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Over wintering lily bulbs

I have grown lily bulbs in large containers for the last three years. This year they were a bit disappointing and I want to overwinter them in my garage until I decide where to replant them. When is the best time to do this and how should I protect them.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,330
    Just overwinter them outdoors  :)
    As long as they don't sit somewhere getting completely waterlogged, they'll be absolutely fine. Against a wall somewhere is usually ideal.
    It's possible that they need a bit of dividing up, or moving into bigger containers, if they haven't looked so good this year. Did you refresh some of the soil/compost they were in at the start of the growing season? The bulbs get bigger, and produce little bulbils, and use up the nutrients quite quickly, so they need a bit of maintenance when they're in pots long term  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • thefostersthefosters Posts: 72
    Thanks for your suggestion. I should have said that I want to use the pots where the bulbs are at present and now that they have finished flowering I planned to store them until next spring before replanting in the ground. Would it be too soon to do that at the moment?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,330
    Have you got some plastic buckets or pots you can transfer them into?
    Like most bulbs, they benefit from being left to die back completely, especially if you then want to store them.
    I've never done that [storing] as I feel it's too easy for them to get dried out, and shrivel up.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,066
    They need to be left until the flower stems die back naturally.  Until then, the green parts are still feeding the bulb, building up energy for next years flowers.  If you lifted and dried them now, almost certainly no flowers would appear next year.  As you need the pots then you could extract and plant the whole potful of soil and roots (being careful not to damage them, so no separating) in the same sized hole in the ground or put them in similarly sized cheap plastic pot until the stems have died back.  That will usually happen late autumn (ie at the time one normally plants out newly purchased lily bulbs.)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • thefostersthefosters Posts: 72
    I do have large plastic pots I could transfer the bulbs into meantime.
    My husband always said I was an impatient gardener but I will do it carefully.

    Many thanks to you both.
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