Planting damaged potted lilies into a permanent location

linnea56(z5 IL)October 8, 2011

Planting damaged potted lilies into a permanent location

Last spring I bought a bunch of lilies, mostly orientals, on sale. They were a little dry, and sprouted, though only a few inches. I opted to pot most of them, to keep them going, as I planned to put them in large planters with annuals, and it was too early in the season to plant out my planters.

Unfortunately, while out of town, squirrels dug up the pots, tossed them around, and took bites out of some, and shredded others into scales. I opted not to bother to plant the stressed bulbs in the garden, or give them prime spots in my big planters, but nurse them along in the pots (which I hung up out of reach after that). I reburied even the scales, hoping to get something eventually. They are: Muscadet (white with red dots), Cobra (solid red), and Casa Blanca. With the toss around, I no longer know which is which.

None grew over a foot tall. A few had some wizened anemic buds.

Am I better off overwintering them in the pots? When I've done that, I bury the pot in the vegetable garden, and cover with compost and mulch after it gets cold. I've done this a lot, and all have survived. I would then try to replant in the spring.

Or, have they done all the recovering they can, and I should plant them in the garden?

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Well, first of all, wintering lilies over in pots in the ground is not a good idea because they trap water and lack drainage that could lead to bulb rot. Lilies always do better 'in the ground'. Second, if you plan to use these in your favorite garden and want nice blooms next year, then start over with a whole new set of each now. The bulbs you have now will most likely recover fully but it will take another year or two. Just a thought for you: I have what I call an 'orphan' garden of just lilies--unknown ones, damaged bulbs, scales and junk that people brought me--you know, the stuff I really never wanted in the first place but felt obligated to plant. Well, you should see it now--what a beautiful random mix that blooms all summer. Maybe you could start one with your current bulb mix? Good Luck!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 7:52AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Good idea! I actually have a few places where I could do that. Especially if they can tolerate less than full sun.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 10:29AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I have a dappled sun area under 2 ash tees. Will lilies handle that? They would get some direct morning sun, but only about 2 hours. Also, tree roots. I have a lot of tulips and daffidils in there, plus hostas and astilbe.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 10:33AM
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Don't forget, your lilies are already handicapped. So, if you want to nurse them back to full strength, you should give them at least 6 to 8 hrs of full sun away from nutrient and moisture robbing tree roots. Maybe you could put them in a corner of your veggie garden for a year just to see how they 'turn out' and then move them. Planting orientals under or close to a tree is counter to good lilium culture. Your daffs and tulips do well there because they come on earlier when the angle of the sun is lower and slow budding ash are not fully leafed out. So they're happy there. Orientals, being later, wouldn't have that luxury. They are much later, grow tall and have a tendency to lean toward the light, often requireing staking. Early blooming asiatics wouild be a better choice with the setting you have. But listen, we strive for perfection; but we don't live in a perfect world setting. If you think putting them there is worth a try--your probably right. Let me know how things work out.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 9:39AM
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