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Lily (General)

March 10, 2018


I did not do so much in my yard last year because of fluctuating weather. I need to dig up several lily plants and thin them out.  I have rain lily, amaryllis and Angel White Daylily that need to be thinned out.  Is it OK to dig them up and thin them out now as in this week or next week?  I also got a bag of 10 bulbs of Asiatic Lily for my belated birthday earlier this month, and I see that it is best time to plant them in the fall.  Huh...can I still plant the bulbs now?  When some of my hosta and painted Japanese ferns start shooting up, is it OK to dig them up and divide them out this spring?  


 AnswerBy all means, dig and divide now. Perennials that bloom in the summer can be divided either spring or fall without any problems.  You can also still plant your Asiatic lilies.  They are still being sold now and are beginning to grow.  While fall division often leads to stronger plants for the growing season, many gardeners opt for spring because it is easier to see what you have as they are emerging, plus we often are more energized in the spring for gardening than in the fall.


July 29, 2017

QuestionI have found a flower I don't know what is. I found this plant on my father in law farm. This is where a lot of old home places. I've been following this flower for about three years. This plant has fans that are about two feet high, with a small stem followed by small blooms. When it flowers it looks a small lily with an orange looking flower with dark orange spots .Please help me figure out what it is



Without seeing a picture, I would guess bellamcanda, commonly called blackberry lily because of the blackberry looking seed pods, or leopard plant because of the spots, or candy lily--not sure why for this name.  The foliage looks like iris leaves and the flower heads pop up.  Orange is a common color but there are other colors as well.


July 22, 2017

QuestionI planted some Stargazer lily bulbs this spring, and they were just about ready to bloom. Well, I came out today and discovered that they had been eaten down to the ground by something (rabbit or deer, I assume). Is there any chance they will come back next spring? I know that normally they need the spent foliage to feed the bulb. Is there anything I can do to help ensure that they regrow?


I would bet they will try to put on some more foliage now, but of course, they will not bloom this year.  I would lightly fertilize and keep them watered and see if they begin to grow.  If they do begin to put on more leaves, try to protect them from being eaten again and hope for the best. If no foliage reappears, they will probably not be worth saving. 


July 15, 2017

QuestionMy Iris and daylilies have "pods" on them. Can they be used for propagation?



Both iris and daylilies can be grown from seed, but in my opinion is a fairly slow process to get a blooming plant. Plant breeders do crosses of daylilies and that is how we get the new varieties with plants that grow from those seeds.  You need to allow the seed pod to totally mature and then grow them from the seeds. It usually takes two years before you see a flower.  Both daylilies and iris can easily be divided if you need more plants, and they should bloom the next season.



February 25, 2017


I have several pink Surprise Lilies in my flower bed.  Four years ago, there was plenty of foliage in the spring that died bank and many, many blooms in late summer.  However, each year since, there has been plenty of foliage, but only one or two blooms.  Is there anything I can do to make sure they bloom this year?  The foliage is already up. 



Everything is ahead of schedule this spring. My foliage is fully up on the naked ladies.   You could lightly fertilize your lycoris or surprise lilies in mid-March.  This variety with the pink blooms is Lycoris squamigera.  They produce foliage in the spring, which grows for about two months and then it dies back and the light pink naked stems come up about two months later.  The red spidery type blooms are Lycoris radiata and the foliage on those comes up right after they bloom in the fall and it lasts all winter before dying down in the late spring.  While the foliage is up on either of these varieties is when they are manufacturing the food to produce the flowers.


October 2016


 My blackberry lilies were loaded with blooms and now seeds this year but they are so crowded.  I would like to thin them out and then transplant some.  Can you tell me when the best time to transplant blackberry lilies is? 



Blackberry lilies are also called candy lilies, Belamcanda chinensis.  They are actually in the iris family, not the lily family. They can be divided and replanted in the fall as they are going dormant or in the spring as they are emerging. They are tough plants and can also be grown from seed—the “blackberries” that form after they flower.    


July 24, 2016


 I have a couple lilies that have been in pots for a few years now.  I'd like to plant them in the ground and wonder when the best time would be.  Also, I ordered some hydrangeas this year, they are small plants but healthy after living in a planter outdoors.  Can I plant them in the ground before winter gets here, or should I bring them in and store them in the garage for the winter, then transplant in the spring?  They have not yet bloomed, but the three plants are nice and healthy.


If you are like me you are probably already tired of having to water containers every day this summer.  When it is hot and dry, containers demand attention.  You will find your job will be a whole lot easier if these plants get established outside in the yard instead of staying in pots.  For the lilies, plant them in a well-drained site in full sun.  Don’t be alarmed if the shock of transplant causes them to begin dying back. If it has been at least 6 weeks since they bloomed, they should bounce back next spring.  For the hydrangeas, plant them in a protected spot in the garden where they get morning sun or filtered daily sun.  Big leaf hydrangeas performed beautifully for us this summer, but it was our first good season in a while.  Cold winters do take their toll, but these are really outside plants and you don’t want to have to move them back and forth each season.  

July 15, 2015

QuestionThe red "surprise" lilies that are in bloom now and have been for a week-the leaves come out of the ground at a different time--Question when do you dig and transplant them. I want to rescue some from an old abandon home place. The red flowers are on a single stem and the flowers are quite intricate in shape


The red surprise lilies are Lycoris radiate.  Their foliage will appear soon after the blooms are finished and should remain intact throughout the winter.  In late spring, the foliage dies down and the bulbs remain dormant until early to mid-fall when the naked stem appears with the blooms, then the cycle repeats itself.  You can dig the bulbs when the foliage first appears in the fall or in the late spring as the leaves begin dying back.  Sometimes in a hard winter, the foliage does get damaged and we go a year without blooms.  They may also pay you back for moving them and not bloom for a year or two, but salvage some and see what happens. 

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