The Q&A Archives: Tiger Lily Propagation

Question: This spring I purchased some yellow Tiger Lily bulbs (no other species/variety info was on the package). They grew wonderfully, and after flowering I see a brown nodule on top of some of the leaves, at the base where the stem and leaf come together. I have been told that these are seeds, and that I can grow new plants from them. Is this true? When do I harvest the seeds and how do I plant them? Is this unique to Tiger Lilies, or do Asiatics produce these seeds, too? Thanks very much for your help!!

Answer: Yes! The bulbils (miniature bulbs) can be planted the
same way you would plant seeds. In nature, they will plant themselves when they eventually fall to the ground, so you could also simply allow nature to take its course. Not all lilies form these, but on lilies that do they can be used to propagate the lily. ( Lilies can be propagated by separating off small bulbs forming at the base of the stem or even by individual scales from the bulb. Some are also propagated by seed but this is more difficult.)

You can plant the bulbils in the garden but the success rate is higher when they are planted in a small pan or pot at first. Plant them now (lightly
covered and about a half inch or so apart) into a light soil
mix, or into a combination of milled peat moss with
vermiculite or sand and keep moist. They should germinate
fairly quickly. Transplant to individual pots when they are
large enough to handle.

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