Planting oriental and asiatic lily bulbs

ryseryse_2004May 2, 2013

Just received a bunch of these and growing instructions were not in the box. They are huge bulbs with lots of roots. How deep and how far apart should I plant them.

Anything else I need to know? I have never grown lilies before. I am in NW IL in zone 5a.

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

They don't like 'wet feet' and they do like to have humus in the soil. Leaf mould is good.

Heads in the sun and cool feet - like Clematis. And they appreciate a topping with an organic mulch.

If you plant them in company with shrubs ensure they get reasonable sun during the day.

If you got the bulbs locally they probably won't need lifting for winter protection. And they don't like being out of the ground for too long - unless you leave them in a box with potting soil to protect their scales. Even when they lose their stems and leaves, they never get to be as dormant as a daffodil.

If the scales develop a deep purple shade the bulbs have probably become too hot and dry. You might only get short stems and no flowers the following year.

Leave enough room for daughter bulbs to develop around the original mother plant and form a larger clump. Some of the asiatics develop stem bulbils which drop off and start to sprout on the ground's surface.

Some lilies have two sets of roots: basal which are the first ones and are like daffodil roots; then another set which are very close to the surface and come from the stem not the bulb itself. They're feeding roots, which is why mulching and a humus-rich soil is so good for growing good lilies.

Expect stems 3' plus.

Don't sniff the orientals too closely - they're generous about sharing their pollen, and it can stain.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 6:27AM
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Mine go down 8 inches, & at least 1 ft apart for the non-dwarf ones.

I don't have a lot of experience with lilies, you may be able to grow them closer together.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 3:15PM
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Just be forewarned, bunnies and other critters love to munch on these.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:41AM
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We have 7 outdoor cats and two large labs who are outside lots -- we never see rabbits and only see squirrels in trees!!! There are lots of voles and moles though. This is the first time I have ever had tulips come back every year - we have been here at the farm for 8 years now. I never could have tulips before we had cats.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:10PM
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