but bring it in at night if it is going to get very cold--under 45 degreees. I think you should fertilize the bulb next Spring after it starts growing possibly every other week, but water in between fertilizing. One thing to remember: NEVER FERTILIZE A DRY PLANT..sure way to kill it because it will burn the roots. GOOD GROWING!
This may sound like a lot of work, but it has proven to be an excellent learning experience. Learn now, and it will help you next season, it just might prevent you from buying a lily again and losing it again, and waisting your money.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:23PM
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Thank you everyone for your replies :)

I have a box of Miracle Grow plant food and that mixes with water. I use that sometimes on my plants. Is that good to use or should I get a different kind of fertilizer?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 12:57AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Lilies are spectacular when in bloom but they bloom for a short time and then are done. If I had an apartment balcony, I'm not sure I'd give them permanent space since they bloom for two weeks tops.

Likely it just finished it's bloom cycle and won't do anything for a year. Try to buy them when the buds are closed and they'll last longer for you.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 7:14PM
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