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10/03/2014 at 23:07

Sorry folks.  I prepared this post a day or so ago.  Browsing the threads, I can' find itg. Perhaps I forgot to press submit post.

 

Notes on the cultivation of Lilies.

As the subject has been raised as to the overwintering of lilies. Basically, most lilies will overwinter in the ground, provided that good sensible care was taken when planting in the first place. Might I say. That even as one who has grown many different varieties. Pleas do your research. Yes! I admit. I have set about plant new lily stock, sometimes even replacing lost specimens. Please do your homework. Lily bulbs still remain amongst some of the more expensive bulbs.

If I might point out at this early stage. Due to the lack of a generous garden site. I often resort to sinking pots of bulbs etc into the ground. From a more scientific aspect, might I suggest. Build yourself a stock of, ‘Your special pots’. Take the average pot, drill several holes around the sides of the pot, and at varying levels. You will get better results and might I add, with far less losses. Various bulb planters can be purchased. These usually resemble the kitchen cullendar, used for rinsing veg; etc. The practical aspect here is. Take any size pot. It’s sunk into the garden. Heavy rains etc can flood the contents of the pot. Before the compost has adequately drained, the poor old lily has rotted. On the other hand. The spread of the plant, could well prevent sufficient water to enter the pot. Death due to lack of moisture. Whereas, the multi holed pot, will permit ground water to filter into the pot at lower levels. Not forgetting of course. Roots will seek out moisture. This can be achieved using this method.

Now the lily bulbs. Once again. Read the instructions. Some lilies do best in an alkaline compost. Others will tolerate a little lime/acid. Others, even the slightest sniff of lime, and you have lost that one. Interestingly lilies offer the gardener several opportunities.

For instance. Some bulbs need special care. The bulb is planted low. Usually 6inches deep. However the pot/container isn’t filled with compost. Gradually the growing point will grow a little, the roots will form. So here you will have roots at the base of the bulb, and now roots just above the top of the bulb. So you have to add more compost. This can take place several times. Please be patient. Lily bulbs are made up of scales. Sometimes, especially with new stock. Some of these scales might break off. Don’t panic. Removed scales whether accidentally or intentionally, they are valued propagating material. In this case. Using a polythene bag. A handful of peat and vermiculite. Drop the scales, add a tiny drop of water. Blow into the bag to expand it. Tie the top and place in the airing cupboard. In time tiny roots and bulbs will appear at the scale base. Take out. Pot up and grow on. Back to the bulbs. Some lily bulbs produce new bulbs attached to the parent bulb. Usually in this case. After flowering, the parent bulb will die, leaving behind the new bulbs. Grow these on. A very fascinating aspect of lily growing. It will be noticed that in the leaf axils. Tiny bulbils start to appear. These also can be harvested and grown on. In some cases, the removal of the flower head/bud will permit these bulbils to grow faster and better.

Were I a journalist be. I could probably write a whole book on the subject. However folks. The old eyes are getting a bit painful

I do hope this info helps one and all.

11/03/2014 at 17:06

Mike........I enjoy growing Lillies both in tubs and in the ground.

I was interested in your mention of drilling holes in the sides of pots ( as well as the obvious bottom drain holes ) and then sinking into the ground.  It makes a lot of sense but you don't say whether you would use clay or plastic pots for preference.

I'm guessing clay but ?  I wonder if you could clarify this point ?

Thanks for such an informative post..........sounds like I'm doing everything as per your recommendations but nice to have it confirmed

11/03/2014 at 21:10

Clay pots are porous, so the base drainage hole should suffice.  Being porous, to to an fro transfer of water is quite natural.  The common plastic pot, is the type I had in mind.  Even on the growing bench, sometimes more than the needed amount of water can build up.

Glad I have a friend on here who shares one of my specialities.  A word to the wise.  Bulbs of the Martagon family, are very prone to rotting.

12/03/2014 at 18:18

Thanks Mike...........a neighbour has recently given me a whole stack of plastic pots so that's a bit of luck

Thanks also for the tip re Martagon.........excellent timing on your part as I have been looking at those.  Used to have them in a previous garden and always liked them.

Have a nice evening

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