Planting Lilies

Sat, 16 Feb 2013 13:24:20 PST

Hi Gene 

Thanks for comment. 

Warm stratification is needed on these local lilies because they use a warm period to pre-germinate, (hypogeal germination). I've done both ways, sowing in field early fall under sawdust mulch but only have slight germination and need to wait until second year.  I am getting good stands in the field however once they germinate. In the lab I hold seed in moist, warm conditions for 30 to 60 days @ 70 F. Last year, I did this , moved into flats and held in cooler until germination began. Very strong germination and survival.  This is called delayed hypogeal germination ie requiring a warm period followed by a cold one. The seed I'm stratifying this year are just now showing a bit of white tissue emerging after 6 weeks. Slower this year. Might be temperatures. Last year I put in bins when  radicals began emerging. This year I also have 4 additional  hypogeal species I am trying for first time. 

Field planted species lilies I have grown, grow well in field from direct  seeding to flowering. This is first I have tried this transfer from bins. When they germinate in field they stay quite shallow and I have planted these about 1/2 inch and will be mulching with sawdust. Weeds are biggest issue for me because they provide cover for rodents. 

How deep are you planting your seedling bulbs? I'm planning to pull back soil now and then to see if they are struggling to emerge, then to pull back soil if needed. And re-mulch.…

Rich H

On Feb 16, 2013, at 10:54 AM, Gene Mirro <> wrote:

> What do you mean by warm stratification?  Can you explain what worked for you?
> Are you going to mulch the soil surface over these bulbs?  I have experienced 100% losses of species lily bulbs in clean-cultivated soil in full sun.  I learned that species lilies need mulch and/or companion plants to keep the soil cool and not too wet.  Afternoon shade also helps.  But your climate is cooler than mine, so I don’t know what will happen there.  
> The birds will destroy the young foliage of these small bulbs.  I use inverted 17” flats to protect the plants.  On a larger scale, you could also use bird netting, or build some cloche frames.
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