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What is wrong with this Lily?

Posted by jeanne 6OH (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 19, 12 at 20:12

It was beautiful last year, it didn't come up with the others this year and noticed ant activity over the location of this bulb. I dug it up to find the emerging stem is swollen and twisted to one side. There also seems to be some brown spots on the bulb and stem that I'm attributing to insects. These two pictures are of the same bulb. What is wrong with this Lily and can it be saved?


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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is wrong with this Lily?

Maybe something has been eating it. A slug? A mouse? You can break some scales off and make new bulbs as an insurance.


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RE: What is wrong with this Lily?

I could do that. I've potted it up with all of the stem exposed, hoping it would turn green and at least provide a little chlorophyll. It has turned reddish, but no green yet. If I cut this stem off, will it form another this season?

How would I go about starting scales? I'll search and hope that there's a good link somewhere. Thanks for your help, Weislaw59.


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RE: What is wrong with this Lily?

You do not have to cut off the stem, it is not sure it will form another shoot this season. But it does not need to die just because of a lost stem. I actually experienced this year 2 lilies formed a new stem, but do not count on it.
On propagating lilies from scales check the link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating lilies from scales


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RE: What is wrong with this Lily?

It looks like your bulb has been a host to an insect larva. The larva will leave (if it hasn't already) and it will not kill your lily. It will however cause it to have deformed growth the year following(this year). This bulb othwise appears healthy and capable of full recovery.

You need to replant this bulb deeper--about 3 times the size of the bulb or at least to the top of the sprout in you picture. On the white twisted stem sprout you see now is where your lily will form stem roots to feed the bulb for next years growth so it's essential that part gets covered with dirt.

If this plant forms buds, cut them off. Leave all the stem and leaves to feed the bulb. Often times, lily bulbs when stressed like this go into survival mode and form several little offsets so don't be surprized if you see some little babies come up.

I wouldn't recommend scaling this bulb unless its either a rare expensive one, or, it is a 'one of a kind' from cross pollenation. If it is, then post back and we'll go thru it step by step.


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RE: What is wrong with this Lily?

Thanks so much for the additional info, I'll replant that lily today. It makes a lot of sense because that stem never did turn green, in fact it looks like it would rather form into a bulb.

It is a one of a kind (Pink Pefection x self), in fact I traded away the named bulbs last year so I wouldn't get them mixed up with this one. They have identical fragrant flowers, the seedling however grew perfectly straight on a sturdy stem, got about 5 foot high and had 6 flowers the first year it bloomed. I was really looking forward to seeing what it would do this year, but it wasn't meant to be. I'm glad to see it will probably survive, I'll probably skip scaling unless it starts to put out an amazing amount of buds or does some other spectacular thing. Thanks so much to everyone for helping me out!


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