Getting species lilies past the cotyledon stage

stephen willson
Sun, 20 May 2018 14:19:23 PDT
I have a question to the larger group about getting lily seedlings past the cotyledon (single leaf) stage.  After 18 years living in Houston I'm now in the Pacific North West  (5 miles north of Mount Vernon tulip fields, for those who have read the recent issue of The Bulb Garden) and am trying to build a lily collection again.  Its been 20 years since growing lilies in the UK, so I admit to being a bit rusty.  I have both American and Chinese species on the go (several types), as well as some hybrid lily seeds (Asiatics and trumpets) obtained when rejoining NALS.  I've been very pleased with the germination success of all types, but whereas the hybrids are now up to a couple of true leaves, the species seem stuck at the cotyledon stage.  The leaves look healthy, but they don't seem to be flourishing as well as they should.  The plants get diffuse light from the westerly & northerly window, supplemented by grow-lights.  I'm watering regularly with a weak 12-6-6 fertilizer.  The potti
 ng soil is fairly free-draining (potting soil and vermiculite mix) and the seedlings are several to a 4" pot.  I don't know if it is just a difference in vigor between the hybrids and species, or whether I'm overlooking something.  If anyone has any suggestions, then I'd love to hear from you.  Maybe I'm being too impatient!

Thanks for your help!

Steve Willson
Bow, WA. Zone 8b

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