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Repotting lillies

Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 453
Hello
For the last umpty-odd years I've been meaning to do something with these lillies. OH planted them (so I'm not to blame for the low compost level!) and they've never had new compost, so I thought it about time to do something.

They are a bit leggy as they live under the deck for the winter to keep frost-free and we were a bit late spotting their new growth this year.

I was going to lift them all and put new compost in and re-plant them. We don't have much commercial MPC but have plenty of garden compost. Any advice on the best approach please?
Thanks

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,562
    Do those tubs have drainage holes or are they trugs?

    I would gently tip the lot out and re-pot in 5 or 6 big pots with a bit of space round each bulbs.  John Innes no 3 is best in my experience as it provides nutrients and good drainage.  Alternatively, put them in the ground with space to grow between each bulb.

    Water well before splitting so you minimise damage to roots and water again when replanted.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 453
    The 'pots' are trugs with holes drilled in them for drainage. I picked up some MPC with added John Innes (the best I could do in the circs) so will re-pot them over the next few days.
    They've been in those pots for about 4 years and they flower reliably every year, but I'm conscious they need a bit more TLC.
    I'm hesitant about planting them in the ground up here as they would probably succumb to the winter cold, but they seem ok in pots put somewhere sheltered for the winter.
    Thanks for the help  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,098
    Lilies are perfectly hardy @Stephanie newish gardener
    You don't need to protect them in any way. You can leave them tucked in somewhere for the winter, against a wall or similar, just to protect them from excess water, but I don't even bother doing that, and we get more rain here than the north east. Excess wet will cause more problems than dry cold, as they can rot. 

    In the absence of a loam based compost as @Obelixx suggests, any compost will suffice. You can refresh the top layer of compost each year after flowering and add a liquid feed of some kind - tomato food for example, to let them get a bit of extra oomph as they die back.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 453
    So I've now dealt with one of the big pots, and have 4 smaller pots of bulbs plus some in the ground. I used the biggest of the bulbs and am left with quite a few fairly small ones. I assume these are the most recent babies and may not flower this year, so was thinking of putting them into a smaller pot to then move on next year. Would that be the best option, and is it worth keeping the tiny ones? 
    The pic is of the second pot that I've yet to tackle. Talk about a tangle of roots!

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,098
    Yes - you can just pot them up if you want. Remember to label them though  ;)

    I don't bother separating them, I  just split them into chunks with  a spade, and pot those up, or plant them out, depending on whether there's a space for them in a border. 
    Then I just let them get on with it  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 453
    Fairygirl said:
    Yes - you can just pot them up if you want. Remember to label them though  ;)

    I don't bother separating them, I  just split them into chunks with  a spade, and pot those up, or plant them out, depending on whether there's a space for them in a border. 
    Then I just let them get on with it  :)
    So if you happen to chop a big bulb in half will it still grow? That would make life so much simpler - it took ages to separate those bulbs!
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