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Trite Lilies

-- Posts: 88

I know this is a very hackneyed question, but what to do with oriental lily bulbs

after flowering? I was going to dig out the bulbs from pots from long spent plants,

when I found out a good deal of new roots were produced, as if they were sprouting 

back! Yet, only a few buds on top of the soil are visible: are they roots from the main

bulb or from the bulbils? And er... what should I do (besides waiting) ? Thanks.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,745

    When did these lilies flower?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • -- Posts: 88

    They flowered last year. The leaves never turned brown...

  • Rusflorum, forgive me if I'm teaching my grandmother how to suck eggs.

    Lilies are a perennial plant, all the energy is stored in the bulb, they will die down completely, and come back next year (provided they aren't eaten by squirrels, slugs, or lily beetles).

    They will come up every year, make new foliage, flower, and die down in the wintertime to come up again when it warms up.  They tend to make good roots first, as they can be quite thirsty plants, when they have some decent roots, they will start shooting up looking for the sunshine.

    I'd leave them alone, give them some feed when they come up, and enjoy them.  If you need the pots, then now is the time to transfer them to the border, before the shoots get any bigger.

    Hope this helps (love lillies but so do the slugs in my garden!)

  • -- Posts: 88

    Thank you, Mummy Muddy Paws, I really did not know the bulbs make roots

    before the shoots come up. But I have been waiting for a few weeks since I

    noticed the roots growing. Is that normal? Will they take many weeks to sprout?


  • Every year I think I have lost my lilies in pots, and buy new bulbs.  Every year they surprise me by sprouting.  I have to say, however that they are already about a foot tall, so would expect yours to break the surface any day.  I'd leave them in a sunny place (but they don't like warm roots, so try to keep the container out of direct sunlight - maybe another container in front of it), keep them watered and see what happens.  If they're not through in a couple of weeks, I'd dig one up to find out what's going on, it could be that they've been planted a bit too deep.

    Most of mine are tree lilies, so will grow to 5-6 feet before flowering.

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