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Lily tips hacked off; good as dead?

Posted by musaboru 10a (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 23, 12 at 20:22


I received some oriental lily bulbs without active growing tips. I suppose it was done to extend the storage time by the seller. These are very clean cuts, so it seems intentional.

I will always remember something that Martha Stewart kept reitering in an old show. It is to be careful with lily tips, because if they break off then they will not bloom that same year.

Does this mean that mines are as good as dead now? Actually, I may be wrong about them being dead as I have had partially rotted lily bulbs regenerate with the individual scales each producing new growth.

Please let me know if these will flower this year. Will I need to buy new lily bulbs to have flowers this year?

Thanks very much.

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lily tips hacked off; good as dead?

I'm not sure from the photo whether the stub in the center is a broken off sprout, or just last year's dead stub. Either is possible. I'm inclined to think overall that you are correct and it is indeed a broken off sprout -- if so, yes, these bulbs are pretty much toast. They could still be used for propagation -- the individual scales, separated and planted, can develop tiny bulbs that eventually will grow large enough to bloom.

If I were you, I think I would complain to the company you bought them from, and ask for either proper, healthy and intact replacements, or a refund.

RE: Lily tips hacked off; good as dead?

I have seen lilies eaten by rabits when they are short; they skip that year and come up the following year. In other words they produce one stem per year but if there is still energy in the bulb they will continue producing stems in subsequent years.

Maybe if you put them through a chill period it will cause them to think a 2nd winter has occurred, and they'll produce new stems in time for this spring!

RE: Lily tips hacked off; good as dead?

I'm wondering if they still might bloom this year, but the bloom stalk be shorter, and thus fewer blooms. Maybe 'part' of the stalk is undamaged down in the bulb?


RE: Lily tips hacked off; good as dead?

I think the old stems were cut off incredibly short, and that they will produce new stems as normal. Al

RE: Lily tips hacked off; good as dead?

.... also oriental lilies sometimes don't go dormant until October or so, sellers want them out in the stores before then. In order to get them out on time they were probably dug a month or more early and the stem was still green and firm and needed to be cut off short.

RE: Lily tips hacked off; good as dead?

Thanks for the replies everyone.

They look like they could be last year's growth, but the cut on these were so fresh that I figured it could only have been new shoots that grew too long then were hacked off recently. I even poked around and saw the flesh was pretty solid. If I recall correctly, the stems by Fall should be hollow.

Sue, I've checked to see if this will grow any further, but I see no leaf joints and the cuts have remained in that same position. So this may confirm it is last year's growth and not the new growth?

Seller wants me to return if I want replacement; I thought it's not worth the cost of shipping back and for a replacement.

I will just hold onto them and hope that new shoots will appear. If not I may just plant them at work, although it may take a few years to regenerate. But the workplace could use something besides daylilies and Indian hawthorns there. I'm sure no one would mind some 'Ms Lucy' lilies lol.

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