when to dig Lycoris radiata?

donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)August 21, 2009

Is there a better time to do this? They will be blooming soon, and I would like to divide some clumps and spread them around. Now, or next spring? Thanks!

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bubba62

From everything I've read and experienced, the optimum time to do this is just as the plant enters dormancy (when the leaves yellow and die off.) Around here, that's usually June, but I never catch them in time to move them then. They might still be dormant right now, if you can find them, but I've never had a new (dormant) bulb bloom the first year I planted it, so you might lose the blooms for this year. I know it's counterintuitive, but if you can't wait until late next spring, I think I'd try it once the bulbs are in full leaf, making sure to get as many roots as possible. Other amaryllids can be moved "in the green" - there's a (disputed, and probably erroneous) theory that Galanthus should ONLY be moved when they have roots and foliage - so why not Lycoris? You might lose a year of bloom whenever you do it, but if you don't divide all of your clumps in the same year, it shouldn't be a big deal.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 4:26AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Thanks, bubba. Mine are really tightly clumped up, but are in an easy spot to watch. It might be hard to get them up intact right now. I believe I will wait until next spring when I routinely cut back all that dead foliage anyway. Appreciate the feedback.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 5:54PM
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