OK to plant lilies after frost?

linnea56(z5 IL)September 16, 2005

I just bought several kinds of Orientals. 4 Stargazers in a deep pink, 4 mixed orientals (32"), 3 Casa Blanca; also 4 Regal Trumpet lilies.

However, the garden is currently STUFFED. I have some dahlias and annuals in there to give me fall color. It's a new garden and I had space to fill temporarily. Most are smack dab where I want those lilies. I was planning to buy in spring but I succumbed to temptation (price was right).

I consider myself pretty tough but I cannot willfully kill a dahlia (not when they're blooming their heads off like that...!). Can I wait to plant the lilies until first frost, then dig the dahlias? Or will the lilies have insufficient time to make roots? I'm in Zone 5, Chicago north suburbs. I have experience only with asiatics.

In a pinch can I hold some til spring? In case the weather becomes too horrible to be outside after the frost. I do have space in a holding bed if that is a better option. I planted asiatics this spring and though they bloomed, I felt they were on the short side due to planting late (already sprouted).

I bought alliums too: if anyone on the Lily forum has opinions on planting time for those please chime in. (I KNOW you plant other things besides lilies :) ! Though I will post that on the Allium forum too.

Thanks!

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tyshee(Z 3 & 4)

Plant those lilies anywhere for now and move them in the early spring. Storing them might work but it is hard for a home gardener to maintain the proper temperatures and you might dehydrate the bulbs. You could also plant them in pots for the winter. My friend does it all the time. You can lay them on their side. It is much colder here than where you live and she has great luck. She has buried them sideways under a pile of dirt in pots. I like to put them in the garden even if it is temporary. Bulbs don't take much room. You can also store a pot in a cold place as I do with my trumpets. I put them under our sunroom so they freeze but not like outside and bring them inside in early spring until the frost is gone. They do very well. Poor drainage and freeze-thaw is what will kill them or freezing in water because the pot didn't drain well. Another way is use a large pot. We bought some large containers at Home Depot and drilled holes in the sides. I filled it part way with bent pop cans and then with soil. You will need at least twelve inches of good soil remembering that the soil will compact a bit so initially you need more than twelve inches. Plant them in the containers which will have good drainage and they will live like in a raised bed for as long as you like right outside.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 3:28AM
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tyshee(Z 3 & 4)

I forgot you can plant lilies while there is snow on the ground as long as trhe soil isn't frozen. We have done that here. You should store the lilies for now in pots of soil unless frost is coming right away. You put the lily bulbs, like you do Asiatics, in the refrigerator but they can dehydrate if you keep them long

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 3:49AM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

You can definitely plant after the first frost, but I'd hold the lilies in pots for now. I was out planting in the snow last Fall/Winter. I'm an idiot. But the lilies were fine in spite of my insanity.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 3:22PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Good thing I didn't toss the pots after planting the Chysanthemums!

Tell me the right way to do this. Plant them in pots. Put the potted lilies in shade or dark to keep them from growing? Or should I sink the pots in my holding bed and water them?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 11:59AM
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tyshee(Z 3 & 4)

Don't sink the pots as they won't have enough drainage if you have a wet winter or spring. If you get snow cover just lay the pots on the ground sideways. If you don't then it is probably ok to leave the pots whereever you wish. My friend put the pots sideways and covered them with soil. She didn't loose any. You have to remember to get them out early or the lilies will come up out of the ground bent as a few she missed getting out did.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 4:36AM
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clairdo2(3)

I see that you can plant lilies in pots for the winter but I would rather just put them in the ground now. Is that ok ?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 10:52AM
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clairdo2(3)

One more question about lilies. I just recieved the bulbs that I ordered and got a free one which they say is a surprise(no name). Could I plant it in a pot and let it grow in the house for the winter?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 11:03AM
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tyshee(Z 3 & 4)

I would store it outside. There is no chilling in the house.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 1:08PM
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mysticmoon(z9.So.Cali)

Plant them now and if you want a pot just make sure you watch it for watering they will get drier in the house. I see no reason why you cant see what you got now lol... If it looks funny just put it out side for the days and inside on nights and cold weather days.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 12:44AM
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tyshee(Z 3 & 4)

Many lilies need a chilling period to bloom. You normally can do this with spring purchased bulbs.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 4:18PM
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fierycloud(Z11 Taiwan)

If the palnting depth is not freezed, you could leave it outside. Or plant them in the pot during the winter and keep them in a cool place just above freezing. Replant the pot to the ground in spring. They need a chilling but not freezing period.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 7:18AM
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ekavi(z5 VT)

This is back on the subject of NOT planting them. I garden in Southern Vermont at a friend's country home, but live near Boston. She ordered 24 lilies, but when they hadn't arrived as of 2 weeks ago, she canceled the order. Well, the lilies just showed up anyway today. I don't think I'm going to be able to make it up there any time soon, and she's not much of gardener herself. Based on what I'm reading here, I'm wondering if I can't tell her to just dig a trench, toss them in, and I'll replant them correctly in the Spring. What do you think?

Of course the other issue is that we were going to encase them in hardware cloth, as we have done elsewhere on the property, because the rodents destroyed (we think) the first batch we planted that never came up. Think if she throws some mothballs in the trench, that will keep them away?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 5:46PM
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phylrae(z5a/centralNYS)

Don't know if you've tried Ropel, but we had great success using it our first year growing lilies (last year). We got it from Brent and Becky's Bulbs (online). Sprayed or immersed bulbs per directions (tulips as well as lilies), kept all munching animals away, as it tastes TERRIBLE! I know it tastes bad, cuz I accidentally got some on my finger & didn't know it, and try as I might, I couldn't wash the stuff off for a long time. It was HORRIBLE! Hope this helps. Phyl

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 8:09PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

What's in Ropel? I picked up a bottle of a concentrated liquid at Lowe's with a different name but the same theory: soak bulbs in solution before planting. This has rotten egg extract and hot pepper extract. I used a similar liquid, "Liquid Fence" this year on the vegetable garden. It did smell horrendous for the first day or so, but it worked.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 9:24PM
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geri123(5mi)

How deep should I plant new oriential lillies?

I would appreciate any info.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 3:13PM
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hld6(z7 MD)

Plant deep.
With the exception of Candidum, lilies should be planted 8"-10" deep. Many lilies are stem rooting and planting deep allows for more stem roots to stabilize the plant and provide extra nourishment.

Deep planting has some additional benefits.

1) It helps prevent winter snacking by squirrels. It takes a pretty beefy squirrel to get down 8". Squirrels notice freshly disturbed earth so tamp area down after you plant. We have a LARGE squirrel population in my neighborhood. They've nailed my tulips on occassion and annihilated my cyclamen (surface planted bulbs - what was I thinking!) but have yet to get any of my lilies.

2) If you live in an area with large temp swings in the winter (like the Mid-Atlantic region) deep planting also helps prevent early sprouting since the deeper soil takes longer to change its temp with external weather changes.

Hope this helps,
-Helen

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 10:39PM
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