The Q&A Archives: Moving Lilies

Question: I have a beautifull garden full of all different lilies. I am moving this Friday and would like to know the best way to move the bulbs. I must be out of the house this Thursday.

Answer: You are in luck because fall is not a bad time to transplant lily bulbs. Water them the day before you dig them, dig them up carefully (do not remove the tops) and replant them a tthe same depth as they grew before as soon as possible. Then water well and mulch. Newly planted lilies seem to winter over better with a bit of extra mulch the first year, so keep that in mind late this fall. Try to take a rootball with each one so as to disturb it as little as possible and to protect it from bruising while in transit. If you have to keep them out of the ground for more than a few hours, place the rootball/bulb section only in plastic bags so they do not dry out and keep them in the shade out of direct sun so they will not overheat. If you need to keep them longer than a day or two, you will need to pot them up. Pot them at the same depth as they grew in the soil. Finally, if the property where they are planted has been sold note that you may not be allowed to take them according to the terms of the sales contract. Good luck with your new garden!

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