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new lillies and questions

Posted by terrierbear (My Page) on
Thu, May 17, 07 at 9:01

I planted a bunch of oriental lilly bulbs last fall and they are up along with tons of weeds (the leaves of which are somewhat like delphinums-they cover everything around here and just grow and grow unless I yank them.) Any ideas what these weeds might be (Northern Va)-they are all over the place in my perennial, rose and now lillie areas.

Should I weed the lillys or are the weeds providing some protection? The lillies are much taller than the weeds at this point.

Do the lillies need support? A woman with a pick your own flower farm had a grid set up of fishing line that her's grew through but I'm wondering what will happen if I just let them be.

Also they are not close to a water source. Should I be watering them? What about fertilizer?

thanks for the feedback

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: new lillies and questions

I would say yes to the weeding. I usually only stake my trumpet lilies as they can easily reach 6 ft. and have lots of large flowers. Personally I haven't found it necessary to stake the orientals. Water? That depends. How dry is it? Lilies don't need as much water as many other plants, but do appreciate some extra water if it's really dry(at least until they're finished blooming. Not knowing your soil type and how much rainfall you've had that one is difficult to answer. If you poke down an inch or two and the ground is dry, then some extra water might be in order. They don't like to be too wet.

RE: new lillies and questions

Be careful about weeding. hostaholic's soil in Minnesota is not going to get nearly as warm as terrierbear's soil in Virginia. So you may not need plants to shade the soil in Minnesota, but it is very likely that you need them in Virginia. Also, if you tend to overwater, the weeds will dry the soil out faster, and may end up saving your bulbs from basal rot. If you let the weeds grow too thick, they will rob your lilies of sun and nutrients. Another way of shading the soil is to mulch. On the minus side, if you let the weeds do their thing, they will come back stronger every year.

As for fertilizer, what do your weeds look like? Are they dark green and vigorous? If so, you probably don't need much fertilizer. You can't rely on the lilies to give you this feedback, since they are living off nourishment that they got at the nursery and stored in the bulb. You should get a soil test done. Or topdress with compost. If you do apply fertilizer to the soil, the weeds are going to love you. It might be better to foliar feed the lilies, so the weeds don't benefit.

Staking: if the lilies are in full sun, they probably won't need staking. If they are in shade, they may grow gangly and weak, and will need staking.

RE: new lillies and questions

FYI I know Mn is known as the land of the frozen but we get plenty of 90+ degree days here in MN, so yes I do try to shade the soil at the lilies feet, but I prefer to do it with mulch or a shallow rooted campanula or potentilla (plant not shrub) to sprawl over the ground. Letting weeds grow only brings more weeds.

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