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What do I do now?

Posted by alley 7b Ft. Worth, Tx (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 28, 08 at 8:17

Hi all,
I'm new to this forum and have just started my search. I was just in Indiana and Michigan (I'm in north Texas). Let me just start out by saying how gorgeous all the gardens were that I passed in my 8 day drive around the country (at $4 a gallon, no easy feat). I just loved all the lilies I saw everywhere and now want some. I have summer weather envy. My Mother in Law gave some bulbils (thanks to kind folks here for letting me know what a bulbil was) from what I think is a tiger lily. I also have a few plants. I'm not sure if they'll make it here (although I've heard that Easter lilies do, so maybe others will too). I also know that this is not a good time to try anything with our 100 degree heat. But, it couldn't be helped.

What do I do with them? Do I put them in the ground and hope for the best or should I plant them in a pot for now? Last night I put them in the pots just to get them some dirt and water. Do I need to cut the stalks down (I thought that I read that they should die on thier own--if I cut them now will that hinder next year's growth and bloom)?
Also, what about the bulbils? They are just in a baggie at the moment, but they are all getting some roots. I know that they won't flower for several years, but should I put them in pots for the moment (several years) or straight into the ground? Will I need to put them in the fridge for a while this winter (we get winter and it even ices here, just not for very long)? If I have to put them in the fridge, then pot would be the way to go for now.

Thanks for any advice and help you have to offer. I hope that they make it.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What do I do now?

Both the bulbils and the small plants can be potted up now. The bulbils are likely too small to be planted out - they'd just get lost or smothered by other larger plants - and the current weather may be a bit too extreme for the benefit of the plants. Use a proper potting soil for the containers, not garden soil. Leave the stalks in place until they dry or wither naturally - this ripening process is what feeds the bulbs to supply next year's flowers.

True lilies do not need a forced chill period and should grow very well in any zone 7 climate. They need very well draining, organically rich soil and even moisture (but not wet) in summer. Sun to part shade in hot summer climates.

RE: What do I do now?

The best thing - at least that I've found - to do with the bulbils is plant bunches of them in a pot then plant the whole pot in the ground in an out of the way spot (or at least someplace where you can keep track of it). And you can pot them up now, I wouldn't wait too long as they start to shrivel as the little root grows. Sun/shade conditions don't seem to matter early on as they would normally fall in place and sprout around the parent plant anyway.

The reason I would segregate the bulbils in pot(s) initially is because when they sprout they look almost like a blade of grass - easily lost in the garden setting or accidentally pulled up. Leave them that way for the first season. By the second season, they should start looking like a lily stalk, and even being crowded together in a pot should have reached a bulb and stem size that can be transplanted out more easily. Then they should really take off - I've had some bloom by the third season. They'll be setting their own bulbils in the leaf axils and you'll have tiger lilies forever.

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