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Declining Lilies

Posted by jennypat Zone 3b NW MN (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 16, 09 at 18:01

About 4 maybe 5 years ago I planted some Orienpet lilies from "The Lily Garden" the bed was new, and newly amended and mulched. Now the lilies are declining, to the point where I am concerned they won't come back next year. I am wondering if I could get some advice.

First off, the soil here has a PH of about 7, and I know these like more acidic conditions. Can I fertlize with "Hollytone"
The spot I have these planted in, is full sun, well drained, Clay and a bit on the dry side. Should I consider digging the bulbs and moving them to an environment that has more moisture, and a little shade?

I also have a bed (different location in the yard) of Asiatic lilies, these have been in thier spot for about 6 years. And this year they look really sad. What? If Anything? can I do for them. I have never really done much, except mulch.

Thank you
Jenny P

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Declining Lilies

Hi Jenny,
First off if your location is zone 3, then orientpet lilies are borderline for you. Did you have a long, ugly winter this year???
When lilies start to decline it is usually a sign that they are getting too crowded and need dividing....this can range from a few years to many years depending on how closely together you planted them,soil conditions,food, etc.
I would dig them up this fall and see what is going on....likely just need dividing for the asiatics...they are fast growers anyways.
The orientpets, I believe they suggest deep planting for them in your zone, maybe someone with more experience could chime in.
Moisture is not likely the problem and I have clay too, never checked the ph so don't know about that, but they all do fine unless they get crowded.
Good luck,

RE: Declining Lilies

I agree with Flora. Orienpets need to be divided every 3-4 years; Asiatics every 2-3 years. I am also surpised that Orienpets grew for you in your zone. Lucky you!
Hollytone is a fertilizer for acid loving plants, not acidifier. It won't change soil's PH. Your soil is not too alkiline for Lilies I beleive. You can try to acidify it slightly with elemental Sulfur.
Acidifying Soil

RE: Declining Lilies

Yeah I am surprised they grow for me too! In fact a few years ago (3?) I bought a package of Casa Blanca lilies from the close out bin at a big box store. Did spend much so I wasn't to worried if they didn't make it. Popped them into the ground and forgot about them. Last year they bloomed for the first time! I had to scramble through my notes to figure out what I had actually planted! Totally surprised me.

As for the orienpet lilies, when is the best time of year to divide them? They are growing, just not as nicely as they did at first.

I will have to look up when to divide the asiatic ones too, they are budding now, so I assume that later this year would be ok.

Jenny P

RE: Declining Lilies

Wait till the foliage will go brown and die. For your zone early fall will probably work.

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