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Digging up lilies and overwintering them

Posted by summerf z5Canada (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 11, 08 at 16:12

Hi, I have a bit of a problem. My granddaughter, Summer, age 7 is quite a gardener (thanks to her Nanny). Unfortunately she and her parents are moving away sometime in November. She is worried about her lilies more than anything and she asked me if I could save them for her and bring them to her new home in the spring. I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia so needless to say it gets very cold here in the winter. If I dig them up late in the fall, and replant them in my garden will they be alright? I have heard that if I do that they may heave up out of the ground through the winter.
Is there anyone out there who can help us?
Sure would appreciate it.
Thanks,
Summer


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RE: Digging up lilies and overwintering them

Hi Summer,
Fall is the best time for planting Lilies (assuming we are talking about true Lilies), so they will be just fine. You have to cover them with 3-4 inches (7-10 cm) of soil for small bulbs and 4-6 inches (10-15cm) for larger ones if your Lilies are not Madonna lilies (L. candidum). I can not imagine that they can be heaved from this depth. Some lilies (Asiatics) are more hardy than others. If you have more tender varieties (Orientals, Trumpets, etc), you can add a thick layer of mulch to protect them.
Alternatively, you can pot your Lily bulbs up and keep pots in an unheated garage or basement. Keep the soil in pots moist but not soggy.


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