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Dig up lilies for winter OR rotating lilies with tulips

Posted by rachnr0715 (My Page) on
Mon, May 14, 07 at 14:38

Bare with me, I'm a complete gardening newbie. I live in Chicago and moved into an apartment with a small backyard this past fall that has small beds running around the perimeter. Because of the tall buildings around us, there is just one bed that gets good sun. There are lots of established plants in the shady areas, and also this bed is sort of the showpiece of the yard given its relative size and location (first thing you see when you walk out), so I'd like to be able to rotate things in there through spring/summer since it's really the only good place to do that.

My question is whether I can do this with tulips and lilies? I'm not sure if it's possible, but I planted tulips back in the fall that have come up, and I had planned on digging them up to store for the winter. I know that lilies don't need to be dug up for winter, but can they be? I was thinking that maybe I could plant them when my tulips are done and then pull them out and replant the tulips in the fall. Will this work, or will I damage the lilies by taking them out of the ground and/or not give them enough time in the ground if I plant them after the tulips are done?

Thanks for any advice!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dig up lilies for winter OR rotating lilies with tulips

I wouldn't suggest it, both your lilies and tulips need plenty of time for the foliage to mature and feed the bulb for the next years flowers. Also to store lily bulbs over winter you would need specialized, temperature and humidity controlled coolers. You could try inter-planting the bulbs with each other in the fall. Both are best planted in the fall.

RE: Dig up lilies for winter OR rotating lilies with tulips

Also, tulips can carry virus diseases which will harm your lilies. Google "lily virus".

RE: Dig up lilies for winter OR rotating lilies with tulips

Rachner, in that situation, you need to learn to like hostas. Hostas grow well in Chicago, and are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors from white to yellow-gold to shades of green and a few that are "blue" from April to (or even through) June. The (usually) modest flowers range from whitish to lavender to purple.

I don't know beans about lilies, but I know about gardening in Chicago in the shade. *sigh*

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