wintering lily in pots over winter can it be done?

missmyrnaloy(3)May 3, 2013

Ok... I used to have beautiful lily gardens, due to a break up I ended up moving and 2 friends offered me the use of their garden for two years. Eight months later I was settled and went to collect half my collection as the deal was they were keep half for the use of their spaces. Needless to say a 10k plants, shrubs, roses, rugoas and bulbs are "dead" nothing left -grapevine basically said they sold them and gave them away to their friends and planned to tell me they died over a period of two years. I didn't say anything what could I say.

So, lesson learned, starting over in a rented house, but want to put my lily bulbs in pots on a deck because living in town the deer here in town come anywhere in the yard and eat every thing in site. I have spent 1k on bulbs so far and want to enjoy them and not have them eaten. I bought cheap laundry baskets from the dollar store lined them with brown paper bags, good drainage can put 5 bulbs in a basket. Each basket was anywhere from .50 to 1.00 each. I have access to under the deck, an unheated garage and the basement. We get anywhere from 30 below to 58 below for a couple of weeks at a time. This last winter was very soft and maybe got down to 30 below for shorter stretches. Now if I put these basket of bulbs in an unheated garage it does get below zero easily in there and would I need to water them? If I chose the basement it gets about in the 50's..... and would I need to water them or just move them down there and leave them alone? I also want my bulbs to be kept portable in case I might have to move again. I have over 4 thousand daff and tulip bulbs in the ground and will be fighting the deer on that... I just don't want to get my lilies eaten and want to enjoy them. Any ideas?

This post was edited by missmyrnaloy on Fri, May 3, 13 at 15:01

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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Sorry to hear about all your troubles, but glad it sounds like things are back on track.
I would put them in the garage before any hard frosts begin. The lilies should be going into dormancy then and will wait out the winter. Find the warmest spot, group the pots together and maybe cover with an old blanket? They shouldn't need any water and having them a little on the dry side might actually help. Hopefully they can handle the lows in the garage. I thing the basement will be too warm and they'll start growing earlier than you want.
I'd like to hear what other people suggest, I sometimes have trouble overwintering bulbs in pots.
You might want to get a roll of landscape fabric to line your baskets. The fabric kind, not the plastic. It will last longer than the paper.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:41AM
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Will try that... it is tough starting over again... collecting different varieties and years of good growth.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 7:42PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Are you growing native lilies, hybrids, or orientals?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:05AM
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Orientals, doubles orientals, asiatic, oriepent... pretty much all I could find.. all zone 3... a couple zone 4 have had success with that as well.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 2:57PM
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I've got some in a half-whiskey barrel and they do quite well - as a matter of fact, this year they are really going nuts - lots of "baby" shoots. I dug up another garden because it was under a tree we cut down, and I put those lilies (all asian, btw) in the same barrel. They're also popping up. I forgot that I had put two in another big pot, and they're up too and looking better than they did when they were in the garden. I'm in Colorado, my zone is 5/6.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:40PM
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