Naked Ladies transplant question

gamebirdMarch 1, 2009

Hello there!

Last fall I got a half dozen naked lady/resurrection lily bulbs from a friend. I didn't have a place prepared to plant them, so I gave them to my mother who put them in her yard. This summer she will be moving to a new house and we would like to keep the bulbs. I have a place to put them now. My question is to when the best time to move them would be. Right now they have 1-2 inches above the ground, but she planted them very shallowly (at least, that was my opinion, but they survived the winter, so who's to say?).

Should I:

1) dig them up right away and transplant them now?

2) wait until their spring foliage dies back and transplant them then?

I think I have only those two choices, because by summer and fall, she will be out of that house and most likely the house will be sold.

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Maryl zone 7a

I'd hate to give you bad advice based on a misunderstanding of what you call Naked Ladies. I think you mean Lycoris Squamigera, the pink, large trumpeted flower. I've included a link below from Missouri Botanical with a picture. They say to move them in the fall, but they are not in my zone so ripening of foliage etc is probably different. I had to move mine once but the foliage had already ripened by early June, not fall. Also because of our zonal difference and winter freezes I don't bury mine as deeply. Since you are zone 6, their time tables may be more suited to you however. If for some reason you absolutely can't wait until the foliage ripens, you might try digging them up anyway, trying your darndest not to disturb the roots. Pot them up in the best potting soil you can buy, place them out of direct sun and wind and wait for the foliage to ripen in the pot. Then plant them in the ground. I've done this with dafs and tulips before and have had a fair amount of success. Just remember they can sometimes take years to settle back in once re-planted. On the ones I moved it was 3 years before some of them bloomed again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lycoris Squamigera

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 4:52PM
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I *assume* that's what they are (what the link showed), but I'm not positive. After all, I haven't seen them bloom either.

So what you're saying is to wait until after the foliage ripens and dig them up then, in the early or mid-summer? That's better than digging them up now?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 5:54PM
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gamebird- From what I have read and experienced, it would be best to let them go into their natural dormancy before moving them. This usually will occur in the summer when it gets hot. If you don't, they will probably dry their leaves up and put themselves into dormancy anyway. Plant them in the ground or in a pot wiht a gritty, well drained soil and make sure to plant them shallow with the neck out of the soil too. I've read they like to bake in the sun during the summer with limited water. I have some in a pot and they don't get special treatment, just taken care of by nature. They do take a long time to bloom after being disturbed. These were placed in the pot in the fall of 2006 or so and have yet to bloom.

Hope this helps and good luck with them!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 7:58PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Another option, since they are planted so shallowly anyway, would be to dig them now, taking a large clump of soil with them and disturbing the roots as little as possible. If you do that, I would then go ahead and plant them in holes so they will be at the exact same depth.

Chances are what you have are the Lycoris Squamigera, as most other Lycoris are not as hardy and likely would not survive in your zone, particularly if they were planted shallowly.

Good luck. I have them and love it when they surprise me each summer blooming on the stems when there no sign of any foliage left.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 10:43PM
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Maryl zone 7a

Is your friend no longer available to ask what color her "naked ladies" were when they bloomed? If they were pink, then more then likely they are Lycoris Squamigera and the advice to dig them up after the foliage ripens is the one to follow if at all possible. If you must dig before the foliage dies down do as has been suggested but pamper them in partial shade, no wind etc. until the foliage is gone.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 12:00AM
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She said they were pink. I'll wait as long as I can and hope my mother's house doesn't sell too quickly.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 10:23AM
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If worse comes to worse, and you must move them sooner, it's no big deal... it'll just set them back a bit, and it'll take longer for them to recover and settle in to their new home.

They definitely don't care to be disturbed, but we have to do what we must to save our bulbs and take them with us. Just plant them in semi-shade at your new place, and be prepared to wait a couple of years for them to settle in before they bloom.

The bottom line is... bulbs are very resilient, for the most part... while moving them out of proper season will delay blooming, it's not going to kill them. Take as much of the soil around them as possible, and get them re-planted as soon as you are able. They'll be fine.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 11:23AM
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