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Better to leave lily in planter over the winter or move?

Posted by linnea56 z5 IL (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 22, 08 at 12:03

Last spring (07) I had extra newly purchased Asiatic bulbs so stuffed some into my largest annual planters. They produced a foot tall leaf stalk but nothing else. I meant to move them in the fall to a proper garden location but took a trip in the fall and completely forgot about them. The planters (fiberglass) with dirt spent all winter outdoors. They had some snow cover but were never watered or cared for.

In the spring I remembered the lilies but assumed they died or froze. I went to replant it with annuals in late May and found the lily showing up. Only one: I think I planted more ( hard to recall a few when you planted a hundred in the garden) but if I did those did not make it. I would have given the "empty" planter water if Id remembered earlier. It grew and bloomed this year, but only at about 18" height and 3 flowers while the same variety from the same package planted in the garden was easily 3 feet and five or more buds each. It (and they) turned out to be not as labeled but very lovely: definitely a keeper. Since I dont know the real name I would not be able to find these again.

Should I leave the lily in the planter for next year, or is it more likely to die and I just got lucky once? I liked having it with annuals.

Which of these four ideas would be better:

I could drag it into the garage to give it more protection; the fiberglass got more weathered than I wanted over the winter so I really should do that anyway (it weighs a ton filled with dirt, even though I put blocks of styrofoam into the bottom to save on potting soil and weight).

Leave the planter in the yard with the bulb where it is. Except for the fiberglass weathering issue.

Dig up the lily and put it in the garden when it ripens.

Dig up the bulb, pot it into a smaller clay pot, winter it with shelter in the yard or sink the pot into the vegetable garden and repot it into the planter in the spring.

Thanks! Sorry so wordy. Cant help it: can't be concise to save my life.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Better to leave lily in planter over the winter or move?

I would take it out of the planter and put it in the ground as it didn't do as well as the others.

RE: Better to leave lily in planter over the winter or move?

I take mine out and plant in the garden but of course we are a lot colder here. I've left them in pots in the past and lost them

RE: Better to leave lily in planter over the winter or move?

I had some Asiatics go to seed in a large planter- like 50 gallon. I don't even remember having these in there - I just got a bunch of lily seedlings that came up last summer so I let them grow. This summer was the 2nd yr and they bloomed yellow. I just lifted them out of the planter yesterday and planted the good sized bulbs out in the garden and put the little ones back in the planter. Because they came from seeds that were laying on top of the soil they had only dug themselves down about 3" - so the long answer to your question is that if you have enough soil around the bulbs to prevent freeze and thaw, and also have good drainage in the planter they probably will make it.

Last yr I planted a sick dwarf rhodie in a large planter with lots of sand and compost and it did great over the winter. I just dug up a mountain laurel that is going to die from voles chewing up the roots if I don't do something heroic. I planted it into that big container I mentioned above and its already settling in happily. Drainage is really important as you can't have water or soggy soil freezing around the roots. If you used a heavy peat based potting soil for water retention in the summer you would want to mix the soil with something to promote drainage - like rotted mulch and sand.

good luck!

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