Newbie wants to save / move tiger lily bulbs

lise_bAugust 8, 2005

My yard is full of tiger lilies that are blooming now... and the color clashes with almost everything else I've planted. I was just going to pull them all up, but when I saw the first one with its naked little bulb, I felt so bad! So, new plan-- I'd like to give them to someone else.

How do I do this? Can they be moved now? Can I just pull them up, cut off the stem, and give the bulbs away? Or would it be better to wait until they start to come up in spring, and move them like a regular plant?

(Also, the one I pulled up has been lying on the ground for a few days now, inducing huge amounts of guilt. Can I still save the bulb?)

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

If by tiger lilys you mean those tall orange day lilies.....just dig them up and toss.....and they will be back the following year.
In the midwest we call them "ditch lilies" because they are growing in every road side ditch around here....
They are a weed....don't feel guilty....just dig them up and toss them!
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 1:40PM
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No, we don't call those tiger lilies here. The plants I'm asking about are lilium. The flowers are dark orange with black spots and face downwards, and they're making tiny black bulb things on their stems.

As for the ditch lilies, I have many of those too. I certainly don't consider them a weed-- they grow in the shade of a 60' fir and look very pretty when they bloom, with no work on my part. I cheer them on! :)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 1:45PM
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Nancy zone 6

I think you have what I call turk's cap lily, I'm probably mistaken in its name, but certainly sounds like mine. If you can wait til the foliage starts to die back a bit, then is the time to dig & give away. If you cut them back before they have died back, it deprives them of energy for next year's flowering. The one you tossed on the ground can probably be saved, but may or may not flower next year. I would think it wouldn't be hard to find someone who would like to have them. Friends beg for mine, they seem more unusual around here, but they are an old lily.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 3:18PM
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AsarumGreenPanda(z6 MA)

Greening, I agree with NGraham that the best time to move these is when the foliage begins to yellow/die back. Unfortunately for you, that means after they've finished blooming. You could cut off the buds, I guess, or cut the flowers as they open and float them in water. I wouldn't cut too much of the stem along with the flowers, since the leaves on these usually go right up to the buds--and bulbs use their leaves to build and store carbohydrate reserves for next year's blooms. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend cutting the stems off now.

Another option might be digging them up now, as carefully as you can and with as many of the roots intact as possible, and potting them. You could give them away in the pots. If you have a lot of them, you could try digging and potting a few to see how they take it. In general, they are pretty resilient and shouldn't mind being dug, but if your soil tends towards clay, it can be hard to get all of the roots when you dig. The lilies might hate that, or they might take it in stride. I haven't dug any when they were in bloom so I can't say.

I'd definitely stick that one on the ground into a pot, water well, and put it in the shade. Again, I agree with NGraham: it will probably be fine, although it may not bloom next year.

Good luck. They're beautiful plants; I, too, am sure you'll find some takers. Just try not to give them to folks who have lily beetle problems.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 4:25PM
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Okay, I can wait. I guess with the bright magenta roses which decided to bloom all summer, any hope of color coordinating for this year is long gone anyway. ;-) Thanks for the advice-- it is much appreciated, and I'll be happy thinking of them cheering up someone who actually likes them.

As for the lily beetles-- oi. Handpicking worked this year, but if they get any worse... :-/

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 4:35PM
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