Feeding Lilies

johngrimshaw@tiscali.co.uk johngrimshaw@tiscali.co.uk
Tue, 22 Jun 2004 14:25:20 PDT
Kenneth Hixson gives excellent advice on a 'weakly, weekly' feeding regime,
and on the vagaries of certain species. It is easy when generalizing to
overlook these details, but I assume good gardeners will be ready to
recognize this as they tackle a new species.

I am curious to know Kenneth's recommendations for L. humboldtii, as I have
a good batch of seedlings that have been coming slowly along for several
years; one will flower this year from a 2004 sowing. (I have not attempted
to 'push' this one!) I see that McRae says that it is (of the West Coast
dryland spp) 'probably the least fastidious and easiest to manage' but notes
that it wants to be very dry through late summer and autumn. Any comments on

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

Website: http://www.colesbournegardens.org.uk/

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kenneth Hixson" <khixson@nu-world.com>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 9:18 PM
Subject: [pbs] Feeding Lilies

> Dear Members:
> John Grimshaw wrote:
> >It is my firm belief that lilies should be treated as herbaceous
> >and not as 'bulbs' when growing from seed.
> Some lilies very definitely repond to fertilizer and TLC, but there
> are some which are not very tolerant.  I would be very cautious with
> L. bolanderi or L. humboldtii, for instance.  Species generally respond
> less well than hybrids, as most species have evolved to certain soils and
> climates.  Most asiatics, particularly hybrids, love TLC.  Aurelians
> (trumpets)
> also respond well, as do modern oriental hybrids.
> > Flowers in the second season
> >are unusual except in L. formosanum et al., but most trumpet lilies etc
> >flower in the third season quite happily with this regime.
> With a greenhouse available, asiatic hybrids should flower fairly
> well in two years.  Aurelians would have an occasional bud.  Orientals
> would mostly take another year.
> Fertilizing needs to be applied with the plant's (lilies') growing
> cycle.  When the growth starts, regular but light fertilizer gives good
> results.  When the plant starts to go dormant, continuing to fertilize
> and apply lots of water results in rot.  Half strength fertilizer, applied
> in water once a week, probably wouldn't be excessive.  Weakly, weekly is
> the motto to remember.
> It might be worth mentioning that when a lily seedling starts growing,
> it is a herbaceous perennial, no bulb has formed until reserve nutrients
> can be stored.
> Ken
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