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Can I take my bulbs out of the ground and what

Posted by earthlydelights Z6 PA (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 21, 07 at 14:08

do i do to them to not kill them?

Right now there are still the long green stalks, sans flowers, pods are forming on most.

There's a good possibility I might be moving many of my plants (into a lower zone as well). I don't want to leave all my lilies, i've been collecting for way too long.

can i cut the foliage back now? dig them and let them dry? or should i just pot them all in individual pots and let the foliage naturally die back? if they can be dig and dried, what should i store them in?

If you can offer me some assistance, it will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks ever so much!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can I take my bulbs out of the ground and what

  • Posted by hld6 z7 MD (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 21, 07 at 17:00


You should leave the foliage on for as long as you reasonably can (you didn't say when you were moving). This is more important the later blooming your lily. I.e., Asiatics could probably be dug up now with no ill effects at all but your orientals might lose some size next year.

What you should NOT do is "dry them out"! Lilies don't ever go fully dormant (like some bulbs) and while they often survive drying (they're a pretty tough plant) it should definately be avoided. You should think of this more as you would "transplanting" a non-bulb plant.

That said, I don't know that you need to go to the trouble of potting them up and moving all the pots. Potting would probably be best for the lilies since it would allow you to keep the foliage longer, but if you have a lot of lilies it may not be practical, especially since you'd need to dig them up carefully so as to keep the foliage intact and then move them, again, without damaging the foliage

If you choose to dig them up and bag them, cut back the stalks (as late in the season as you can afford to wait) dig them up trying to preserve as many of the roots as possible and store in bags of just moist NOT soggy (!) peat moss. Vegetable bags tied with a loose half knot work well (you don't want an airtight seal if they will be stored for any length of time). If you can't get them back in the ground this Fall (which I very much recommend) you can refrigerate them over the winter. You can plant lilies any time during Fall-Spring - it's just that if you wait until winter (especially in a lower zone) you just might need a jack hammer to dig up the ground! :)

Good Luck.


RE: Can I take my bulbs out of the ground and what

helen, thanks so much for your excellent advice. i certainly appreciate it.


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